Nicaraguan Tres Leches Cake
9 eggs, separated
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 egg yolks
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 pint heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon rum or liqueur (optional)
1 cup light corn syrup
11/2 cups sugar
3 egg whites
Generously grease a 9- by-13-inch pan. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat the 9 egg whites until stiff; set aside. Beat the sugar with the 9 egg yolks until light, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and milk, then the flour and finally the baking powder. Fold egg whites into the batter. Pour into prepared pan, and bake 30 to 40 minutes, until cake springs back when lightly touched in center. Set aside on a cooling rack. (It’s OK if cake falls somewhat.)
To make the filling, beat the 3 egg yolks for 1 minute at high speed with an electric mixer. (Use pasteurized eggs if salmonella is a concern.) Add the evaporated and condensed milks, the cream, vanilla and rum. Beat well.
When the cake has cooled, pierce the top all over with a fork or skewer. Slowly pour the filling mixture onto the cake, allowing it to soak in without running over the sides.
To make the meringue, mix 1/2 cup water, corn syrup and sugar in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook until mixture reaches 227 degrees on a thermometer, or will spin a thread when drizzled from a spoon (about 30 minutes). Beat egg whites until very stiff. Slowly beat syrup into egg whites, whisking constantly while pouring syrup in a steady stream. Allow to cool slightly, then spread on top and sides of cake. Refrigerate cake at least 2 hours; it should be served very cold. Makes 20 servings.
Per serving: 195 calories (40 percent from fat), 8.9 g fat (5.5 g saturated, 2.6 g monounsaturated), 33 mg cholesterol, 1 g protein, 29 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 29 mg sodium.