I am fond of eating sweets and decided to have a project in making them. One of the popular sweet delicacies here in my country is called steamed rice muffins or popularly known here as Puto. Two weeks ago my mom told me she still have her “wonder oven” also known as “Wonder Pot”. According to mom, the pot can bake a cake and can serve also as a steamer. That gave me an idea to jumpstart my mini-project. I searched for recipes in the internet and found lots of them. I decided to follow a recipe from Panlasang Pinoy. Getting the ingredients from the supermarket was quite easy, what gave me a hard time was looking for the puto cups. I went to two malls and searched in their supermarkets, department stores and specialty stores and almost gave up but the itch to make the puto was stronger. Finally, I was able to find them in the 3rd floor of the kitchen ware section of the second mall. I have never been so happy looking at cups in a department store.
I started to prepare the ingredients and to my dismay I was pouring on the second cup of flour but the mixing bowl is up to the brim already. I decided to make half of the intended recipe and needed to make adjustments to all the ingredients.
2 cups all purpose-flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup melted butter
1 piece egg
1/4 tbsp vanilla extract (optional)
small slices of cheese or salted egg (optional)
1. Mix first the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, sugar in a bowl and then mix the wet ingredients-evaporated milk, water, butter, egg and vanilla extract in a separate bowl.
2. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients bowl. Mix them until no lumps is visible in the batter.
3. Pour the batter into the puto cups and put slices of cheese and/or salted egg on top of each cup.
4. Place the puto cups into the steamer. Wait for 20 minutes.
After steaming the first batch of puto, I was nervous to see if it was cooked or not and hoping I did not make any mistakes in tweaking the recipe. It looked cooked but I do not know if it will pass the judges discerning taste buds. I had three judges from the taste committee – mom, dad and my six-year old nephew. Clearly, I got a thumbs up from dad and nephew since they gobbled up the puto in just one second. But mom is a different story. She was perplexed and really looks like a real judge in a cooking contest. Evaluated the appearance and smell before tasting it. Her judgment – she did not like the consistency and the color. She said it tastes delicious but she was looking for a certain roughness and fluffiness that she finds in her favorite puto from the market and it could have had whiter color.
So, I made another batch using a different type of flour – rice flour and lessen the vanilla extract. (from 1 tbsp to 1/4 tbsp). The result of which is a rougher, fluffier and whiter puto.
Finally, I get three thumbs up and plus one from me. My next kitchen adventure would be baking a chocolate cake in the Wonder Pot/Oven.