Wednesday, January 21, 2009


This would have to be one of my proudest moments as a home cook! I made Ensaymada for the first time and the final result was just what I wanted!

Ensaymada is the Filipino version of the Spanish Ensaimada, a pastry distinguished by its use of pork lard. Instead of using lard the Filipino Ensaymada substitutes butter and adds aged Edam cheese as a final touch. What results is a far richer and tastier product (in my opinion!).

I actually made Ensaymada two days in a row. My first attempt was a bit of a disaster but my second one was close to perfect if I say so myself.

I used two different recipes. The failure of my first try I partly (mostly) attribute to the recipe I got from this lame excuse for a Filipino cookbook. I knew something was seriously wrong with this book of supposedly “Favourite Filipino Recipes” that includes French Onion Soup, Lobster Thermidor, and Katsudon, just to name a few!

But anyway, I’ve been saved by another Filipino cookbook titled, Baking Made EC: 70 Family Favourites, by Eufemia C Estrada. I feel that this book is a lot more honest and “real”. It has no pretension that is quite rampant in the other one. It saved me from another disappointment. As a matter of fact it unleashed in me a brand new interest in baking! Thanks Miss Eufemia!

Miss Eufemia’s recipe, which I copied below, was relatively easy to follow and results is an Ensaymada that is both tasty and reminiscent of my childhood.


4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup evaporated milk, scalded
8 egg yolks, beaten
6 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup butter
¼ cup grated cheese
More butter for brushing tops
More sugar and grated cheese for dusting

1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1 cup lukewarm water. Let it stand for 5-10 minutes to grow. Add butter, sugar, salt and scalded milk. Add the beaten egg yolks. Beat in flour and knead until smooth and elastic. (You can throw the dough onto a lightly floured surface as part of your kneading).

2. Form into a smooth ball, place on lightly greased bowl, flip over so top is oiled, cover with dry cloth and let rise until double in bulk.
Cut dough into half and form 12 balls from each half to make a dozen. Roll each ball real thin, brush with softened butter, dust with grated cheese, roll with the help or a thin skewer and form into rings right onto slightly greased sheets. Cover lightly with cloth and let rise until triple in bulk

3. Preheat oven to 400°F while dough is rising. Bake about 15 minutes.
Brush tops with butter while hot. Let cool, then brush with butter once more and sprinkle with sugar and grated cheese. Wrap individually with greaseproof paper, if desired.

Note: Dough rings can be frozen to let rise and bake when needed.


Jo said...

One of my favorite Filipino delights. Thank you for sharing. I always buy them from Goldilocks or Red Ribbon, but I think after looking at your post, it is going to be fun to make it from scratch! Thanks again and I can't wait to see what else you post on your blog. =)


kidpawan said...

It is quite fun indeed Jo! You need a lot of patience though.. i couldn't help myself from checking if my dough was rising...

Thanks for dropping by my site... do come again!

Nikita's Mom said...

wow! i probably have the same lame filipino cookbook you have!:) but these ensaymadas look so yummy..i have to try this recipe. at least it wasn't asking for a million egg yolks like some of the ones i've seen.

The Beancounter said...

hello there Nikita's Mom! Don't get me started on this cookbook... it's full of fluff... no substance... the author was more concerned about "name dropping" than making sure the recipes work!

Manang said...

Would you be interested to try my very easy (as in there is almost no work in it!), very yummy, supersoft ensaymada that has been tried by the novice bakers and expert chefs alike and found it superior if not at par with goldilocks or red ribbon ensaymadas?
I am so proud of it because it is my very own recipe. Created for busy people like me...
But if you are looking for ensaymada with more chew, brown-er crust, one that reminds you of ensaymada bought from the neighborhood bakery in the Philippines, but one that is easy to make, then you might want to consider taking a look at my bread machine ensaymada recipe, also favorited by a lot of my readers already.

The Beancounter said...

Thanks Manang! I'll definitely try your ensaymada yourself, i am also quite busy so i'm always on the lookout for quick/easy but tasty recipes...