Rum Coconut Tres Leches // Match Day!

Ahhh – I have some more exciting news (yes, in addition to getting married)!!! On the third Friday of every March, medical students all over the nation open a magical envelope telling them where they “matched” for residency – the rite of passage called Match Day!

For residency, we don’t choose out of a list of acceptances/offers where to go like normal jobs or college applications. Instead, 4th year medical students rank the places we interview at, and the residency programs rank us, which is put into a giant national computer algorithm. And after several long weeks the algorithm tells us if you match to your #1 choice, #2 choice or #18th choice, or worst, don’t match at all (definitely no bueno) – and you’re locked in a binding contract with that match.

This assignment is a weird concept, especially to my non-medical friends and family. As a cousin decided, it’s “draft day” for doctors.

The morning leading up to the Match envelope is kind of surreal – this day is even bigger than graduation since it determines where you train for the next X years and you’ve literally been in school your whole life for this day. My family and godmother from the Philippines came to celebrate, and I could see tons of nervously excited classmates waiting around between brunch and speeches and class photos.

At 11am, they unveiled a board with our names on envelopes and we rushed over to discover our fates.

My heart pounded with so much adrenaline as I opened my envelope … and I couldn’t be happier to say (actually I screamed) I matched to my #1 choice – I’ll be training for Internal Medicine at Yale up in the Northeast! (You can see me excitedly pinning my name on the map at 2:40 on video)

My excited is not dampened even by the fact that it’s snowing in Connecticut as I type this post in April.

The other big pressure was that B had to match separately in another algorithm for foot and ankle surgery as well to the same area. Well, B matched to Mt. Sinai in New York City, so we’re just a few hours by train (one day… we won’t be long distance… hopefully… but a train is infinitely cheaper than plane tickets. And we’re grateful since we haven’t been so geographically close to each other since Stanford). And we have jobs with paychecks now! Whoohoo!

There’s no emotional roller coaster quite like getting married and Matching in less than a week. B and I had to start planning moving logistics (ugh), finding apartments ASAP (eek Northeast rent), merging finances… and since it was my 26th birthday on April Fools Day, I had to get my own health insurance (double ugh). Talk about growing up!

As we’re growing up and doing all this celebrating – how about some booze and cake?

I made this delicious rum coconut tres leches cakes (loosely adapted from Chowhound) for our ginormous family dinner the next day – some more San Antonio flair for all our out-of-town guests. There’s no party like an Uy party…  and I think it’s time to party! 😀

Rum Coconut Tres Leches

1 box yellow or white cake mix *

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk **
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup coconut milk
1-2 tablespoons dark rum, plus more as needed

1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar, to taste

* If you’re a stickler, you can make the cake from scratch, but since I had to make 4 batches of Tres Leches for our wedding afterparty the next day I couldn’t go too crazy 🙂
**Start with half the condensed milk and work up to desired sweetness. Often I find it’s way too sweet with a full can

Bake the cake according to box directions. Once baked, set aside and cool. Using a fork poke holes all over the cake while cake is still in the pan.

Combine milks and rum in a bowl while the cake is baking and cooling. Once cake is ready pour the milks in the cake pan. If it starts overflowing in the pan, let the cake sit for a few hours to absorb the milk, then you can pour the rest in (do not skimp on the milk)

Let the cake sit at least overnight for best flavor.

When ready to serve, whip the heavy cream and sugar to stuff peaks. Top over the cake and serve with berries. Enjoy!

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  1. Congratulations on your marriage and residency match. You explained the match process so well. I've always wondered what the process was. Your blog is great! I loved reading about your wedding and the yummy treats.

  2. Congrats on your beautiful wedding and matching! More importantly, congrats on locking down that handsome man as your husband. You are one lucky lady!

  3. I'm so excited for you!!! 🙂 This is so awesome, I've been following your food & medicine journey for awhile now and this is such a big step! I'm about to start PA school and my fiancé is across the state in med school, so I definitely feel ya on that whole long distance thing. But yay for getting your #1 pick! 😀 And I guess the cake isn't bad, either 😉

  4. Congratulations on getting your match! It sounds like you are about to start an exciting new journey! Love this sweet treat, by the way!

  5. Thanks for all your well wishes/congrats! Tres Leches is super easy to make! If you're a stickler, you can make the cake from scratch, but since I made 4 batches of tres leches for our wedding afterparty the next day I couldn't go too crazy hehe

  6. Congrats!!! 🙂 This cake looks delicious. I too am turning 26 in a few months and need to finally get my own health insurance T_T or be the med student without insurance for a few months until when residency starts…which would be bad and also kind of ironic.

  7. Yeah there are some classmates who are winging the coverage gap for 1-2 months – luckily the catastrophic insurance isn't too expensive so you can look into it.

    You know you're old when you can't wait to get job perks like health insurance haha