Chocolate Tres Lechs by Natalie Paul

Serves 8-10 

This mahogany beauty is where dessert is AT! 70% of Ghana bought enough cocoa force for the cake to require only a smidge of cocoa powder in the cake. Just try not sneaking a sip of the top-tier soak – it is the BEST chocolate milk you’ll ever drink!  The chocolate means this tres set is a bit firmer than its vanilla variations, so I like to cool it down to room temperature and then top it with ice-cold swathes of whipped cream. In summer, tumble fresh raspberries onto your slice. In winter, a poached pear can be it’s BFF. 

Ingredients

THE CAKE
140 g boiling water
80 g Hunted and Gathered Ghana 70% chocolate
20 g Dutch cocoa powder
4 g instant coffee powder
180 g raw caster sugar
135 g soft plain flour
5 g baking powder
2 g bicarb soda
2 g fine sea salt
120 g full-fat milk
100 g egg (approx. 2 large eggs)
70 g vegetable oil

THE SOAK
340 g evaporated milk
250 g full-fat milk
150 g sweetened condensed milk
90 g Hunted and Gathered Ghana 70% chocolate

THE TOP
400 g thick cream (35%-45% milk-fat)
50 g Hunted and Gathered Ghana 70% chocolate

Method

1. Heat the oven to 150∞C. Spray an ovenproof ceramic or glass dish that will look nice on the table with a light coating of cooking oil spray. I use a 30 cm x 20 cm oval, but you’ll just need to choose one where the batter sits half to two-thirds up the side to prevent baking overspill. 


2. Handwhisk the boiling water, chocolate, cocoa and coffee together in a wide bowl until the chocolate has melted and set aside to cool while you get the other bits ready.


3. Swizzle the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarb and salt together and set aside with a sieve.


4. Add to the chocolate mix, hand whisk in the milk, egg, and oil until well emulsified. 


5. Sift over the dry ingredients and whisk well until no floury streaks remain – the batter will be loosey goosey. 


6. Scrape into the prepared dish and bake for 35-45 minutes until springy to touch (or internal 90∞C). Do not worry if you overbake, as the soak will alleviate any dryness. 


7. You need hot cake to meet hot soak so while the cake bakes, heat up all the soak ingredients slowly over a low heat, stirring often to encourage the chocolate to melt. 


8. When the cake has baked, place it on a cooling rack, take a fork and poke deep holes over the entire cake, dragging your fork a little to create a deep cleft to allow the soak to well, soak!


9. Start to pour the soak over, being mindful to cover the entire surface evenly- don’t neglect the sides. If any soak starts to pool, re-fork to allow the soak to sink in. 


10. Once all the soak has been taken up, allow the tres leches to cool completely at room temperature


11. Once cool, whip the cream with a pinch of salt to flexible, billowy peaks and pile over the surface of the cooled cake. Use the back of the spoon to kick up some texture over the top. 


12. Finely grate the extra chocolate over the top like a dark, delicious snowdrift.

ADAPTRIX
I haven’t tried it, but my keen baking instincts believe that the milk in here could be subbed for non-dairy alternatives. I have even spied a sweetened condensed oat milk!

The recipe can be easily halved or quartered for solo tres leches. Just ensure the baking vessel follows the batter level recommendation from 1.