memories ...

memories ...

dinsdag 14 april 2015

Baking with evaporated milk

I went to Costa Rica last year and spent 4 months in a host family and volunteered in different social and nature projects over there. 
Because of this time in a host family, you get to new local customs much easier than when you spend all your time in a hotel that is no different from whatever hotel anywhere else in the world. I loved it!

My host mum Cecilia was a real foodie. Her husband Carlos was in good hands because even though he didn't know a thing about cooking, he was fed very well.
She was about as old as my grandmother and just as my grandmother, she loved to cook (guess from who I got the foodie-genes).

She would stuff me every day. I got a huge breakfast every morning: always a plate of at least 4 types of fruit, tea (without milk, Belgian girls don't drink milk in their tea and even after trying, she couldn't convince me) and a changing assortment of dishes going from eggs and frijoles molidos to arepas (pancakes) and from toast with Costa Rican cheese to fresh French loaf grilled cheese sandwiches.
Every night I got a three course meal and convincing as she was, I always had seconds.
I obviously gained quite a bit of weight. Even after 2 food intoxications and all the symptoms that come with it, I gained 6 kilos!

I never complained and had the most memorable moments with them and their family. Especially Christmas and New Year's Eve were very good and even though my own family was far away in Belgium, I felt I was really part of their celebrations. 

On New Year's Eve there I had my first experience with queque con tres leches. It was Cecilia's daughter, a professional cook, who made it and it was soooo good. It was a very small piece and I just wanted more afterwards. 

Back in Belgium, I treated my family with some Costa Rican food. I also made a tres leches cake because I liked it so much. 
I bought all the ingredients and set to work. It was the first time to use evaporated milk and condensed milk. And the result was very nice. My family liked it but remarked that the pieces should have been a lot smaller. They were stuffed! I guess they were right, so many rich ingredients together made a very dense cake.

That was more than a year ago and this week I made my second attempt at baking with evaporated milk. I made a cake based on the recipe on where Lindsay posted a nice looking marble cake made with evaporated milk. She warned her readers that the cake is addictive and also a lot of comments suggested that it was very worth making it. As I found my last attempt at baking with this milk very agreeable, I tried it.

I almost made the recipe completely according to the instructions of Pinch of Yum but added a chunk of dark chocolate to the dark batter so that the chocolate flavour would be axtra rich. I also had a slightly bigger can of evaporated milk so I multiplied everything by 1.5 to be able to use all of the can and not be left with a third of a can in the fridge. In Belgium we use the metric measures so I converted them also to work with. 

I baked the batter in a rectangular cake tin but after 45 minutes the batter still wiggled in the middle while the outer parts were set. Because of opening the oven before the middle was set, the cake collapsed. I was a bit impatient because I took the cake out of the oven anyway (I was also a bit scared the cake would dry out too much in the outer parts). 

I covered the top of the cake with some white chocolate and even though the cake wasn't a beauty and wasn't set at all in the middle, everyone liked it anyway. Eveything disappeared and this is the last piece which I will eat right now:

I guess if a cake is a success when it fails, the recipe is a keeper. You have to have a sweeth tooth of course, as the the combination of chocolate and sweet evaporated milk suggests.

Next time I will make cupcakes with this batter, they will set more easily and it's a much better way to have portion control ...

I recommend making this recipe also!


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