Thursday, May 10, 2012

Coconut Puto

A few years ago a I did a restaurant review on this blog on Rice to Riches, a restaurant in NYC that sells only one thing - Rice Pudding!  I received a few comments from Filipinos mentioning Puto, Filipino steamed rice cakes.  Of course, I knew this was definitely something I wanted to try.  After an extensive online search, I combined elements from different recipes that I liked and came up with this one.

Although in the Phillipines they have Puto molds to make this, these are not available here in the United States. I couldn't even find any resources online that would sell them.  As soon as I saw the shape of them, I thought silicone muffin cups would be a good alternative.  Although I did not use the traditional recipe from Kusina ni Manang allowing the rice flour and water to first ferment overnight, I still think her blog is worth mentioning.  It is devoted to recipes from her homeland, the Phillipines and for more Filipino desserts that I am anxious to try, see here.  The next time you want to try some Filipino food, go to these resources for inspiration.  This is an instant version of puto, ready in less than an hour.

I saw some recipes online that used coconut and some did not, but since I am a coconut fanatic...eventhough I was born in NYC, my Caribbean roots are present in my culinary preferences...if you ask me what 5 foods I can't do without, I would say coconut, mango, plantain, pumpkin and hot pepper (Scotch Bonnet) I decided to use coconut.
Black & White Wednesday ...for the Well Seasoned Cook

In much of Southeast Asia, the most popular flavoring for desserts is pandan, similar to the way we use vanilla extract/vanilla beans.  It took me many years to finally find this product in the NY area.  It can be labeled as different names - Pandan, Screwpine (the name of the tree it comes from), or Bai Toey.  You can find the leaves frozen available at Asia Market Corp, where you can also find the paste or extract, which is also sold at Bangkok Center Grocery.  I hope you can find these ingredients where you live.  I chose to only use the leaves in this recipe, otherwise, I would have had green puto.

Coconut Puto
2 cups rice flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
13.5 oz. can coconut milk
1/4 cup water
7 pandan leaves

In a large bowl, combine rice flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Mix.
Add coconut milk and water and mix thoroughly until you have a smooth batter.

Fill a wok about 1/2 way with water.  Place pandan leaves in the water.  Place a metal rack in the water.  On top of this, place a bamboo steamer.

Spray silicone muffin cups with non-stick spray.  Place in the bamboo steamer.  Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full with the puto batter.

Cover and turn heat on high and cook for 35 minutes.  Remove the bottom steamer and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Remove from steamer and puto will easily slide out of muffin cup.
I only have a double rack steamer, so I had extra batter after filling 8 muffin cups, which I refrigerated for later use.  (this is my 1st time making these, so I hope the batter will still cook properly when I make the rest)

From what I've read, this is a popular item for breakfast in the Phillipines and now that I've had them, they are absolutely yummy with a cup of coffee.  Being that I've never had them before, I can't really compare them to the traditional fermented kind.  All I can say is these are delicious with a soft and fluffy texture.

Delicious coconut & pandan flavor comes through.  Breakfast or dessert....I am now a fan!

...linking to Divya's Desserts Showcase and Black & White, hosted this week by Simona

Chef Mireille 
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  1. This dish is absolutely new to me. But it is very interesting... I love the flavor of coconut too..

    Thanks for linking it to the event.
    Divya's Culinary Journey
    Showcase- Desserts
    Lets Party-Breakfast

  2. Wow! So much information to digest in your post. I will keep my eyes open for pandan leaves: they sound like an interesting ingredient. Thank you so much for contributing to BWW and many apologies for the mishap (my fault!).


Thank you for your feedback. All comments are appreciated. It's nice to know people out there are reading this blog! Although stats tell me they are...communication is better!
Chef Mireille

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