There are a few more days left to the official end of Summer. Although for the Bay Area, the summer produce continues until late October, which I am very happy about. I am not particularly fond of fall/winter fruits, ofcourse except the persimmons and citrus. Summer fruit makes me happy, the colors and sweetness in the fruits make me happy. So I am clinging on to the summer produce for as long as I can!
*ABOUT THE AUTHOR:*
Diala Canelo, a good friend of mine from the blog dialaskitchen.com wrote a cookbook!!! And it is called Diala’s Kitchen that is inspired by her home and travels! I have known Diala through Instagram, never met her, but it feels like I have met her! Her personality seems so warm, and inviting, and she seems like the kind of person you instantly want to give a hug to, whom you can have long deep conversations with, about life and anything in between, but then you can have some silly laughs along the way, to celebrate life! Her feed is filled with wonderful stories about her love for family, friends, food and life in general. She has two beautiful strong daughters like her, well they have such a wonderful role model to look upto! Her story is so very interesting. She has studied nutrition and dietetics, she has also been a flight attendant, and travelled the world in the process, and she is a pastry chef from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu from Mexico City!! Her achievements are incredible and so applaudable! So it is no doubt that her cookbook is so beautifully done too.
*ABOUT THE BOOK:*
The chapters of this cookbook are divided depending upon the course in the day, like Breakfast and Brunch, Lunch, Soup Starters and Salads, Dinner and Desserts. Each chapter ends with her reminiscing about the city that she visited, and her experience in that city, from the food to the culture to the people. She brings out the best in the cities she has traveled to. There are so many beautiful recipes that I have bookmarked : like the Vegetable and Manchego Galette! I am a sucker for a good savory galette, and I love the pungent manchego cheese, so I know I will love this galette! There is the Zucchini and Quinoa Fritters with Tzatziki which sound insane and the picture is so delicious! There is the Truffle Pasta with mixed Mushrooms which sounds so good!! I love that this book has so many wonderful vegetarian recipes, as I am a vegetarian, and when going through a cookbook, when there are so many veg options, it is definitely more inviting for me, to find recipes that I want to make and cook from. There are some Pescatarian recipes too in this book. The pictures are gorgeous, all taken by the very talented Diala.
*ABOUT THIS VERY DELICIOUS COCONUT TRES LECHES CAKE:*
I decided to make the very enticing looking Coconut Tres Leches Cake from the book! This cake is inspired by her Dominican roots. The vanilla sponge cake that is very characteristic of a bakery in Mexico or Dominican Republic, gets soaked in three types of milk, like whole milk, sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk – hence it is called tres leches, which means 3 kinds of milk. It is a celebration cake and served often at birthday parties and Sunday family lunches. The three milks infuse the cake with moisture and flavor. Honoring her Dominican roots, she incorporated coconut milk in the tres leches instead of whole milk making it so creamy, velvety and giving it so much flavor from the coconut. The cake is really soft and moist and comes together very easily. The whipped cream on the top is flavored with maple syrup, which is very characteristic of Canada. The cake is a 1 day process cake. You make the cake and let it cool, then you have to let it drench in the tres leches overnight to give it maximum moistness and flavor. And then you add the whipped cream and fruits to the top for decoration. The cake can be made ahead and kept in the fridge, as it gets better flavor the longer it sits. Diala suggests to use strawberries or sliced fresh peaches on the cake.
I had gone to the farmers market that day, so bought a ton of stone fruit. Seeing all the beautiful colors of the stone fruit, I decided to add all the different stone fruit slices on the top like nectarines, peaches, pluots and plums on the top along with some mint for decoration. The cake looked so pretty!! I was meeting some of my girlfriends in a quarantine setting at a friend’s place in the backyard, so I decided to take the cake to her home. My friends really LOVED the cake, and really enjoyed it thoroughly! They even took seconds to take it to their families! This cake comes together very easily and is such a great cake to make for celebrations or any kind of gathering! The flavors are wonderful and I think you could even top it with slices of figs and drizzle of honey in the fall! It would still work great!
All in all, if you enjoy vegetarian food, and enjoy produce like me, and love foods from around the world, this book is a MUST!!! You can buy it here from Amazon.com . Support Diala, cook from her book, give her a shoutout! That is the best way you can support amazing and talented creatives like Diala! It will mean so much to her!
If you do make this recipe, please do not forget to tag #dialaskitchen, and tag @dialaskitchen on Instagram, and/or leave a comment here on the blog post, that would bring a smile to her face!
Hope you all are doing well.
- 1 ½ cups (375 ml) cake flour
- 1 tsp (5 ml) baking powder
- ½ tsp (2 ml) sea salt
- ½ cup (125 ml/110g) unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp (280ml) granulated sugar
- 5 eggs at room temperature
- 1 ½ tsp (7ml) pure vanilla extract
- Tres Leches Sauce:
- 1 can (14 oz/400 ml) coconut milk
- 1 can (14 oz/ 400 ml) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can (12 oz/354 ml) evaporated milk
- ½ tsp (2ml) pure vanilla extract
- Maple Whipped Cream:
- 2 cups (500 ml) whipping (35%) cream
- ¼ cup (60 ml) pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp (5ml) pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups (500 ml) sliced fresh strawberries, for serving OR Sliced Stone Fruit for serving
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 13x9 inch (3 L) baking pan.
- To make the cake: in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter in a large bowl on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Turn the mixer own to low speed and gradually add the sugar, then mix for 1 minute. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until well blended after each addition. Mix in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, mixing after each addition just until combined.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. It will appear to be a very small amount of batter, but it rises while baking. Bake until the cake is light golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 22 to 24 minutes.
- Transfer the pan to a rack and let cool for 30 minutes. Using a fork, poke holes all over the top of the cake, then cool completely.
- To make the tres leches sauce: In a 4-cup (1 L) measuring cup or a medium bowl with a spout, whisk together the coconut milk, condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla. Slowly pour the sauce over the cake. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate the cake for atleast 6 hours or overnight. The sauce absorbs better if the cake soaks overnight.
- Just before serving, make the maple whipped cream: Using an electric mixer, beat the cream, maple syrup, and vanilla in a large bowl on high speed until stiff peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the cake. Top the cake with sliced fruit and serve. Store the cake, covered with plastic wrap, in the fridge for upto 4 days.