Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Puto (Filipino Steamed Rice Cake)

Hey guys! First of all, did you notice my new blog layout? Nice, huh? I've been wanting to make a layout be my "own creation" for a long time and I've finally done it! The banner/header is definitely my favorite part of the blog. I think it really sets my blog apart from the rest. What do you guys think?

Now, let me tell you about this post. So I am a follower of this great blog, Becoming Lola and she came up with a brilliant idea to have a challenge called "Whipped" where she posts mystery ingredients from a random ingredient generator and the goal is to bake something from those three ingredients (You can use one or all three). Basically, anyone can participate in it. You just need a blog and your baked creation from the mystery ingredients. Sounds fun right? It just so happens that this week's mystery ingredients are Red Onions, Toffee and Rice.

When thinking about what to make, I looked at the three ingredients and immediately ruled out the red onion. I mean, perhaps it would be possible to make it into something sweet. Maybe candy the red onions by boiling it in a simple syrup then rolling it in granulated sugar and use it as a topper for something? But I said to myself. Nahhhh. (I'm not really challenging myself, huh?). Then I looked at toffee. Well, a lot of people are probably going to do that. I mean, mix it in some cookie dough and Bam! You're done. Um, yeah, that's not gonna happen with me. lol. Then I got to rice. For the longest time, the only thing I could think to make was Rice Pudding. I just couldn't get it out of my mind and if I was thinking it, others are probably thinking it as well. After about a day of thinking, it hit me and I knew what I was making!

Instead of rice itself, why not use Rice Flour? I mean, it's the same. It's just ground up sweet short grain rice. So, what dessert can I make from Rice Flour? Puto! Now I know what you're thinking. If you took or speak spanish, your jaw probably dropped at this very moment. Am I right, or am I right? I'm right, aren't I? haha. But no, I'm not talking about that Puto. Puto is a bad word in spanish so let's make that word into something good. Puto is a Filipino steamed rice cake. It's definitely one of my favorites. It's sticky but still is somewhat "cake-like" in texture, slightly sweet and bite size. It actually takes me 3 bites to eat these little guys. But this was my first time making Puto so I was kind of nervous. I'm not going to lie. haha.

When making the Puto, I combined two different Puto recipes. This makes this recipe my own right? The batter is really straight forward to make. Traditionally, there are special Puto molds you use to make these but since I didn't have any, I improvised by using a mini cupcake pan. So, I poured the batter into the pan. Next step was steaming the Puto. Once again, I didn't have the necessary equipment. haha. I don't have a steamer so what I did was baked it in the oven in a water bath.

It baked for about 30 minutes and when it came out, I wasn't happy about the appearance. When you buy Puto in the store, it's nice and fluffy on the top. These were flat. In addition, the Puto in the stores are white where as mine came out yellowish probably due to the egg and butter. They did have a nice taste to them though. The texture however was almost there but not quite. They were too sticky like mochi and not as "cake-like". Perhaps if I actually follow instructions and steam them, they would come out a lot better. But this is what I had happen. My mom told me that the Puto taste better when you use the actual grains of glutinous rice, soak it, and grind it. Looks like it's time to search for another recipe. Here's the recipe I used and my tips!!

-You can't use regular rice flour for this recipe. You have to find one that says either "Sweet Rice Flour" or "Glutinous Rice Flour". That is why Puto comes out with a "sticky" texture. I used a Japanese brand called "Mochiko"

-When making the batter, it should have the consistency of pancake batter.

-Make sure to beat out all the lumps!

-If anything, definitely try to legitimately steam them. It will make all the difference I think.

Puto (Filipino Steamed Rice Cake)
2 cups Rice Flour
2 large Eggs, beaten
2 tbsp Baking Powder
1 1/2 cups Milk
1 cup White Sugar
1/2 cup Margerine, melted

In a big mixing bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and sugar. Gradually add in milk, eggs and margarine until completely mixed together.
Pour the batter into the cupcake molds until nearly full.
Place the cupcake molds into a steamer basket. If you have multiple layers, place a cloth between the trays to avoid water drips. Put enough water to steam, and 1 tbsp of vinegar. Then steam for 20-25 minutes. After steamed remove from tray and mold then serve after the Puto has cooled to touch.

