A dessert I’ve been unable to resist at visits to Spice Temple is the three milk cake. So I was excited to see that it was included in Neil Perry’s Spice Temple Cookbook. I tried to make it and my first attempt was pretty good. You’ll feed a big crowd with this, at least a dozen. The cake needs to be made the night before so there’s less prep to do on the day of serving. If you’re not a fan of meringue or don’t have time to make it I think it is still a really lovely dessert without it. Here’s the end result
And here’s the restaurant original – I didn’t do too bad for a first go, though I didn’t quite have enough of the garnishes on hand as no quantities were specified.
Three-milk cake (make day ahead)
300 g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of fine salt
6 eggs, separated
275 g caster sugar
125 ml milk
30 ml rum
1 tsp vanilla extract
375 ml pouring cream
550 ml evaporated milk
500 ml condensed milk
Preheat the oven to 180°C and butter and flour a 30 cm × 20 cm Pyrex dish or cake tin.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, then set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, then whisk in the sugar. Add the egg yolks one at a time, ensuring each is well incorporated before adding the next. Alternately fold in spoonfuls of the milk and the flour mixture, mixing to a smooth batter. Finally, fold in the rum and vanilla. Pour into the prepared dish or tin and bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven, but leave it in the dish. Use a skewer to prick the cake all over.
Mix together the pouring cream, evaporated milk and condensed milk, then gradually pour over the cake, letting it gradually absorb before pouring on more (if you just try and pour it all at once it will go everywhere!). Leave the cake to cool, then cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight.
Meringue (make when ready to serve)
100 ml water
2 tsp lemon juice
300 g caster sugar
180 g egg whites (from about 4–5 eggs)
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp rose water
Place the water, lemon juice and all but 3 tbs of the sugar in a small non- reactive saucepan. Place over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook the syrup without stirring until it reaches 120°C on a sugar thermometer.
Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, then whisk in the remaining sugar and the cream of tartar to make a meringue. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in a quarter of the sugar syrup and whisk to combine.
Continue adding the syrup in this way, whisking well each time, until it is all incorporated, then add the rose water and whisk on medium speed for a few minutes until smooth and glossy.
Three-milk sauce (for serving)
280 ml evaporated milk
240 ml condensed milk
140 ml pouring cream
Combine all three ingredients in a jug
Finely grated lime zest
Roasted flaked almonds
Roasted unsalted pistachios
Cut the cake into squares and place a square on each plate, then pour some three milk sauce around the cake. Scoop a large spoonful of the meringue onto the top of each cake square and garnish with grated lime zest, flaked almonds, pistachios and raspberries.