Tres Leches Cake with Strawberries and Cream

For the cake:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature

For the soaking cream:
1/4 cup heavy cream
One 12-ounce can evaporated milk

One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp rum or brandy

For topping
1.5 cups whipping cream
2 tbsp powdered (icing) sugar, or to taste

Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly butter a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the eggs with the sugar and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla at medium-high speed until very light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Add half of the flour mixture and mix at low speed until just incorporated. Gradually add the whole milk, then mix in the remaining flour mixture.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 25 minutes, or until the center of the cake springs back to the touch. Transfer the baking dish to a rack and let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes. Using a fork, poke holes all over the cooled cake.
Mix sweetened condensed milk, cream, evaporated milk, brandy and vanilla extract until well combined (the sweetened condensed milk is thicker so do ensure it is well mixed). Pour as much of the cream over the cake in batches as it absorbs. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. After 30 minutes, check the cake, and pour the rest of the cream on it. Replace plastic wrap, refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

In a chilled bowl, beat the cream with the sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread cream topping on cake.

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