What could be better than puto? Puto topped with cheese.
Puto at its most basic is traditionally made plain and actually made from rice flour. This sweetened steamed rice cake is one of our Filipino kakanin. It’s our version of the West’s cupcakes but more simply adorned, usually brushed with melted salted butter to give it the classic flavor combo which Asians love to do.
The puto is first and foremost a sweet treat. It can be subtly sweet which makes it perfect for pairing with dinuguan (pork blood stew) or more powerfully sweetened to make a delicious treat for those with a sweet tooth.
This is where we can get creative, and the cheese on top is the proverbial icing on the cake. The sweet-salty flavor combo of the cheese puto is not uncommon in our cuisine. It’s actually quite reminiscent of other dishes in Filipino cuisine. We love to mix and match contrasting flavors—salty soy sauce and sour vinegar in adobo is one great example—and our desserts are not exempted from our propensity for these flavor combos.
Buttery and savory with a touch of sweetness, these puto are easy to make, especially when you have the ingredients readily available. Take a look below to see if you have what it take to make some puto today:
These are the ingredients you need for puto made even more irresistible with cheese on top of each steamed mini cake.
While many puto recipes are made with rice flour, this particular one uses the most common all-purpose flour. Either flour will yield mini cakes that emerge from the steamer just as soft and fluffy as any puto.
Got a sweet tooth? Use up the full amount stated or if you’re not too keen on too sweet a puto, you can reduce the amount to as little as 1/2 cup so you have some sweetness to challenge the sour notes of the dinuguan you might want to pair with it.
The puto would have a hard time rising if it wasn’t for this leavener. Use just enough to ensure that each puto puffs up and becomes a soft, fluffy mound.
Indispensable in the kitchen, the water liquifies the dry ingredients into the perfect consistency for a batter. It also dilutes the evaporated milk that’s added to help temper the strong milky flavor it can impart to the puto.
Milk reduced until concentrated, the shelf-stable pantry ingredient is a fantastic substitute for fresh milk when not available.
The binding ingredient which will not only help with making the batter into a cohesive mixture, it aids the rise as well as giving moisture to the finished kakanin.
Everything is better with butter! In the case of these puto, the butter adds flavor as well as moisture to this kakanin.
The ingredients to make puto are probably ingredients you already have available in your kitchen. With easily accessible ingredients and an easy recipe on hand, you can make your favorite sweet and savory puto any day you feel the craving.