This Puto Cheese is so soft, fluffy, light, and definitely better tasting than the store brought Puto mix in a box but equally easy to make and more affordable. Make this as a perfect kakanin if you are looking for a snack or dessert during Holidays or anytime of the year.
I had a vacation this summer in the Philippines, and it was a blast. A month well spent with my family is so precious. Of course, food is included all the time. Going to goldilocks to buy puto is one of my excitement. Goldilocks puto is insanely delicious with a perfect balance of sweetness that we buy more than a dozen all the time.
Coming back here in the United States makes me crave for a tasty and fluffy puto like the ones in Philippines. Also, Holiday is approaching and it is my very best favorite time of the year because my birthday is close! I'm glad I bought a puto molder with me. Then I went to a second-hand store to find a bamboo steamer (its where you can find treasures). I make this twice a week since my son loves it too.
Ingredients to make puto cheese
All the ingredients I use to make this white puto cheese are always easy to find around the world. I know, living abroad can sometimes be challenging to find ingredients.
- All-purpose flour - although traditional puto uses rice flour, all-purpose flour is more accessible and affordable to everyone. The difference is of using all-purpose flour is a lighter and cake-like texture, while rice flour tends to be denser and stickier, both are delicious!
- Granulated sugar - Sweetener
- Baking Powder, do not use baking soda - A baking powder is added as a leavening agent to make the batter puff, soft and moist. Its ideal to use fresh baking powder that is about less than 3-6 months from opening.
- Egg - Make sure it's room temperature.
- Whole Milk - You can substitute this with evaporated milk or water and 1 tablespoon of powdered milk. Evaporated milk will yield a deep milk flavor, so I recommend using ¾ evaporated milk and ¼ water if you go this route.
- Sliced Cheddar Cheese - You can use any types of cheese you like in this recipe.
- Melted Butter - You can also use margarine or cooking oil.
Instead of cheese, you can top this white puto with a slice of salted egg.
Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Sifting to make sure you don't have any lumps in the mixture that will make it difficult to create a smooth batter. It also helps distribute the baking powder more evenly through the flour.
In a separate bowl, combine milk, egg, and melted butter, and mix until well blended. Make sure that the egg is at room temperature and the butter is completely melted to avoid lumps. Combine both of the mixtures in one bowl to make a batter.
Boil enough water in a pot to steam the puto. Grease the bottom of the puto molder with oil. Fill a puto molder 4/3 full and transfer them into the steamer. Steam them for ten minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. It takes about 10-12 minutes.
Top the steamed puto with a sliced of cheese and steam for one more minute until the cheese is slightly melted. Let it cool and remove from puto molder. Serve and enjoy!
- You can make puto without a steamer! Yes, everything is possible with an oven and water bath. Simply add hot water to a pan or tray and put it in the oven while the puto is steam-baking. This will take longer, and you need to check if puto is ready by inserting a toothpick in to see if it comes out clean.
- Sift the dry ingredients to make sure the baking powder is well blended and to achieve a fine flour mixture that could avoid big lumps.
- Making sure the puto batter is well-mixed (but not overmixed) is key in creating fluffy cheese puto. The gluten from all-purpose flour is what will give your puto structure, but if you develop too much by overmixing, your puto can turn from fluffy to rigid. As soon as there are no more loose clumps of flour, you can stop mixing: at this point, your batter should already be smooth and silky.
- It is essential to ensure the water is boiling before steaming it with puto. Just like preheating the oven before baking. The baking powder in baking reacts to the heat by creating bubbles in puto that make it so fluffy. Boiling your water first will also help to create a perfect dome in puto.
- If you are not using a bamboo steamer, you might want to cover the lid with muslin (katsa) or any lightweight cotton to absorb the condensing steam.
- Add the cheese on top just after the puto is cooked. The reason is we want the cheese to be just slightly melted and still in shape for looks since we eat with our eyes.
Questions and Answers
Puto is a Filipino rice cake that's usually eaten as a merienda or snack. It is one of the most popular kinds of dessert in the Philippines. Traditionally, a puto is made from glutinous rice, rice flour, and coconut. There are so many variations of puto. Lots of flavors can be added, such as ube and pandan to name a few. Different toppings can be added, such as cheese and salted eggs.
Baking powder is the ingredient to make puto fluffy. Making sure that the water is boiling to start steaming puto creates the air bubbles in cheese puto that make it so fluffy. If you steam the puto in too early, this may cause the puto to rise less, and you'll end up with dense rice cakes.
Any type of cheddar cheese is good for puto. Sharp cheddar has the most flavor since they are aged up to a year or longer compared to mild cheddar cheeses with a smooth and not distinct taste.
Yes, you can. Simply whisk an egg in a small bowl and add water. Mix well. In a separate bowl, pour pancake mix. Pour and mix in wet ingredients together with the pancake mix.
Yes. Using a water bath method. A water bath is just a pan of hot water placed in the oven, into which you put the baking dish that contains the food you need to cook. Steam-bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out dry when inserted.
Baking soda and baking powder are not the same. Baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate, with nothing else in that box. Baking powder is made of baking soda plus cream of tartar and cornstarch. They have different purpose in baking.
Absolutely! Using the same ratio of all-purpose flour substitute with cake flour will work. You will achieve, smooth, fluffy, and cake-like white puto.
What to eat with puto
Puto is very versatile. This kakanin can be enjoyed and eaten on its own as a snack or dessert. I love eating them with my coffee or tea. You can also pair it with meatless pancit or a bowl of cooked rice and dinuguan for a meal.
Storage and Reheating Tips
- Storage: Cool it completely. Store leftover puto in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It lasts for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. You can freeze puto if you want to keep it longer in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- Reheating: Puto can be eaten cold, but you can also reheat it. To reheat, simply use the microwave for 30 seconds until warm enough.
Easy Puto Cheese Recipe
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon refined salt
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
- 1 teaspoon cooking oil to brush puto molder
- In a large bowl, sift and combine together all purpose flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
- In a separate bowl, combine milk, egg and butter. Mix until well blended.
- Combine the two mixture together. Mix until well combine but do not over mix.
- In a pot, boil enough water to steam few batches of puto.
- Grease the bottom of puto molder with oil and transfer them into a steamer. Pour batter into the puto molder until ¾ full.
- Steam puto in boiling for 10-12 minutes in medium heat until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Place a piece of sliced cheese onto the top of each puto and steam an additional 1 minute until the cheese is slightly melted. Let it cool and remove from the molder. Serve and enjoy.