I will be honest with you. The first time I made these, I failed. Consider this post some sort of a revenge then 🙂
You might be wondering what a Puto is. It is a steamed rice cake popular in the Philippines. It’s usually eaten as a dessert but Filipinos love to eat it for breakfast dipped into or paired with a cup of hot coffee or hot chocolate.
Because it’s a rice cake, the main ingredient is really rice or rice flour. But since I don’t know how to handle that, I made use of all-purpose flour for this version.
Traditionally, putos are white in color. Recently though, a variety of ingredients are added like purple yam and pandan (made from pandan leaves) and they completely change the color and flavor of the finished product. Here, I made use of pandan essence.
Some putos are just plain while some have toppings like melted butter, grated coconut, cheddar cheese strips, goat cheese, or in my case, salted red duck eggs.
Salted red duck eggs are popular in Asia. They’re made by coating the duck eggs with a mixture of soil and salt. Then, they’re stored for about 18 days. It’s only on the 19th day when they’re hard-boiled and dipped in a red dye solution. Red eggs are usually used for salads with mangoes or eggplants.
Back to the puto, here are the ingredients:
- 1/4 c. of butter or margarine, softened (not melted)
- 1 c. of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 c. evaporated milk
- 6 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon pandan essence (in green color)
- red egg slices
In a bowl, sift the all-purpose flour and baking powder. In another bowl, beat butter and half the sugar until light in texture. Add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar combo, alternating with milk as you mix them. Stir in the pandan essence. The mixture should turn light green.
Now, the key to moist puto is egg whites.
Beat the egg whites until stiff. When peaks start to form, add the remaining sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the flour-milk mixture. Do not beat the egg whites with the flour mixture. Just fold the egg whites in because if you beat them, the volume will increase due to the air bubbles and that will make your puto very wobbly.
If you have a small steamer, you can use small cups. If your steamer is bigger and can hold muffin pans, you can use that like what I did. Fill the molds until about 3/4 full. Top with red egg slices. Get a towel and cover the puto before putting the lid on. The towel will catch the steam and prevent condensation that will prevent the puto to rise properly.
Steam the puto for 15 minutes. Insert a toothpick on each to check if they’re done. If the toothpick comes out clean, your puto is ready. If not, continue steaming for another 5 minutes.
Cool the puto before removing from the molds. The edges are usually soggy while the puto is hot and if you try to take them out of the mold in that condition, chances are you’ll hurt your fingers 😛 and disfigure the puto.
Overall, the second attempt was better than the first so I’d have to say that my putos are a success and they’re definitely worth eating for breakfast or even as an afternoon snack.
However, I’m still not satisfied with the overall softness. I have always wanted very soft puto and this one is a little on the dense side. Taste-wise though, it’s good. It’s not too sweet and I liked the way the pandan and salted egg complemented each other.
I’m so getting another rematch with this puto recipe and I’ll try to come up with other flavors too 🙂 I’d also research and test if I can come up with something softer through baking.
How about you? Have you tried any rice-based desserts?