Chocolate Tres Leches Cake with Kahlua Blackberries

Narrative by Liz & Mel
Recipes by JoAnn

Chocolate and Kahlua? Yes, please! Sookie brings this one out when her friends Tara and Lafayette stop by for some girl chat. Don’t let the long list of ingredients and multiple step instructions intimidate you. This is the perfect for a dishy, gossip-filled girls’ night.

“Y’all excuse us. I need Sookie upstairs. Just give us a little girl time. Come on Lafayette.” – Tara, True Blood episode 1.06 “Cold Ground”

Ingredients for creamy tres leches center:
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 & 1/2 cups toasted chopped pecans
9 large egg yolks
1 large egg

Ingredients for chocolate cake:
2 cups granulated sugar
1 & 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 cup alkalized cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup brewed coffee
1 cup buttermilk
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Ingredients for tres leches sauce:
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of ground ginger
1/4 cup dark rum

Ingredients for Kahlua blackberries:
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water, divided
1/4 cup Kahlua
1 & 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 (6-ounce) container fresh blackberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar


1. Make tres leches center: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 300 degrees. Butter bottom and sides of 9-inch round cake pan and set aside.

2. In medium saucepan, combine milk, cream, sugar and pecans and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Cool completely, then strain into bowl (discard pecans).

3. Whisk egg yolks and egg into cooled mixture and pour into prepared cake pan. Bake 18-22 minutes, until set. Transfer to wire rack and cool for 20 minutes.

4. Place pan in freezer for 10 minutes. Run paring knife around edge of pan and invert custard onto plastic wrap-lined plate. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.

5. Make chocolate cake: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter bottom and sides of 9-inch springform pan. Line bottom of pan with round of parchment paper and butter paper.

6. Sift together dry ingredients in large bowl. Whisk until blended. Make well in center of dry ingredients.

7. In medium bowl, whisk together butter, coffee, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla extract. Gradually stir liquid into center of well, using wooden spoon to incorporate it into dry ingredients. Stir until blended. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake for 55-60 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Transfer cake to wire rack and cool for 15 minutes. Remove side of pan and cool completely.

8. Make tres leches sauce: In medium saucepan, combine condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream and cook over medium heat until warm. Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg, ginger and rum.

9. Make Kahlua blackberries: In small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup water and Kahlua and bring to boil. Remove from heat. In small cup, stir together remaining 2 tablespoons water and cornstarch. Return Kahlua mixture to boil and whisk in cornstarch mixture. Boil, whisking, for 1 minute, until thickened. Remove from heat and cool completely.

10. In bowl, toss blackberries with sugar and Kahlua mixture.

11. Assemble cake: Invert cake onto rack and peel off parchment paper. Using long serrated knife, cut cake horizontally into 2 layers. Place 1 layer in bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Remove tres leches center from freezer and peel off top layer of plastic wrap. Invert center onto cake layer and peel off other piece of plastic wrap. Top with second cake layer. Gradually pour tres leches sauce evenly over top cake layer. Refrigerate cake for at least 1 hour before serving.

12. Serve cake: Serve slice of cake on plate, topped with Kahlua blackberries.