Hi everyone, can you believe it? Finally, I am this close to Graduation (Imagine me pinching my pointer finger with my thumb) :D – And with graduation comes performances, baking, class parties, baking, muck up days and lots of baking!
I am no longer examining, my last one was 2 days ago actually, BUT, now I am out with friends, chilling and you know, haven’t really touched my spatula (I know, the horror!) – I promise, I will be baking up a storm soon BUT until then, please enjoy your final fabulous guest post :D
There are definite times when I feel like oriental desserts, swerving away from our common biscuits and bakes to pandan cake and whatnot. That is where this guest poster comes in :)
Samantha from Sweet Samsations is the one to cater to any of these sudden impulses. She is so cute and quirky but put a whisk in her hand and BAM, baking and cooking machine! She is so talented and makes such exotic desserts, as you shall soon see, so I am going to stop talking and let her whisk you off on a mouthwatering journey :D
My name is Samantha, better known as Sammie, and I author Sweet Samsations. Amongst the many hobbies I have, such as photography, hot yoga and playing the piano, my biggest passion lies in baking! My kitchen is both a sanctuary and a playground for me where I can experiment with fusion dishes as well as attempt to replicate traditional ones.
Since I was little, I was exposed to a multitude of different Asian cuisines, from sweet to spicy (and everywhere in-between). This diverse range of “foodism” has expanded in Vancouver, where I can try every sort of food imaginable. My experience here with exotic foods has fostered a versatile and diverse palette for various cuisines, as well as a love to experiment with new dishes!
While living in global cities, it is not uncommon to have friends from all walks of life. The best part about it is that you also get to exchange cultures, be it in the form of language, values, and most importantly, FOOD. Now having said that, one of my best friends who grew up in Vancouver, Hambie, is of Filipino descent. It should not come as a surprise that I grew to learn a fair bit of this fellow Southeast Asian culture, due to our frequent girls’ night out, study sesh-es, and dinner dates. But let’s also not forget “Le rendez-vouz de la maison”. This is when your best friend’s mum invites you over for dinner and showcases her best dishes. Filipinos are one of the most hospitable people who enjoy sharing, especially via the channel of food! Aside from our frequent dinners at Pin Pin, a Filipino home is where I learned of the various traditional cuisines that my friends and their families consume on a daily basis.
When I just got to know her, I recall a certain “rendez-vous de la maison” where Hambie offered me some bread to snack on. Being of Singaporean descent, my first instinct is to always say “no” out of courtesy. Yes, it is considered impolite to ask for food when visiting others’ homes, but when offered, always say “no” first. If thought bubbles could be seen above one’s head, mine at the time would have been the vivid image of my mum pulling me to a corner and saying, “Don’t trouble others. Say no!”. However those buns looked too damn good to pass up and Hambie could see my eyes beaming with delight as I tried to contain my drool…
“Try it! It’s really good. Don’t be shy! My food is your food too!” she said with a smile. This was when I first had a taste of the amazing Ensaymada. A sweet bread rolled in a spiral or tied in a knot with sugar sprinkled on top, and paired with some savoury shredded cheddar to finish. As you bite into the fluffy dough, the mix of sweet and savoury delight sends you straight to orgasm.
That was the only word I could use to describe my feelings towards a Filipino bakery. I very much enjoy the numerous items one can find in a Filipino bakery, but I gotta say, this is still my favourite Pinoy bun!
This year, I received a Goldilocks recipe book from a very special and sweet friend of mine in Vancouver. I couldn’t be happier with the thoughtful gift. I was already fortunate enough to be introduced to such a wonderful cuisine, but the thought that I was able to learn to cook and bake (more so bake) it was overwhelmingly enchanting.
Without further ado, I present to you my first attempt in making the delicious Ensaymada! Enjoy!
makes 8 ensaymada buns
adapted from Goldilocks Bake Book by Milagros Leelin Yee & Clarita Leelin Go
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 2/3 cup water
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup evaporated milk
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
- Topping: creamed butter, grated cheddar cheese, sugar (to taste)
- Dissolve yeast in 1/3 cup of water. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl with dough hook, place sifted all-purpose flour, sugar and salt. Mix at low speed until incorporated.
- Add the dissolved yeast, remaining water, eggs and evaporated milk. Mix for 2 minutes at low speed then mix at medium speed for approximately 4 minutes.
- Add unsalted butter and continue mixing until gluten is slightly developed.
- Transfer the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic.
- Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes at room temperature.
- Punch down the dough and divide it into pieces weighing 60 grams each.
- Let the dough rest for 15 minutes then cover with plastic sheet to prevent from drying.
- Roll out the pieces thinly into 8″x5″ rectangles. Brush surface with butter.
- Roll into a long rod and twirl into shape, locking ends to seal.
- Place each piece in a greased ensaymada moulder.
- Let the dough rise until it doubles in size. (Approximately 1 1/2 hours at room temperature)
- Bake for 17 minutes at 325 F or until golden in colour.
- Let the bread cool then remove it from moulder.
- Brush the top of each ensaymada with creamed butter and sprinkle with grated cheese and sugar.