I have a mega treat for you today! I am SO STOKED to share this one with you, as it was my favorite dessert growing up in Ecuador. My mom would make a few of these for special occasions or for birthday parties, and I, being the food-lover that I am, would polish off whatever cake leftovers there were after the party was over. Mom would help with that too. If you were a fly on the wall, you would see us both in the kitchen table with spoons in hand just going at the Tres Leches Dessert tray together, looking like little kids who were doing something naughty. The same visual goes for when we had Nutella jars in the house; we would eat that jar clean, one spoonful at a time. Ahhh, good times.
I reached out to my mom a few days ago, asking her to give me her Tres Leches Dessert recipe. She is so sweet, she gave it to me in a jiffy, all from memory. She is a master of her craft. Her recipe is of course not Paleo, but guess what? I worked some magic and converted it into an all Paleo approved recipe, so that we can all enjoy her fab dessert together!
I made my mom’s Tres Leches Dessert recently for Preston and I, the Paleo way. And oh-boy, it was gooooo-oooood. We each were going to share one piece, but after Preston had his first bite, he looked at me and said he was going to get his own. We each finished a generous slice in about one minute. One glorious minute. It tasted JUST like mom’s. So many wonderful memories of us growing up came to light as my taste senses were firing up. It’s crazy how senses can do that, isn’t it? They can spark memories so vividly when given the right sensory cue. I may have to make more desserts from home just so I can vividly re-live some of my great Ecuadorian memories. I miss home!
I will be in constant communication with my mama and bring more of her yummy creations your way. I think you’ll really enjoy her treats. Not to mention, you’ll be sort of studying a different culture’s traditional foods when eating these treats. They are all Latin American, all with their own Ecuadorian twist. How fun! I love to share that piece of me with you guys.
- 2 cups cashew meal (for homemade option: pulse raw cashews in food processor until meal like texture is reached)
- ⅓ cup arrowroot flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 4 large eggs
- ⅓ cup honey
- 7 tablespoons ghee + more to grease pan
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 12 oz Paleo Condensed Milk
- 12 oz Paleo Evaporated Milk
- 8 oz unsweetened coconut carton milk
- 3 egg whites, from large eggs
- ¾ cup maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Make your Paleo Condensed Milk & Paleo Evaporated Milk ahead of time. Keep these, and the coconut milk, stored for later, as you'll use them once your base cake is done baking and cooling.
- Grease 7" x 11" baking dish with ghee and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a bowl, mix cashew meal, arrowroot flour and sea salt. Set aside.
- Place ghee in a heat proof dish and microwave for about 20 seconds, or until melted. Set aside.
- Separate the eggs, placing the egg whites in a standing mixer's bowl and the yolks in the bowl with the ghee. To the bowl with the yolks and ghee, add in honey, vanilla extract and lemon juice; whisk until incorporated. Pour this mixture into the bowl with the flours; whisk until batter is smooth.
- Using the whisk attachment in your standing mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks are formed. Add baking soda into the cake batter, and immediately beat in a third of the egg whites to lighten the batter. Fold in remainder of the egg whites.
- Pour batter into pre-greased baking pan, and bake for 40 minutes. Let cool completely.
- Once cake has cooled completely, used fork to puncture mini holes everywhere in the cake. You want holes everywhere, so that the milk mixture can soak in and wet the cake.
- In a blender, add in Paleo Condensed Milk, Paleo Evaporated Milk and unsweetened carton coconut milk. Blend until well combined. Pour a third of the milk mixture directly on top of the holey cake and let the cake absorb it completely; once absorbed, pour half of the remainder milk mixture and let it absorb; pour all the remainder milk mixture (it almost seems like it won't fit, but it does, it will all get absorbed eventually) and refrigerate cake overnight.
- To finish off the cake, make the Meringue: combine all the ingredients in a large heatproof bowl. Place bowl over medium sized saucepan with about 2 inches of simmering water in it (the bottom of the bowl must not touch the water, otherwise eggs will cook). Heat mixture until it reaches a temperate of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a food thermometer to keep track.
- Remove from heat and pour mixture into a standing mixer with a whisk attachment. Beat on low, and increase to high in the course of 30 seconds. Continue to beat on high for 10 minutes.
- Meringue is now done! Use spatula to decorate soaked cake with your Meringue. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Slice and enjoy!