Pastel de Tres Leches

Sponge Cake
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk

Rum Milk Syrup
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz.)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz.)
1 can heavy cream (use empty can from condensed milk – 1 1/4 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons dark spiced rum (Meyers or Captain Morgan will do), optional

Meringue
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

Tools
9X13 Pyrex baking pan
Stand mixer w/ whisk attachment
Candy thermometer
Serving platter with a lip

For Sponge Cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and sugar coat 13X9 Pyrex cake pan, and line with parchment paper. Sift flour with baking powder and cinnamon. Using a standing mixer with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until frothy, then slowly add sugar to tighten whites to semi-stiff peaks. Add yolks one at a time. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk.

Pour batter into pan and bake for between 30 to 40 minutes or until the middle springs back when touched and edges pull slightly away from pan. (Be careful not to over bake.) When cooled to warm, turn cake out to cool thoroughly on a wire rack.

For Rum Milk Syrup:
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Whip thoroughly with a wire whisk and reserve. (If made in advance, refrigerate and stir before using.)

For Meringue:
In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water, and bring to boil. When water begins to boil, begin whipping egg whites using a standing mixer with the whisk attachment.

When sugar reaches the soft ball stage on a candy thermometer (240°F), keep the egg whites mixing on slow speed, and steadily pour sugar into the side of the bowl (keeping it away from the whisk). Increase the speed to high, and whip until cool (5 minutes or less). Meringue should be smooth and shiny. Reserve.

To Assemble:
Slice off the hard top of the cake with a serrated knife. Place cake on serving platter with a lip and spoon rum syrup over cake a little at a time working from the edges to the center of the cake, until it is all absorbed, repeat until all the syrup is used. Ice the top of the cake with the meringue. Refrigerate until cool or overnight.

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