I have been traveling quite a bit — some for work, some for pleasure, and some for a little bit of both. In April I traveled to Miami to attend Hispaninicize 2014 and had a fantastic time. I learned, I networked, I laughed, and I danced. Since I work from home, I’m usually wearing Crocs, yoga pants, and have my hair up in a scrunchy. I admit it’s not the prettiest of sights. I forgot how fun it was to get dolled up and let loose. I traveled with my cousin Jessica who is a wardrobe stylist and writer and we had a blast together.
Hispanicize was full of sessions geared to the Latino trend-setters in marketing, blogging, journalism, the arts, film, music, and everything in between. One of my favorite nights was a yacht party. I hadn’t danced in a long time and I truly needed it.
Hispanicize was also filled with Latino celebrities and Latinovators. At the gala I danced (again) as Sheila E. singer, drummer, and percussionist rocked the house.
Edward James Olmos, Mexican American actor was also there. I was totally starstruck when I met him.
On my final day in Miami I spoke at a session called Sobre Mesa: Get a taste of what’s Simmering in the homes of the new and diverse U.S. families. I was sitting next to the handsome Chef James, chef for Telemundo’s morning show Levantate. You might recognize someone else on the panel, my blog hermana Vianney from Sweet Life.
In this video you can see the entire 1-hour session or fast-forward to 51:00 and hear my story of blogging, writing a cookbook, and some of the amazing opportunities I’ve experienced such as contributing recipes for Betty Crocker and partnering with brands like Clabber Girl and California Strawberries.
First and foremost I’d like to thank Clabber Girl for generously sponsoring my attendance in Miami and thank you to Manny Ruiz, the founder of Hispanicize for inviting me to be a speaker. And of course I’d like to thank all of you who are reading this blog post. If it weren’t for you I wouldn’t have a reason to share my recipes online. If I could send a slice of cake to each one of you I would. Gracias!
I developed this dessert, because it reminds me of my trip — it’s sweet, spicy, and fabulous, just like Miami. This mocha tres leches cake is rich and moist and has unique flavors with the addition of coffee and a spicy kick of cayenne pepper. What I love most about tres leches cakes is that they are sliced and served directly from the pan with no need to invert the pan. That is always my biggest fear when it comes to baking. I’ve had many cake disasters as I flipped them on a serving platter. Tres leches is very forgiving and the whipped cream over the top covers up any flaws.
Serve a slice with fresh raspberries for a stand alone treat or a grand finale after a special dinner.
Mocha Tres Leches Cake
- 1 12 ounce can evaporated milk
- 3 tablespoons instant coffee
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- ¾ cup whipping cream
- 1 1/4 cups cold heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Separate eggs, placing egg whites in a very large bowl and yolks in a small bowl; set aside. In a small saucepan heat the 3/4 cup milk over medium heat until simmering; remove from heat. Whisk in the cocoa powder (mixture will be thick); set aside to cool.
- In a small bowl combine the flour and baking powder; set aside. Beat the egg whites and salt with an electric mixer on medium speed until frothy. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form (tips curl). Slowly add the granulated sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.
- Add egg yolks to the beaten whites and beat just until combined. Add the flour and cooled chocolate mixture alternately to the egg mixture, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat just until combined.
- Pour batter into an ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking pan, spreading evenly. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Transfer cake to a cooling rack and cool completely in the pan (about 1 hour).
- In a medium saucepan combine the evaporated milk, instant coffee, and cayenne pepper. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the coffee has dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk and the 3/4 cup whipping cream.
- Use the tines of a long fork or a wooden skewer to poke holes all over the top of the cake. Pour the espresso mixture evenly over the top of the cake.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth; beat in granulated and powdered sugar. Add whipping cream and beat until soft peaks form.
- Pipe or spread whipped cream mixture over cake and refrigerate for 3 to 24 hours, covering cake.
- This recipe also works with Instant espresso powder.
- Plan it in advance - this cake tastes better the more time it has to rest and soak up the liquid.
Disclosure: I was sponsored by Clabber Girl to attend Hispanicize 2014. The views and opinions expressed are purely my own and based upon my personal experience.