Howdy? I would like to introduce you to my own rendition of the famous breakfast delicacy in the Philippines called Puto. This recipe was inspired by a Youtube video from “A La Carlene Dishes”, a Filipina woman who shares her recipes online. Here is the link to her video for a full instruction: How to Make Puto
Filipinos usually eat puto in the morning for breakfast but you can eat it any time of the day. You can even eat it with an “ulam” or viand for lunch or for dinner. It is usually made of ground rice so you can substitute your warm rice with it. This version of puto is made of flour and is not gluten-free but organic and unbleached. It’is great tasting but I am a “kutsinta” person. Puto and kutsinta are like a tandem that cannot be separated in the Filipino mind. They always go together, it’s like puto cannot exist without kutsinta and vice versa.
I didn’t like puto as a kid because it was grainy when made commercially. However, if you are lucky to find puto calasiao this variety of puto is soft, tender, and silky smooth. Although it is way smaller in size and more expensive, oh my goodness, it is the best with coffee in the morning. In the West, the equivalent is probably jaffa cakes or tea cakes. But since in Asia we cultivate rice, it has become part of our daily meals and included in our snacks, desserts, and delicacies. Asians know what to do with rice not just Filipinos but mostly the entire East and Southeast Asia.
If you are gluten intolerant like me this may still work for you in small amounts. The honest truth about gluten-free foods is not simple. Gluten-free flour was not an issue way way back when people didn’t add or reduce the natural properties of wheat and flour through food-processing. People all over the world ate regular and unleavened bread which most probably had gluten. The gluten problem came about only recently and so the hype about gluten-free food. I feel the need to tell you this because my stomach cannot tolerate eating a lot of bread with gluten. I bloat and I get a stomach ache from it so I needed to dig deeper because in the Middle East people ate bread since more than 2000 years ago and they were alright. So why did gluten suddenly become a villain? I will tell you in my next post. But for now here is what Dr. Mercola has to say: How Gluten and Modern Food Processing Contribute to Poor Health and this article How to Safely Bring Wheat Back Into Your Diet
P.S. If you are using glass ramekins you will have a difficult time removing the puto from the mold unlike with silicone or plastic molds. Since I used glass ramekins I left the puto in the mold and ate it with a spoon.
I poked the puto in the middle to know if it’s ready…
Just scoop it up!
NOTE: Working with hot steam can be dangerous so make sure to use thick gloves whenever opening a hot steamer.
8 glass ramekins or silicone cupcake molds
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cup fresh milk
1 cup organic cane sugar
2 egg whites
4 tbsp. melted butter or coconut oil (optional)
2 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
strawberry jam (optional)
dark chocolate (optional)
cream cheese (optional)
- Using a stand or handheld mixer on low speed, combine egg whites with 1 cup sugar. Whisk until the mixture forms soft peaks.
- In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Give it a stir to mix the ingredients better. This will help make your puto smooth. Add the fresh milk and whisk until there are no lumps. If you have another set of clean whisks for the electric mixer you may use it as well. Add the butter and whisk manually until the mixture is fully incorporated.
- Add the cane sugar and egg whites mixture into the flour mixture. Mix with electric mixer until smooth.
- Brush the glass ramekins or silicone molds with olive oil or butter. Pour the mixture into the molds about ¾ of the ramekin but not all the way through so that the mixture will have some space to rise. This is the best time to add the toppings in the puto.
- Arrange the ramekins in the strainer. If you are using an electric steamer like I did, the steaming time depends on the power of the strainer. Mine took 25 minutes to cook through. A stovetop steamer is also a good option and usually cooks faster. After 15 minutes, insert a toothpick in the middle of the puto. If it comes out clean the puto is ready. Serve and Enjoy!
For the Toppings
You can put small slices of cheddar cheese on top after 10-15 minutes while the puto is cooking. I used cream cheese, chocolate with 72% cacao from Trader Joe’s, and a homemade strawberry jam by injecting them in the middle while the puto is cooking halfway through.
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