Tres Leches Cake with Rum-Spiked Whipped Cream and Fruit Compote

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
12 each egg yolks
1 pinch salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 each egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
2 whole vanilla beans
split and scraped
1 1/2 cups sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
3 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp dark rum
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
1 whole vanilla bean
split in half and scraped with knife
1 assorted fresh seasonal fruits
chopped into 1/3 inch dice (strawberries, blueberries, apricots, peaches, apples, cherries, grapes, etc.)
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, 1/2 cup of sugar and baking powder, set aside.
In a separate bowl combine the water, egg yolks, salt, oil, vanilla and mix 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 pan and bake for about 25-30 minutes, rotating pan half way through cooking time. Bake until set and golden.
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
Whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. 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 Fruit Compote
In a 3 quart saucepan, combine sugar and water. Place pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. Place vanilla bean in syrup and reduce heat to low.
Add fruits to simmering syrup and poach fruit, stirring gently from time to time until fruit is tender, but still holds its shape, for 15 minutes. Allow fruit to cool in the syrup. Remove vanilla bean. Serve compote chilled or at room temperature.
To Serve
Slice the cake, or cut out rounds (1/2 sheet will yield 24 rounds @ 2.5”). Serve with rum whipped cream and fruit compote.