You know that thing where as soon as you schedule a haircut, your hair starts to look extra luxurious? It’s just one good hair day after another, right up until your appointment, and you start to question the impulse that brought you to the salon in the first place. I’m having that problem with New York City.
Gus and I have started to talk about moving and the good New York days just keep on coming. It is finally springtime here. I'm sure everyone's hometown looks fresh and lovely when the leaves come back and the sun is shining. I know that moving could be great for us. But I'm still a little hesitant.
I’m not one of those people that thinks life can’t exist outside of New York City. There are millions of excellent places to live. I took a job for a couple of years in Connecticut and Gus and I loved it there. In springtime we would jog by the beach and see baby geese, baby ducks, and fluffy bunnies. How can you not love a place where baby animals say hello while you exercise? And right next door to our house there was a bar that served great chicken sandwiches. What else do you need?
So I know that if we move, we'll make a happy home wherever we go. I'm just being a little bit of a whimp (a combination of a whiner and wimp). Gus is rooting for Maine. That’s where he’s from. We’ll see. Gus’ brother Christo and his wife Jenn are planning to move from Washington State to Maine this fall. Jenn is from Washington. When I think about moving from New York to Maine and I get worried, I think of Jenn and their move, which is so much bigger than ours would be. When I get nervous I think of Jenn.
So this week is dedicated to her. Jenn loves tres leches cake. I’ve known this about her for years, yet I’ve never made her one. I'm a bad sister-in-law. Tres leches cake is genius. You make a simple sponge cake. Then you let that sponge soak up a mixture of condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream. Dairyland. This is actually quatro leches because I added a little regular milk too. It cuts the sweetness a bit. And the blackberries add a little tart to all that dairy. I think you’ll like it. I liked it so much that I found myself taking little spoonfuls every single time I opened the fridge. If I can't fit out the door we can't move, right?
Maybe sometime in the near future I can make this cake for Jenn in person and we can eat it after a round of the best lobster rolls and a big bowl of wild blueberries. That sounds pretty great actually.
Blackberry Tres Leches
Butter for the pan
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
4 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/3 plus 3/4 cup whole milk, divided
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, divided
6 ounces blackberries, halved if large
3/4 cup condensed milk
3/4 cup evaporated milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until pale and thick, about 3 minutes. Beat in 1/3 cup milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture, just until combined.
2. In a large bowl, with clean beaters, whip egg whites until foamy and all the yellow egg white is gone. Slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar while beating and continue to whip the mixture until you have shiny, medium-stiff peaks. Stir 1/4 of the egg white mixture into the flour mixture to loosen it, then gently fold the remaining white mixture into the batter. Pour batter into the prepared pan and scatter blackberries on top. Bake until golden brown and toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream, remaining 3/4 cup whole milk, and remaining teaspoon vanilla. Cut around the edges of the cake. With a toothpick, poke holes all over the cake. Pour about 1 cup of the milk mixture evenly over the cake. let it soak in, then pour another cup over the cake. Cover and chill the cake until ready to eat. Serve with the remaining milk mixture.