Sunday, February 28, 2010
A Tres leches cake, or Pastel Tres leches (Spanish, "Three milk cake"), or Pan Tres Leches (Spanish, "Three milk bread"), is a sponge cake—in some recipes, a butter cake—soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream. When butter is not used, the tres leches is a very light cake, with many air bubbles. This distinct texture is why it does not have a soggy consistency, despite being soaked in a mixture of three types of milk.
The cake is very popular in many parts of Latin America. The origins of the tres leches are disputed.  The Nestlé company also claims to have helped the tres leches recipe evolve, during World War II. The idea for creating a cake soaked in a liquid is probably of European origin, as similar cakes, such as rum cake from Puerto Rico and tiramisu from Italy, use this method. In 2004, the ice cream company Häagen-Dazs for a limited time released a tres leches-flavored ice cream, containing pieces of rum-soaked tres leches in a sweet-cream ice cream.
The madeleine or petite madeleine is a traditional small cake from Commercy and Liverdun, two communes of the Lorraine region in northeastern France.
Madeleines are very small sponge cakes with a distinctive shell-like shape acquired from being baked in pans with shell-shaped depressions. Some sources, including the New Oxford American Dictionary, say madeleines may have been named for a 19th century pastry cook, Madeleine Paulmier, but other sources have it that Madeleine Paulmier was a cook in the 18th century for Stanisław Leszczyński, whose son-in-law, Louis XV of France, named them for her.