Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A day to celebrate

Today is the Grand Chawhee's Birthday! (name that movie...before you click on the link)

Aka my favorite guy...aka my best friend...aka my hubs' birthday!

Since the start of his new job and the start of his classes, we don't get a lot of free time to spend together, so today was a special treat where we both had off! (Until he went to class at 6, but still)

So first, I surprised him with breakfast in bed!

My family has a running tradition of "breakfast in bed" on your birthday and always, always includes pigs-in-a-blanket.  I'm pretty sure birthdays are the only days of the year we ever have these little guys and I'm so excited to bring Ry in on the tradition!

Just Lil'Smokies wrapped in biscuits and baked.  So simple. So good.  Plus a fruit cup. All served on a cake pedestal.  I realized soon after the piggies came out of the oven that I don't have the proper "breakfast in bed" trays that my mom always used to carry the food up to our rooms.  Cake platter it is. 

Weeks ago (I like to plan), I asked Ryan what type of cake he wanted for his birthday.  Last year, he asked for a blackberry cobbler.  

This year, he said "I want the Tres Leches cake from Whole Foods but I want you to make it. :) "

Humph.  Whole Foods makes an amazing Tres Leches cake that we contemplated serving at our wedding.  This was the first time I straight up asked if I could just buy it from WF rather than risk messing it up.  Being the best husband ever, he said he knew I could do it and he wanted me to.

So, the search began.  I spent forever a few good hours looking up recipes for Tres Leches that sounded similar to Whole Foods.  The problem is, every recipe I found had a whipped cream topping, whereas WF's Tres Leches has a marshmallow fluff meringue topping.  Finally, I found two different recipes I liked the sound of.  I used the cake from one and the icing from another and created this:

Thin cinnamon-y sheet cake soaked in three milks with a fluffy meringue topping.

Ry said it tasted just like, if not better, than Whole Foods.  He's sweet and I don't believe him, but it's the thought that counts.  It does taste pretty darn close, but I swear they must mix marshmallow fluff into their meringue to make it.  Next time I'm trying it.

For those of us who don't own culinary torches, I put the cake under the broiler and rotated for a few seconds to get the perfect brown-ness. 

And I was pleased.

But more importantly, the birthday boy was happy. And that's all that matters.

You can find the Tres Leches cake recipe here.

Not Quite Marshmallow Fluff Meringue Topping
adapted from

4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla

Place egg whites in mixer and beat until stiff peaks form.  Combine sugar, water, and corn syrup and bring to boil over medium heat.  Cook for 4 minutes or until sugar mixture thickens and strings when it cools.

With mixer turned on, slowly pour sugar mixture down side of bowl into egg whites.  Beat 4-5 more minutes.  Add vanilla.  

Frost cake with topping.


  1. All Dogs Go to Heaven! Classic. Another great line, "ewww, bad meat..." :)

  2. Yes!! I knew you would get it...I said it to Ry earlier and he said "The grand what?" A little part of me died inside...

  3. I want to make one just like Whole Foods toooo! SO I am going to try this one out, the big problem I had today was that the cake was not completely soaked? What did I do wrong yours looks beautiful!
    What kind of ratio did you use for the milk soaking mix?