If you do not have access to a steamer: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven. Pour your batter into greased muffin tins and place the tins into a large high sided pan; place onto the rack of the preheated oven. Carefully pour boiling water into the large pan, so that it reaches half way up the sides of the muffin tin. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes.

Puto (Filipino Steamed Rice Cake) on Foodista
-Aaron John
My Food Outings: AJ's Food Adventure
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    haha nice layout too

  2. send some over please! if only u were in the philippines cos its so near my country! :D and nice layout! great job!

  3. Michael: You've had these before? I didn't know that! lol

    Hannah: Thank you! I think I read on your blog that you're in Taiwan? I hope you're having a great time over there! :D

  4. YES! I had Puto for the first time at my boyfriends house, and now I'm set to make it for him! Just whenever he feels homesick, of course. Thanks AJ!!!

  5. Rana: Your welcome!! I'm still going to search for a better recipe! These were only alright. When I find a better one, I'll def. let you know! :)

  6. These look lovely! My boyfriend is Fili, so I might have to try and make these for him as a surprise!

  7. I like the new layout! Well done.
    Thank you for clearing up the 'puto' confusion. I used to live in California and I have many Spanish speaking friends who taught me 'words' :)
    I never had these cakes but they look and sound delicious. I could do with one or two now with a cup of coffee. Have a great day. Michael

  8. i love puto! it's one of my faves. this looks great Aj!

  9. Nice work on the rice cakes AJ! And I like your new blog layout (= I'm looking forward to your coconut macaroons too, I love those!

  10. I like it best when you post recipes from your culture. It's great to learn new cuisines! Keep it up.
    Stop by my blog when you get a chance.


  11. Hi there, AJ! Cool blog! These rice cakes look amazing!!

  12. Michael: Thanks! I knew there would be a Puto confusion. haha. It's so funny how they have different meanings in different languages!

    Le: Thank you!! :DD

    Lisa: Thanks!! My coconut macaroons will be another experiment!! It'll be a filipino version! :)

    Christina Marsigliese: Thank you! I like it because it's not just cake and frosting. It has exotic flavors and maybe healthier? haha. I'll give your blog a look at. :)

    Lauryn: Thank you! :)

  13. Wait are you Filipino?! Because I am and Puto is one of my favorite desserts! I totally forgot about it though.. I've only made it from a box mix ha LOVE this!!

  14. Evan: Yup! I'm Filipino!! :DD I saw the box mix when I was buying the rice flour. I want to try it. haha.

  15. AJ your new layout looks great :)

    This is a great post - I learned quite a bit from you today! These sound really great - I should try these to take to our picnic and see if I can surprise some of our grad students!

  16. These look very interesting! And they look like the texture would be amazing!

  17. Grumpy and HoneyB: Thank you!! I never thought about that!! Theres a ton of info in this post! haha. These would definitely be a surprise. Keep in mind, these had the texture of mochi, if you ever had that. Not the texture of the real thing, but it will do for now. :)

    Tara: Thanks!! :D

  18. Nice new layout, and those cakes look really interesting.

  19. I found your blog through someone else's and I have to say this recipe idea is very cool. I have some gluten-intolerant friends who would gobble these up! If you've got a sec, I'd love it if you checked out my blog!

  20. Berry Lovely: Thanks!! :D

    Kimboslice: Thanks! I'll definitely give your blog a look see! :)

  21. These are my favorite! My friend makes them all the time. But he would never tell me how to do it. Thanks!

  22. LOL...I have known a few Puto's in my life...these look delicious and a must try. Saw these on Foofgawker and had to see you blog and here I am a new follower.

  23. Rick: Nice!! These aren't exactly the same thing in texture but the taste is pretty much the same! :D

    Norma: HAHA!! Thanks for becoming a follower!! I'll check out your blog!!

  24. your puto looks very good, can younsend me your secret recipe, i love to cook but never succeeded in having the fluffy and creamy puto that i want


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! :)

-Aaron John


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