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Torta de Leche

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Terry" 
To: "Phaedrus" 
Sent: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 5:09 AM
Subject: Recipe request: Torta de cielo or Torta de leche

Torta de cielo (heavenly cake) / Torta de leche (milk cake)

Vanilla-flavored, made with eggs, milk, and flour (?) and baked,
served ice cold in its own milk sauce, which also soaks it thoroughly
and the whole spongy cake floats in it. It's a Mexican recipe (Tabasco
or Veracruz, perhaps elsewhere too), possibly of Spanish or Italian
origin or a variant thereof.

What it is NOT:
It's not the Torta de cielo almond sponge cakes found on the Internet,
which are dry cakes
It's not a Tres Leches cake, which is a dry cake soaked in the three
milks AFTER it's baked
It's not the Torta de leche dry cakes found on the Internet
It's not a Charlotte Russe

After much searching, I finally found something on a Web site that
made me say, "YESSSS! That's IT!!" (unfortunately, there was no recipe
given). Here's the short description I found, which gives the unique
method for making it (which is what differentiates it from all of the
above that it is not):

+++ Start Quote +++
Austin Chronicle
Home: February 13, 2004: FOOD
Got Milk?
On the trail of pastel de tres leches
BY MM Pack
Roberto Santibanez (currently the culinary director of the Rosa
Mexicano restaurants in New York) [snip] remembered a dish that his
grandmother had made, from the state of Tabasco. Torta de leche (milk
cake) is cake batter poured into a pan of sweetened scalded milk,
baked, and served floating in its milk sauce.
+++ End Quote +++

- My mother's family is from the state of Veracruz, which is right
next to Tabasco.
- I did leave a comment for Barry Popik asking for his help in
tracking it down, but no response so far (it's a bit soon, though).

I have been going nuts looking for this recipe! It was our favorite
childhood dessert (and we hated milk!), and my mother's recipe is not
recoverable. Is there any way you could possibly track it down -- or
give me some more leads so I can find it? Pretty please with sugar on

Many thanks in advance!


Hi Terry,

Well, I cannot find any recipe at all for a dish with either of those names that fits your description. I did find the quote that you refer to in a couple of places, but no other mention of the dish. Sorry.


There is a mention here of an old milk cake from Tabasco, Mexico called Pastel de Leche. The recipe given has the cake soaked in milk after baking, but in the article is mentioned something similar to your description. I could not find a recipe for "pastel de leche". There might be a recipe on the web in Spanish like you describe.

From: "Jennys" 
Subject: Milk cake recipe found
Date: Friday, July 28, 2017 2:19 AM

Hello. I saw a request for a milk cake. I've sent a screenshot of the
request plus a recipe for the cake.


Isla Flotante (Floating Island) or Torta en Leche (Cake in Milk)

By Michael Snyder

A holiday dessert from the state of Tabasco in southeastern Mexico, this is
the family recipe of Chef Ernesto Aguilera of Tierra Criolla restaurant in
Villahermosa, and his grandmother, Mimy Aguilera Contreras.
Serves 6-8

   - 1 liter whole milk
   - 6 eggs, whites and yolks separated
   - 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour, sifted
   - 12 tablespoons sugar
   - 1 dash vanilla extract (or seeds of one vanilla bean)
   - 1 piece cinnamon stick

   1. Heat oven to 350 degrees (180 C).
   2. Put milk in a deep saucepan over high heat. Add half the sugar,
   vanilla, and cinnamon, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to
   dissolve the sugar. Once bubbles break the surface and the sugar is fully
   dissolved, remove from the heat and leave aside.
   3. In a standing mixer, whip egg whites and sugar to stiff peaks (you
   can also prepare this batter using a big bowl and a whisk, it'll just
   require a lot more energy).
   4. At medium speed (around 4 on a KitchenAid), add the yolks one at a
   time, waiting to add the next until the previous one has been fully
   incorporated into the meringue. The finished mixture should be consistently
   off-white with no streaks of darker yellow from the yolks.
   5. Once the yolks are fully incorporated, add the flour in a slow
   flurry, scraping down the sides to ensure the batter is smooth. The
   finished batter should be glossy and thick and without bubbles.
   6. Remove the cinnamon from the milk and pour the mixture into a round
   baking pan, about 10.5" in diameter and 2.5" deep (you can use a range of
   other sizes for this, too, preferably avoiding anything that's too tall and
   narrow-mouthed, since that will bring the milk to a stiffer boil in the
   oven and disturb the batter. Ramekins work for individual cakes. Otherwise,
   something about 6" in diameter and 7-8" inches deep works nicely if you
   really want the cake to float). If you're using this size, add the whole
   liter. For other sizes, fill the vessel roughly 2/3 of the way up. Float
   the batter over the milk in a layer about 1//2 an inch thick.
   7. Bake on a baking tray for 18 minutes, or until the cake is golden and
   inflated. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes, allowing the
   cake to deflate.
   8. To serve, bring the cake to room temperature or put it in the fridge
   for a couple of hours to serve it cold. Use a spoon to serve up messy
   slices with the milk ladled over. If you used a shallower pan, the milk
   works as more of a sauce. With a deeper one, this is best served in bowls,
   with the milk served over the spongey cake like a soup.

Zuider Zee Seafood Restaurant Dinner Rolls

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Phyllis 
  Sent: Saturday, February 28, 2009 3:01 AM
  Subject: Zuider Zee dinner rolls - scrumptious

  Uncle Phaedrus

  Help -

  I've had my mouth watering for years thinking of a wonderful delicious roll I had as 
a child when my family dined out at the old (now closed) Zuider Zee Seafood restaurant. 
Seemed to have a Dutch, Holland and Netherlands feel to it.

