Whenever it’s a holiday season, our minds tend to imagine a picture of various kinds of traditional intricate delicacies. And the Puto Cheese (Cheese Puto) is definitely a part of that.
These are the foods that help create bondings and memories for the years to come. After all, what fun are all the festivities without these irresistible goodies made by your great great grandfathers and grandmothers?
In this recipe article, you will learn how to make this quick and easy Puto Cheese or Steamed Rice Cake With Cheese! Forget about buying bundles of these from stores and other bake shops since it is more fun and more special if you make these on your own.
This is a good idea to bring on special occasions and for giveaways to your family and friends. It will make your mama proud, guaranteed! Read on to see tips and tricks, and some trivia about the puto cheese.
What is Puto Cheese?
Puto is basically a steamed rice cake which originated here in the Philippines. And for this recipe, we top and mix it with cheese–of course! Traditionally, it is much harder to make since it uses fermented rice dough. It is done by soaking rice overnight and is then ground using stone mills back in the day.
Today, with the availability of rice flour, it has been made easier. This rice cake is usually served as a pair with some savory dishes, with dinuguan as a popular choice.
How to Make Puto Cheese?
Making the puto cheese is easy and without taking too much time and effort. After only a couple of minutes, you will be surprised that you’re finished. There are going to be three processes involved in making the puto cheese.
First is making the puto mixture, next is putting them in muffin tins or plastic molds, and then of course, steaming them.
When making the puto mixture, we prepare the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately at first. This is mainly not a big deal but if you want to have an organized step-by-step process and neat workstation, this will help. It will also make it easier to combine the two and have a nice consistency to it.
Next is placing the puto mixtures into the plastic molds. It is important to brush these molds or muffin tins (whatever you use) with cooking oil or butter, to avoid having the puto mixture stick. Make sure that you leave ample space in the molds since the puto mixture tends to rise when steamed.
Last step is to steam the rice cakes. You can place a towel on the steamer to avoid water from dripping. And if you’re still unsure if the puto is set after the recommended time of steaming, a good tip is to insert a toothpick at the center of the puto. If it comes out clean without any residue, it is finished.
Cheese to Use
You might be confused as to what kind of cheese to use. The staple one we use are processed cheese or the cheese made into a bar which you can commonly see in groceries or supermarkets. Common brands here in the Philippines are Eden, Cheezee, Ques-O, and Danes.
If these are not available, you can use other cheeses like gouda cheese or cheddar cheese.
Making Puto Cheese without Steamer
If in case you don’t have a steamer available with you, do not worry because you can still make puto cheese!
The idea is to place the puto molds just above the boiling water without touching it. If you’re using a pan and a muffin tin, you can use a placeholder in the pan to suspend the tin, and then cover it with a lid.
The steam rising from the boiling water in the cooking pan should cook the puto and it will still make it as delicious as regular steaming.
For a quick reference about this recipe, see the recipe table below:
Puto Cheese Recipe
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ½ cup water
- 1 small can (154 ml) evaporated milk
- 3 pcs raw egg
- ¼ cup cheddar cheese, grated
- cheddar cheese strips, toppings
- In a mixing bowl, add-in the all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt (dry ingredients). Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, pour-in the water, evaporated milk, and eggs (wet ingredients). Mix well.
- Carefully pour-in the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and add-in the grated cheese. Mix until well-incorporated.
- Prepare individual puto molds (plastic molds) and brush with melted butter or cooking oil.
- Pour-in the puto mixture into the puto molds until ¾ full. Top each with a cheddar cheese strip
- Arrange the puto molds in a steamer. Steam for 8 to 10 minutes. Wrap the steamer lid with a tower or a cloth to avoid water from dripping.
- Let cool and remove the puto molds. Transfer to a serving plate or serving tray. Serve and enjoy!
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