Thursday, May 2, 2013

Guilt-Free Tres Leches Cake

So I finally successfully made a low-fat tres leches cake!  And I said "Successfully" because everyone loved it, and no one can tell that it was low fat.  I also had tough critics, my Mexican friends.  They actually told me that they love my better than the ones they get in the Mexican markets.  So that was quite the assurance.  

For the chiffon cake base:

6 large eggs, separated
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon honey
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt

That's it for the cake part.  Sounds easy, right?  It actually is!!!  Six ingredients, and you can make a very delicious cake.  

Preheat oven to 350F.
Separate egg yolks and whites in different mixing bowls.  Make sure the mixing bowl for egg whites are absolutely clean, so the whites will whip up nicely.  
Add a squirt of lemon juice in the egg whites, with an electric mixer on high, beat the egg whites until foamy.  Add 1/4 cup of sugar slowly, little at a time, and continue whipping.  Whip until stiff peak and shiny, and set aside.  
Add sugar, honey, salt and vanilla to egg yolks, and whipped with electric mixer on high until mixture is very thick and pale.  
Add 1/3 of the egg whites, and mix it into the yolks until combined.  Add 1/2 of the remaining egg whites, and fold the whites in until combined, then fold in the rest of the egg whites.
Put the oil in a medium bowl.  Sift the flour into the egg mixture, and fold the flour into the mixer just until combined.  Spoon some of the mixture into the oil and stir until homogenous.  Then fold the oil mixture into the rest, then pour it into a 9" springform cake mold.
Bake the cake for 30-40 minutes, or until toothpick insert in the center and come out clean.   Place the cake upside down on a cooling wrack to cool.  
Now let's work on the leches.

Tres Leches
1 cup fat-free half&half*
1 can (12 oz.) 2% evaporated milk**
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

Combine the milks and mix until thoroughly combined.  Use a skewer or toothpick, poke holes on the cake.  Pour the milk mixture slowly unto the cake.  After the liquid is fully absorbed, pour more.  I actually did not use all my liquid, and had 1/2 a cup left.  Chill the cake in the fridge until ready to serve (12 servings).
My friends seemed to love the fact that the cake was not overly soaked, like most of the tres leches cake.   You still get the nice spongy cake texture, instead of soaked soggy cake.  The chiffon cake is the perfect base for tres leches cake in my opinion, because of its spongy and airy texture.  

*The fat-free half&half still have 20 calories per serving, so it did not cut the calories by very much.
**I used 2%, but feel free to substitute fat-free evaporated milk.

Calories per slice: 266 calories, with 6.5g total fat (compared to 8.5g).