After a good chili fest, there is nothing better than this traditional Tex-Mex cake as a dessert. It seems complicated, but it's not. You must try this at least once. Guaranteed to please. It also eases the after-effects of eating a lot of chili. Best made the day before, to allow everything to cool and gel.
6 large eggs, separated
225g granulated sugar
459g all-purpose flour
30 ml teaspoons baking powder
15 ml pure vanilla extract
1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
125 ml heavy cream
45 ml water
200g granulated sugar
3 large egg whites
1 ripe mango, peeled, seed removed, and thinly sliced
1 ripe pawpaw, peeled, seeds removed, and thinly sliced
or instead of the fuit, chocolate shavings.
To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Lightly grease and flour a 9 by 13-inch baking dish and set aside. (22cm X 33 cm, or a 25 cm round one)
In the bowl of a mixer, beat the egg whites on low speed until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually with the mixer running and peak to stiff peaks. Add the egg yolks 1 at a time, beating well after the addition of each.
Sift together the flour and baking powder and add to the egg mixture, alternating with the milk. (Do this quickly so the batter does not lose volume.) Add the vanilla. Bake until golden, 25 minutes, or so.
To make the cream topping: In a blender, combine the evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream and blend on high speed.
Remove the cake from the oven and while still warm, poke about 100 holes in the top with a skewer, pour the cream mixture over it. Let sit and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.
To make the icing: Once the cake is completely chilled, in a saucepan combine the water and sugar. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Cook until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage, to 115 degrees C. Remove from the heat. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. While beating, add the hot syrup in a stream. Beat until all the syrup has been added, the mixture cools, and a glossy icing forms.
To assemble: Remove the cake from the refrigerator, best to leave it in in the baking dish, but you can take it if you want (just flip it onto a shallow plate, there will be a pool of liquid at the base, that's fine) and spread the icing evenly across the top. Arrange the chocolate shavings or mango and papaya slices over this and serve. Can't say say this enough, try it once. If you don't you will have missed one of the better things around.