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This Brown Butter Puto Cheese is soft, fluffy, milky and not too sweet. The brown butter gives a nice nutty buttery flavor while the cheddar makes it rich and cheesy. Once you bite into these Filipino steamed cakes you’ll surely be asking for more!

Brown Butter Puto Cheese Recipe

Finally! A Puto cheese recipe for keeps. I’ve made a lot of variations of this Filipino style steamed cakes over the years and I’ve never loved any of it until this one! This one’s just too good and addicting if I say so myself.  I think the husband agrees because he devoured it as soon as I was done taking photos hahaha.

Puto Cheese Ingredients

This Puto Cheese recipe has a perfect balance of sweetness and savoriness and it smells so good too! But what’s exactly in it?

  • All-purpose flour is generally used but cake flour can also be a good substitute. To substitute cake flour for all-purpose flour use 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour for every cup of all-purpose flour.
  • Baking Powder is the main and only leavening agent for puto i.e. it’s what will make the steamed cake rise and fluffy.
  • Evaporated Milk and Water – regular milk can also be used. If using low fat, use the one with 2% fat no less.
  • Sugar and salt because any cake is not complete without these two!
  • Eggs for moisture and stability. You don’t want a crumbly puto.
  • Cheddar Cheese (mild or sharp) is the only cheese I can recommend for this recipe. Its flavor balances the sweetness of the cake. Sugar and cheese? Oh yes! Filipinos love pairing those two! Check out my two Ensaymada recipes.
  • Brown butter – more on this later 🙂

Buttered Puto Cheese Recipe

Why brown butter?

Browning the butter makes it tastier, nutty and deliciously fragrant. It is a technique usually used for baked goods but I figured it would be awesome for steamed cakes too! And I was right!

How to make it

Browning butter is super easy—add butter in a small pan. Turn on the heat and set to medium heat. Once it melts, set heat to low. It will be foamy at the beginning but when the water starts to evaporate, it will slowly change in light brown color and the buttery flavor will start to intensify; even your entire house will smell like butter for a good few minutes. I swear!

Butter Puto Cheese

Golden TIPS for making PUTO CHEESE

  • Steaming in continuous high-heat causes the puto to crack at the top. Some may like it that way but I don’t. To prevent this from happening, a gentle boil or simmer should be applied when steaming.
  • Strain the batter to remove lumps. This will yield a softer textured steamed cake.
  • Use slice cheese instead of grated and place it in between the batter. It’s an unexpected surprise to bite into the steamed cakes. Of course, if you prefer grated, feel free to do so and mix it with the batter before filling the cups.
  • To prevent water from dripping into the batter, place a damp cloth in between the racks and lid.
  • Sudden change in temperature may cause the steamed cake to shrink and collapse. To prevent this from happening, open the top lid barely for 10 seconds before completely removing it

Watch the video on how to make Brown Butter Puto Cheese




Brown Butter Puto Cheese

Recipe Video Above: This Brown Butter Puto Cheese is moist, fluffy, milky and not too sweet. The brown butter gives a nice nutty buttery flavor while the cheddar makes it rich and cheesy. Once you bite into these Filipino steamed cakes you’ll surely be asking for more!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Filipino
Keyword: brown butter cake, buttered puto, puto cheese recipe, steamed cake
Servings: 15 cups
Author: Mella

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 small eggs or 1 large
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk or whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • sharp or mild cheddar cheese sliced into strips, divided

Instructions

  • In a small pot, melt butter slowly over low heat until it turns brown. Watch carefully to prevent burning. Remove from heat and transfer to a heat-proof large bowl. Residual heat may burn the butter. Let it cool completely.
  • Add sugar, eggs milk, water, and vanilla to the brown butter. Stir until sugar has completely dissolved.
  • Sift flour, baking powder together using a strainer. Gradually add to liquid ingredients. Whisk just until well combined. Strain to remove lumps. Let it stand for 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the steamer.
  • Grease the muffin cups with oil or butter then place it in the steamer rack. Fill the muffin cups one-third full with the puto batter. Add strips of cheese then top with remaining batter. Cover the rack with steamer lid wrapped in a damp cloth.
  • Steam for 2 mins in med-high heat, then lower heat to med-low. Continue steaming for another 10 mins (see notes) until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from heat then top with slices of cheese. Cover and steam for another 1 to 2 minutes to slightly melt the cheese. Cool completely before removing from the cups. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • Steaming in continuous high-heat causes the puto to wrinkle and crack at the top. To prevent this from happening, use a gentle boil.
  • Strain the batter to remove lumps. This will yield a softer textured steamed cake.
  • You may adjust the sugar up to 1 cup for a sweeter puto, if preferred.
  • If you prefer using grated cheese, mix it with the batter before filling the cups.
  • To prevent water from dripping into the batter, place a damp cloth in between the racks and lid.
  • Sudden change in temperature may cause the steamed cake to shrink and collapse. To prevent this from happening, open the top lid barely for 10 seconds before completely removing it.
  • I don't recommend using easy melt or quick melt cheese as it will obviously melt very easily and won't be aesthetically pleasing as a topping.
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