Tres Leches with Whipped Cream, Brandied Cherries and Bruleed Bananas

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup water
pinch of salt
12 each egg yolks
2/3 cups vegetable oil
1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
12 each egg whites
1 tsp cream of tartar
2 each vanilla bean
split and scraped
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
1 Tbsp dark rum
3 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 each bananas
peel on and sliced into 1/2" pieces
1/2 cups granulated sugar
Brandied cherries
  • Stand mixer or hand mixer
  • 9” Cake pans or extra hotel pan
  • blowtorch
For the Cake
Preheat the oven, 325F if baking in 9” pans or 350F if baking in a half sheet. Line two 9” cake pans, or one ½ sheet tray, with parchment.
In a bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and ½ C sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, vanilla, water, oil, and salt to combine thoroughly.
Whip the egg whites and optional cream of tartar in a stand mixer. Once the whites reach soft peaks, slowly add 1 cup of sugar and continue to whip to medium peaks.
Whisk the egg yolk mix into the dry flour mix until smooth. Fold one third of the whipped whites into the yolk mixture. Then fold in the rest. Pour into baking pans and bake for about 25-30 minutes, rotating halfway through cooking. Bake until just set and light golden brown. Cool to room temperature.
For the Tres Leches
Simmer the whole milk and vanilla bean (seeds and pod) together for 10 minutes on medium low heat. Remove from heat and set aside. When the cake is ready, strain and combine all three milks. Poke holes in the top of the cake. Pour the tres leches mix over the cake and refrigerate until ready to serve.
For the Whipped Cream
Whisk the cream in a stand mixer. When it starts to thicken, add the sugar, vanilla, and rum. Continue to whip until it forms stiff peaks. Chill and serve cold.
For the Bananas
Spread out the banana slices on a sheet tray or other heat-safe surface. Sprinkle generously with sugar. Use a blowtorch to caramelize the sugar. Let cool, then peel and use for garnish.
To Serve
Slice the cake, or cut out rounds. Serve with whipped cream, brandied cherries, and a couple of banana slices. Drizzle with extra cherry juice.