Light, fluffy, and loaded with cheese! This is what Cheese Puto Cupcakes are all about! This beloved steamed rice cakes done differently will be a great addition to your puto recipes.
I sometimes wake up in the morning and imagine that there is a hawker outside and shouting “puto, kutsinta!”. This is my fond memory of puto. These steamed rice cakes makes Filipino breakfast or even snacks truly awesome. Exaggerating? Nah, this delicacies are simply delicious!
Is it a bread, a cake?
Traditionally, they are categorized as “kakanin” or delicacies made from slightly fermented rice or “galapong”. These steamed rice cakes goes best with dinuguan or pork blood stew. The term puto applies to a wide variety of other Filipino delicacies like, puto flan, puto lason, and puto bumbong that are all cooked by steaming. So, bring those steamers out from storage and let’s make puto!
What makes Cheese Puto Cupcakes unique?
As I mentioned in the intro, this puto is done differently from the traditional method and cake flour is used. Using cake flour guaranties soft and lighter puto. Also, I placed cupcake liners in each mold to easily remove them and plus looks great if your planning to give them as gifts or even sell them.
Another advantage of placing cupcake liners into the mold is that you don’t need to grease the molds with butter which means less messy.
Adding meringue to make it fluffy.
Meringue is used to lighten soufflés, mousses, and cake mixtures so the same goes when making this recipe. Is it hard to make? Well that depends, here are some techniques to remember when making meringue.
Do not add sugar too quickly – Dumping sugar all at once while beating the egg whites will deflate. Add sugar in batches while beating to give the sugar a chance to dissolve.
Do not forget the cream of tartar – Cream of tartar’s mild acidity helps gives the meringue more structure and volume to achieve a nice glossy stiff peak. You can also use vinegar or lemon as alternatives.
Egg whites should be in room temperature and beat in high speed – Egg whites at room temperature produces more airier meringue and beat at high-speed to reach stiff peak. But, never ever over-beat or you’ll end up with a grainy consistency.
Be gentle – when folding the meringue into the puto batter. You do not want to deflate the meringue while incorporating it in the batter.
Tips for Cheese Puto Cupcakes
- Place a clean kitchen towel between the lid and the steamer. This will keep condensation from dripping on to the puto and avoiding soggy or uneven cooking.
- Pre-boil the water for steaming in high heat. Once you are ready to steam the puto, turn it down to medium-low heat. This will make for a crack-free dome when cooking the puto.
- Sift the dry ingredients three times. It makes it easier to mix into other ingredients when forming the batter.
The secret ingredient is always LOVE
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Cheese Puto Cupcakes
For puto batter
- 1 ½ cup cake flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup water
- 4 egg whites
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- ¼ cup sugar
- 24 slices of quick-melt cheese (or cheese of your preference)
Making the puto batter
- Place cupcake liners into puto molds. Set aside.
- Place a strainer on top of a mixing bowl then tip-in flour, sugar, vanilla sugar, baking powder, and salt. Sift three times.
- Add water and whisk until smooth and there are no more lumps. Scrape the side of the bowl with a spatula then set aside.
Making the meringue
- In a separate mixing bowl, tip-in the egg white and beat with a hand mixer at high-spreed until foamy.
- Add cream of tartar then beat again until soft peak or when you pull the whisk out of the whites and a light peak forms, but then flops over.
- Add sugar gradually or in two batches while beating until stiff peak or when the meringue can hold shape.
Making chees puto
- Fill the bottom part of the steamer with water and bring to a boil. When you reach boiling point, reduce heat to medium-low.
- Take the bowl with puto batter and add the meringue in three batches while gently folding in with a spatula. NOTE: Be really gentle when folding the meringue so it will not deflate.
- Once the batter and meringue are fully incorporated. Use and ice-cream scoop to scoop out the batter and transfer in to prepared molds with cupcake liners (approximately fill ¾ of the cupcake liners).
- Arrange molds in the steamer and cover with a lid lined with clean kitchen towel. Steam for 2 – 3 minutes, remove lid and place slices of cheese toppings. Cover and steam for another 8 minutes or until an inserted clean toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove puto in cupcake liners from mold and let cool down before serving. Bon appetit
- If you are using liquid vanilla essence or extract for the puto batter, you can add it after pouring the water.
- After steaming remove the puto in cupcake liners immediately so condensation won’t make the bottom of the puto soggy.