Because the concept of the 3 leche cake- a Latin American iconic confection, a cake soaked with 3 types of milk until soggy, is limited to white cake and milk soak. I love this concept and I want to build upon this classic dessert with a curious twist, with fanciful flavors, and whimsical undertones.
In this rendition, I made a cajeta sweetened cake (cajeta is goat’s milk and sugar cooked down to a caramel flavor and consistency- when it is cooking it fills the entire restaurant with the scent of snickerdoodle cookies. This is a heavenly smell and produces an equally heavenly end product) that is then soaked with the traditional 3 leches, but with goat’s milk replacing the cream, and further fortified with chocolate to make a unique chocolate milk soak. This lightly sweet, slightly chocolaty and caramel cake is served with Brazil nut streusel (for crunch and a nice nut flavor that resembles the Macadamia nut), acai purée (a small dark purple berry valued for its high nutritional content and subtle blueberry flavor), candied cocoa nibs (a pure form of chocolate) to enhance the chocolate notes in the dish, and cajeta chantilly (whip cream sweetened with cajeta) to balanced out the heavy liquid with a cloud like aura.
This dish is reflective of the season. This is a spring dish in the ingredients used, the textures represented, and the earthy presentation. This dish is modeled after the soggy spring, with lush, muddy ground waiting to sprout new growth. The chocolate soak mimics the wet and fertile ground. The streusel mimics broken up, freshly tilled soil in appearance and texture. Because of limited local seasonal availability, I used the hard to source acai berry to add a fruity flavor that interacts very well with the established flavors of the cake. Early spring, right off winter, is the season to focus on frozen and preserved foods, and highlight them in the menu when you have the chance to search to globe for ingredients. If you are going to use a frozen product, you mind as well use one that invokes curiosity and is not readily available to the average person.
Finally the whipped cream adds such a soft touch, light as the spring’s warmth, to round of the overall mouth feel. The flavors are not too bold, except for the tiny explosion of flavor in the cocoa nibs- as a final lasting impression.