  They were a fabulous dinner roll they would hand out while waiting for a table and of 
course during our meal.  It looked like it had a dis-colorization mixed into the roll 
(maybe a blue cheese?  And possibly made with many eggs.  I am 44 now and I'm trying to 
remember something from the late 60's.   I just remember these rolls were heavenly and so 
delicious.  I thought it was lost forever until I came across your site and your words 
encouraged me - "These types of recipes particularly interest me: nostalgic recipes from 

  So. I would greatly appreciate your help in finding this 'forever remembered' recipe

  Notes: The first Zuider Zee restaurant opened in Fort Worth, TX in 1957, followed by 
restaurant openings in Arlington, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, Lubbock, Amarillo, Oklahoma City, 
Tulsa, Colorado Springs, Denver and Albuquerque. The company changed hands and was renamed 
Fish n Puppies, and then changed again to the Zuider Zee Seafood Inn.

  Cheers & Blessings,


Hello Phyllis,

Sorry, I cannot find the rolls recipe at all.


Tangy Noodle Bliss

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Karen 
  Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2009 10:06 AM
  Subject: Lost recipe...

Years ago as a child mom made many family dinner recipes for us from recipes she collected. 
A favorite was "Tangy Noodle Bliss", and it used Spatini Spaghetti Sauce Mix.  A few years 
ago when they stopped selling Spatini she put the recipe aside with other "retired" recipes 
and recently when she moved, that recipe box was lost (most likely discarded).  Now I found 
that I can still buy Spatini in bulk bags online and I'd love to surprise her with it and the 
recipe as she has mentioned it several times over the years in "remember this" conversations.

I know it was one she found somewhere, not one she created, but we do not recall where it 
came from (i.e., back of box, newspaper, cookbook, etc).  Some ingredients were noodles, 
American cheese, ground beef, pack of Spatini and green peppers.  

  If you could find it I would be forever grateful.

  Thank You!


Hi Karen,

Sorry, other than your message that I found on a message board, I cannot find any mention of "tangy noodle bliss" at all.


From: "Phaedrus" To: "Karen" Subject: noodle bliss Date: Wednesday, September 16, 2009 7:37 PM

Hi Karen,

A reader sent this recipe.


I just stumbled across your site -- someone was requesting the Noodle Bliss recipe. 
I have that recipe! It's from a recipe booklet titled "Cooking Spatini Style"


Noodle Bliss

1 lb. ground beef
2 tbsp. oil
1 chopped green pepper
1 chopped onion
1 envelope dry Spatini
1 (8 oz.) pkg medium noodles, cooked
1/2 cup diced cheese

Heat oil in a heavy skillet.  Saute onion and green pepper.  Add beef and stir, till 
brown and crumbly.Add dry Spatini and stir.  Combine all ingredients, mix well.  Bake 
in a lightly greased casserole, at 350 degrees F.
for 20 minutes.  Makes 4 servings. 

Old Mueller's Macaroni Recipe

From: Judy 
Subject: Old Mueller's recipe
Date: Saturday, February 21, 2009 10:43 PM

In the late 1970's, the Mueller's macaroni box had a long list of  serving 
suggestions, too simple to be called recipes, on the side (not the  back) of the 
box.  One was to mix the macaroni with celery  seed (I don't remember how 
much), oil (I don't remember how much) and one other  ingredient, probably a 
spice or herb.  It was served cold or at room  temperature.  When the weatherman 
in Charleston, SC, where I lived at the  time, said "There's going to be a 
storm, make some macaroni salad for when the  electricity goes out," that was what 
I made.  You would think the  Mueller's company could supply a recipe off of 
one of its old boxes, but the  company has changed hands, and when I asked a 
long time ago, they  were either unwilling or unable to come up with it.  If it 
were just  that I didn't remember the amounts, I could experiment, but the 
real problem is  that I can't remember the third ingredient.  It would be great 
if you or  one of your readers could come up with this information.

A reader sent this:

I was just looking to verify my old macaroni salad that I got off the box of Muellers 
in the 1970's and I found your website.
I have been using this over the years and I did lose the original recipe and would like 
to have it BUT I do know most of it by memory. So, this can help "Judy" who is requesting it. 
She posted an email to you in February 2009.

l box of muellers elbow macaroni (cooked, drained, not too soft, use box instructions for cooking time)
1 tomato (cut up in  small pieces)
1 cucumber (tastier than a celery stalk) (cut up in small pieces)
shredded carrot (optional)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt ( to taste if you want a little less)
1 tblsp. lemon
1 tsp. celery seed
Mix all ingredients except macaroni first  then add to macaroni. 
That is the wonderful recipe 
as I remember it and have used for the past 30 years.
I could not remember exactly how much celery seed but you can adjust and always add more.

Enjoy! Just this morning someone called asking me for this recipe. This is a crowd pleaser


Henry Clay Fried Chicken?

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: cgbt 
  Sent: Sunday, March 01, 2009 12:11 AM
  Subject: Henry Clay Fried Chicken recipe request from Carole T


Sure hope you can help me out with this one. I've been searching everywhere with no luck 
at all. The first time I had it was at the now defunct buffet at the Greenbrier Restaurant 
in No Brunswick, NJ, many years ago.

It was large chunks of boneless white meat chicken that was lightly battered and deep fried 
until golden. The seasoned batter was what made the whole thing. As far as I know it was a 
Southern recipe.

Thank you for any help you can give me, it will be greatly appreciated.

Carole T

Hello Carole,

I cannot find any recipe called "Henry Clay Fried Chicken" or "Henry Clay Chicken". There is a recipe called "Chicken Henry Clay", but that is chicken breast stuffed with ham and boursin cheese. I cannot find any recipes at all from the Greenbrier Restaurant. Sorry.



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