Monday, February 22, 2010

Polvoron, Pulburon, Polboron

I originally wanted to make this post into a guessing game. A non-Pinoy would be hard-pressed to figure out what the strange looking devices in my photos are. If you're vaguely familiar with Filipino or Spanish cuisine the title is a dead giveaway as to what they're for.

These contraptions are actually moulds used in making a Filipino treat called polvoron (pulburon, polboron). These moulds have got less to do with the taste of polvoron so don't fret if you haven't got them handy. You should still be able to make polvoron in freeform or with the use of other similar sized moulds. They'll be a nice addition to your collection of kitchen gadgets though.

Polvoron, I realised only today after reading it in the ever reliable Wikipedia, is in fact a type of shortbread - a biscuit made of sugar, flour and lots of butter. Basic polvoron is actually made up of such! You can create variations (look out for future posts) to this by adding nuts, chocolates, fruits, or other ingredients you fancy. It is traditionally wrapped in colourful Japanese paper (papel de hapon) but these tend to bleed so we opt for cello wrap instead.
With only a few essential ingredients it is vital to get the process spot on to avoid disaster. Flour, the only component that requires cooking, must be toasted just right. It must be nut brown in colour with a very delicate toasty smell.

The recipe below is Cherry's. I only assisted in the wrapping.

Cherry's Basic Polvoron
4 cups plain flour
1 cup powdered milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
250g butter

1. Toast flour in a pan until it starts to turn light brown.
2. Sift the toasted flour, milk and sugar in a large bowl.
3. Add the butter to the mixture and make sure all the ingredients are blended well together.
4. Use a polvoron mould to shape the mixture into traditional shapes.
5. Wrap the polvoron pieces in cello wrap. Serve immediately or cool in the fridge.


Tangled Noodle said...

I'm rotating through my blog reader but I had to come over right away when I saw the pics of these beautiful polvoron molds! I wish I'd thought of buying these when we were in Manila - darn it. But thank you for the polvoron recipe - my husband absolutely LOVES it but we've been eating store-bought (Goldilocks) only. He would be over the moon if I were to make them myself. Looking forward to seeing your variations! And thanks to Cherry for sharing here recipe. 8-)

The Beancounter said...

Interesting looking gadgets, aren't they? I think you can get all sorts of shapes now...

We do not have access to Goldilocks here so unless we make it ourselves then no polvoron for us... Cherry is actually Mrs Beancounter... she's the queen of desserts in my up, Cookies 'N Cream Polvoron...

Tangled Noodle said...

You're killing me . . . cookies'n'cream is one of my fave flavors! During our visit, we saw new flavors of polvoron such as rose (!) and cinnamon. It's a long way from just plain and with pinipig!

The Beancounter said...

Wow, rose and cinnamon! Where did u find those?

Cookies n Cream polvoron would have to be the easiest to make of the bunch... i'll post it soon...