Puto (Filipino Steamed Cakes) is one of the most missed Kakanin (Filipino native treats) by Filipinos around the world. The authentic Puto is basically made with ground rice (galapong bigas). The rice is soaked overnight to allow natural fermentation before grinding into a fine textured slurry. This mixture is then combined with sugar for sweetness and then steamed. Once people add or replace different ingredients in this Basic Puto, then the end products are then called differently. To name a few…Puto Pandan (pandan flavour), Puto Ube (purple yam flavour), Puto Bumbong (purple rice steamed in bamboo tubes) and Puto Lanson (grated cassava and coconut).
I had an Uncle and Auntie (father side) who specialize in this native delicacies in Alaminos, Laguna. But sad to say, the recipes and techniques stayed with them till they passed away. Nobody was interested on learning or even jotting down the recipes, as you know most Filipinos in the provinces cook by feel and not by measurements. How I wish that my love for the Filipino cuisine started earlier, I could have learned more from the experts. Sometimes you don’t take notice of things you eat or use everyday until it is gone forever.
My mother even inherited some old Chinese teacups from her Auntie, she explained to me that Grand Auntie use to cook puto in those Chinese teacups. When we left Philippines, the cups where left somewhere…forgotten and maybe dumped in the rubbish. Sad to say, most great Filipino recipes are like my Great Auntie’s teacups…..most Filipinos considered them not worth keeping or the opposite, the recipes are over zealously guarded that they are taken to the grave. If only we can have a little bit of time to sit, listen and learn from this folks we could have gain so much from their knowledge or even be such a pain in the rear that they got no choice but divulge their secret recipes…hehehehehe! So many could’s and if’s…..okieee, Cusinera, snap out of it!!! (sounds of chirping birds being shot by a big shotgun)… I have to cut the story, it’s getting too long, I’m here to tell you how to cook Puto:)
What I have here is a recipe for a flour version of Puto. I called it Puto Espesyal (Special Puto) as it’s a bit decadent with the addition of slices of boiled salted duck eggs and cheese. As you know, there are weird flavours that works fantastic together and I assure you, this is one of them. Sweet, savoury and salty all blended together to create one orgasmic Filipino native snack.
Puto Espesyal (Steamed Flour Version) adapted from Food Business
7 egg whites, room temperature
3/4 tspn cream of tartar
8 tbspn white sugar
2 tbspn baking powder
3 cups plain flour
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups fresh milk + 2 tbspn
Toppings: Boiled salted duck’s eggs and cheddar cheese slices
*used AUS Measuring Cups & Spoons
PART 1 ~ MERINGUE
Top Left: In a very clean bowl place the eggwhites and cream of tartar together.
Bottom Left: Whisk the eggwhites until frothy.
Top Right: Gradually add the 8 tbspns of sugar, the texture will became finer.
Bottom Right: Beat until the mixture have stiff peaks, it would look like a spreadable icing.
PART 2 ~ CAKE BATTER
Sift the dry ingredients and place in a bowl with fresh milk and whisk into a smooth batter.
~ Slowly fold the meringue mixture into the cake batter until well combine. Don’t be too heavy handed as you want your end mixture to be very light.
~ Place the Puto batter in your baking tins, I’ve use normal circular sponge pans and large frilled mamon tins. Only fill up the baking tins 3/4 of its capacity, you need room for the puto to raise up. Top the Puto batter with slices of boiled salted duck’s eggs and slices of cheddar cheese.
~ In a large wok, place a pot ring and fill the wok with enough water just below the top base of the pot ring. Place the lid and bring the water to a boil.
~ Once the water is boiling, carefully place a puto filled pan onto the pot ring and quickly place the lid back. Steam the puto for 35-40 minutes. Once done, quickly remove the lid to avoid water droplets going in to contact with the puto as this will give you soggy texture. Carefully remove the tin with pot holders and let it cool before taking out the puto from the tin.
~ This recipe yielded 2x medium sponge tins and 2x large frilled mamon tins of puto.
- The reason why the puto pictures looks yellowish is that I took the pictures during the evening and also I got overboard with the cheese.
- You can make assorted coloured puto, just separate the puto batter and gently fold in the individual colours.
- If you want mini puto, use mini muffin pans and only cook for 15-20 minutes.