Puto cheese is a Filipino version of muffins which are cooked in a steamer as opposed to baking them in the oven. I’m figuring out that since an oven is not so common in Philippine households, steaming foods has become a great alternative. This is a favorite snack food in the motherland which comes in a variety of color and toppings. I’m personally confused about the terminology because the word “puto” means “rice cake” in my native dialect, and this recipe is made of flour and not of rice. Anyway, regardless of the name, this soft and moist steamed muffins with melted cheese on top is definitely worth trying. It’s perfect as a light snack with coffee or tea.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 20 pieces
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cups milk
½ cup water
1 cup slices of cheddar cheese
6 cups water (for steaming)
Tools You’ll Need:
Puto molds or muffin cups ( I use silicone muffin cups)
2 mixing bowls
Ladle or measuring cup (for pouring the batter into the molds)
1. In a large mixing bowl, sift the dry ingredients. Place flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar on a strainer and sift until particles are loose.
2. Whisk quickly to incorporate together.
3. In a separate bowl, add milk, water, and egg. Whisk until well-combined.
4. Add liquid ingredients into dry ingredients. Mix until you have a soft batter without lumps.
5. Add 6 cups of water into the steamer pot and let it boil.Arrange molds or muffin cups into the steamer. Using a ladle or measuring cup, pour puto batter into individual molds or cups, about ¾ full, leaving space for rising. Place kitchen towel over them before putting lid on. Steam for 15 minutes on medium heat. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center. It should come out clean.
6. Place 1-2 slices of cheddar cheese on top of each puto. Leave steamer uncovered and wait until cheese has just melted. Remove from heat. Add another batch to steam.
7. Let them cool then remove from the molds before serving. Refrigerate leftovers and microwave for 30 seconds to soften them up. Enjoy!