Saturday, May 5, 2012

Thomas and Tres Leches

Yesterday I posted about K's birthday party with full intentions of showing the making of his cake today. I had no intentions of baking today. Alas, it's Cinco de Mayo and if I'm not celebrating with a Mexican dinner, I should celebrate with cake!

As a result, this post is about two cakes!!

First let's do today's cake - the Tres Leches. It's so sweet and melts in your mouth. Such a welcome difference compared to your standard cake. I used an Alton Brown recipe and it turned out pretty amazing.

I don't have a 9 X 13 pan, so I used my 8 inch square pan. I didn't change the cake recipe at all, just baked it a few minutes longer.

Once the cake cools, you go to town poking holes in the beautiful cake you just made and then pour your tres leches (three milks - sweetened condensed, evaporated milk and cream) over the top. I halved the amount of evaporated milk because it was going to overflow. As it was, I was pretty convinced I'd just ruined my cake. There was so much liquid I thought we were destined to eat it like a chunky soup.

(Imagine a photo of a square cake pan filled to the brim with a milky liquid mixture - no cake in sight. K had my phone and there was no getting it away from him, otherwise you could actually see this disaster.)

It is meant to sit over night at this point, but I let it just sit for a few hours. Magically, it turned into this:

Now top that baby with some whipped cream and you have the delicious Tres Leches cake.

It was delicious, but we only got a few slices in.

Any takers?!?

Now on to the Thomas cake...

I started the Monday before the party and made a huge amount of Marshmallow Fondant (MMF).

It looks like clay when you're finally done with it.

Then I dyed it. I planned on only doing Thomas' face in MMF, so I dyed it those colors only.

The next night I started making his face. This was terrifying as I had no idea what size to make it. You have to do it ahead of time so that it dries. I just guessed and crossed my fingers.

If you've ever really looked at two Thomas toys next to one another, you will see that much like snowflakes, no two are the same. I was cursing this at first, but then realized that we see all these different faces, yet recognize them as Thomas. It couldn't be that difficult, right??

Then i realized that i still had a TON of MMF leftover and came to grips with my reality - I was going to cover the cake in it.

A few days later I baked the cakes (two 8 inch squares), cut them in half lengthwise, wrapped them super well and threw them in the freezer.

The next day I made the buttercream frosting and started getting to work on Thomas.

First I stacked the four layers, separated by buttercream.

Then, with a big Thomas next to me, I started carving away.

Little by little, I could see Thomas coming to life. (As a note, I did the smokestack and little knob behind it in fondant - the cake was proving to be a bit challenging.)

Then I covered it in buttercream and put it back in the freezer.

While it was chilling, I dyed my leftover MMF red, blue and yellow.

Then I took it out and started rolling the MMF and chopping it into pieces so that I could make a Frankenstein version of Thomas. I never did get all of the seams buffed perfectly, but it looked pretty good.

It looked even better after sitting out for two nights.

On the day of the party, that little Thomas fed 18 guests. He did his job, just like the good little engine that he is.

Notice the tequila bottles in the background?? Yes!!!

The cake recipe I used allowed me to make a couple of cupcakes in addition to each cake. I figured it'd be best to make them for the party in case the cake wasn't enough.

Luckily it was, so instead we had the cupcakes on K's actual birthday.

He was one happy 2 year old!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


  1. Shut up - that is amazing! And tres leches is one of my favorites!!!

    1. Thanks, Lauren!! It was really fun making it. I'm doing another fondant covered cake later this week. It's for a friend, so fingers crossed it turns out well!!

      I love Tres Leches too! (Turns out my husband does too. :) )