I decided to make green (martian-ish) puto for St. Patrick's Day! It was a happy accident since I didn't mean for it to turn into that deep shade of green. I was just a little bit liberal with the Pandan Extract. It felt like mixing pastel colors and I didn't realize that I was pouring too much.
Puto or steamed rice cake is common fare in the Philippines, and just one of the many ways we utilize rice. It is usually eaten with grated coconut, or by itself. Personally, I love a little bit of saltiness to it, so I put some salted duck eggs on top.
This recipe is very semi-homemade, as I used a boxed puto mix. One day, I would love to try to make puto using galapong that I would grind from my very own mill. Yeah. Dream on. ;-)
What you need:
1 pack (half a box) Classic Puto Cake Mix
1/2 cup sugar
5 teaspoons canola oil
2 pieces salted duck eggs, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon butter
a few drops of Pandan Extract
What to do:
Grease puto molds or baking cups with butter. Prepare your steamer by boiling about 3 cups of water or more, depending on the size of your tray.
In a bowl, add 1 cup of water to 1 pack (200 g) puto mix. Blend well for 1 minute using an electric mixer at low speed or with a wooden spatula until smooth.
Add the sugar, canola oil and a few drops of Pandan Extract gradually while mixing. Continue until batter is smooth and free of lumps, about 1 minute. Pour the batter into prepared baking cups about 3/4 full. Top with sliced salted duck eggs.
Place the baking cups in the steamer and cover with cheese cloth. Steam for about 25 minutes. Puto is done when surface is shiny and bounces back when pressed.
Tips, Tricks and Tweaks:
1. You don't have to have puto molds for this recipe - use baking cups or ramekins.
2. I don't recommend mixing it with a wooden spoon. Your arms would probably end up getting tired before the batter even turns smooth. Better use your electic beater.
3. If you don't have cheesecloth, use aluminum foil. (But really, cheesecloth is a very handy thing to have in the kitchen.)
4. Not a fan of salted duck eggs? Try slices of cheddar cheese. That would also give it a bit of saltiness.