I so love this Puto Cheese recipe. So soft and fluffy and definitely better tasting than the Puto mix you buy in a box but equally easy to make. You will never think of buying ready mix Puto after trying this!
Puto is a kind of Filipino snack that is also, oftentimes, served to accompany savory dishes like dinuguan (pork blood stew) or pancit (rice noodle). The traditional Puto is made from rice, water, and sugar that is stone-grinded to make the batter. Then, of course, everything became easy when rice flour became available. But this recipe actually does not use rice at all, it uses all-purpose flour instead. Yeah I know, I was skeptical about it as well at first but it turned out to be really good, and I would say I prefer it better than using rice flour because it makes smoother and softer Puto.
For this Puto Cheese recipe, I used the cheese that I brought from the Philippines from my last visit. Hehe, yes that was about 4 months ago and they are still good. I bought some packs and freeze them. I learned this from a Filipina friend I met here in Germany and I could say it works. The common cheese we have in the Philippines are packed in foil and boxed and you usually get them from the shelves and not in the fridge section of a grocery store. The most popular brand is Kraft Eden cheese and I read that it is the equivalent or similar to Kraft Velveeta in US. But I guess other cheeses would do, like Gouda. I would try it next time so I can say for sure. For those who are asking about the plastic molds I used to steam these Puto in, I got them from the Philippines. But you may also use the Silicone muffin molds like the one below I found on Amazon. I also use them for making Puto sometimes just like I would use the plastic molds.
Here are also examples of steamers used to make Puto. The middle one is a stove-top variation while the one on the right is electric. You may click on the photos to see where you can buy them as well.
- In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar and baking powder.
- Add the milk and egg and mix with hand or stand mixer at medium speed only until batter becomes smooth.
- Add the water, butter and vanilla extract and mix well for a minute or two. Lastly, add the grated cheese and fold in slowly using a spatula or spoon.
- Grease each mold with butter and fill the molds with batter up to ¾ full. Add a strip of cheese on top of the batter.
- Place the molds in the steamer and steam for about 10 to 12 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
While mixing the ingredients, avoid using high speed of the mixer or the Puto would rise too much and become airy.
You may also mix by hand using a whisk but also at moderate speed.
While steaming, I place a cheesecloth or clean kitchen towel in between steamer racks and the top cover to avoid water from dripping to the batter.
Just double (or triple) the recipe to double the yield.
Silicon cupcake molds can also be used.