Spiced Tres Leches with Candied Apple, Apple Sorbet, and Spicy Peanut Brittle

The First Annual StarChefs.com International Pastry Competition
Round One: Pre-Dessert
Adapted by StarChefs.com
December 2010
Yield: 8 Servings


Soaking Liquid
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground allspice
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 pinch salt
Tres Leches Cake
3 eggs
½ cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 pinch ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 pinch salt
1 cup buttermilk
Apple Sorbet
½ pound apples
1½ cups sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 pinch salt
1 cup water
Peanut Brittle
1 cup peanuts
1 tablespoon roasted peanut oil
1 cup sugar
½ cup water
2 ounces butter
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon salt
Candied Apples
4 Gala or Winesap apples, peeled and cut into small dice
2 ounces butter
1½ cups dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
To Assemble and Serve
buttermilk foam
micro mint


For the Soaking Liquid:
Pour all the ingredients but the buttermilk into a medium size pot and bring to a boil. Reserve.

For the Tres Leches Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium-sized bowl, whip the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until the mixture triples in volume. Combine the dry ingredients and slowly add these to the egg and sugar mixture. Pour the batter into a greased pan and bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool slightly. Using a wooden skewer, poke the cake all over its surface. Pour the hot soaking liquid over the cake. Allow it to cool for 1 minute before pouring the buttermilk over the cake. Let the cake soak for at least 30 to 45 minutes before serving.

For the Apple Sorbet:
Combine the apples, sugar, lemon juice, salt and water. Cook in a saucepan until apples are translucent. Let cool and blend. Strain and churn in the Carpigiani ice cream machine.

For the Peanut Brittle:
Roast the peanuts with the oil until golden brown. Cool the peanuts and chop them into small pieces. Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat over medium-high until a caramel forms. Add the butter and baking soda. Add the roasted peanuts and a pinch of salt and pour over an oiled sheet tray. Cool the brittle and break into small pieces. Using a Waring food processor, blend the brittle into a crumb. Pour it over a tray and set aside.

For the Candied Apples:
Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the brown sugar. Let the mixture simmer for 3 minutes without caramelizing. Add the diced apples, vinegar, cinnamon, and salt. Cook for 5 minutes. Set aside.

To Assemble and Serve:
Put 1 cup of buttermilk in an iSi Gourmet Whip Plus and charge with 1 iSi Cream Charger (NO2 cartridge). Cut the tres leches cake with a circular ring cutter and place it on the plate. Spoon the candied apple over the top. Make a quenelle of the sorbet and roll it on the ground peanut brittle. Place it over the apples. Spray the buttermilk foam on the side of the plate and finish with micro mint.