This is the magic that happens when cultures blend.
A few months ago, self-taught home chef Abeer Najjar gave the iconic tres leches cake a little bit of a twist with some interesting ingredients. Najjar harnessed the flavors of rose water and cardamom to give the tres leches cake a little Middle Eastern kick. Born in South Chicago to Palestinian immigrants, Najjar creates mouthwatering recipes that blend flavors from traditional dishes with flavors from other cultures. The results look delectable, like her shawarma tacos. She even has a recipe for guacamole that doesn’t add anything crazy to the mix. So, why did she choose a the tres leches cake to receive the Palestinian twist?
“We really just want something that’s still rich, but refreshing for the summer weather,” Najjar told NPR.
Here’s how you can recreate Najjar’s tres leches cake at home.
It all starts a traditional tres leches cake, just add a small amount of cardamom.
Najjar tells the audience that you just have to use the yellow cake recipe you are comfortable with, even if it comes from a box. Follow the recipe as you normally would, just add some ground cardamom to the mix but don’t over do it.
Bake as you would, obvi.
As for the tres leches portion of the recipe, this is where you add the rose water and just a little bit more cardamom.
Be careful with how much rose water you add to the leche. Rose water is really strong so you don’t want to overpower the dessert by being too heavy-handed with this ingredient. According to Najjar, about one tablespoon of the stuff should cut it.
And enjoy this interesting take on the tres leches cake.