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Ensaymada Part I — ala Scones

You know sometimes when the more you want something so badly, the more it eludes you? Doesn’t that just make you want to throw things? Ahaha. As someone who’s relentless in getting what she wants, that kills me. THIS…kills me:

This epitomizes my frustration. However sweet the memories held by these sugary and cheesy sweet breads, its laborious preparation process pains me. I fell asleep waiting for all the rises. Emphasis on riseS. The good news is that it tastes somewhat like it should. It’s just not anywhere as light and airy as I remember from my childhood merienda [trans: snack].

My dad called them scones when he tried ‘em. And with a heavy heart I have to agree. The real deal needs to have a soft consistency similar to a croissant. Scones <> Croissant

SO. There will be a Part II, as you can tell. This isn’t right, but I won’t be discouraged. What this could probably mean for you, our dear readers, is that you’ll have to endure a potential gargantuan Ensaymada Saga much like the Cinnamon Roll Litanies. Oops. This is the recipe that I used for this batch. I was hesitant to use instant yeast because all of the times I used it, the bread did not rise satisfactorily as it happened here. I may try another recipe. If you have any suggestions, let me know!

Since my family and I emigrated to North America almost a decade ago, one of the things missed right after family and friends in the priority hierarchy list is food. And boy, if there’s no one in your family who can cook Filipino delicacies, you better look at something else to satisfy you. I’ve talked about this with several Filipino friends over the past month, and we all agree that although there are restaurants here and there, the only way to really taste our cuisine is to have someone cook the local fare for you. Nothing can replace that.  I had a close enough taste of a homemade Filipino feast at a Hawaiian friends’ house in Honolulu, of all places. However, that’s really a far-fetched alternative. Now that I’m learning to cook, I’m slowly building my own list of go-to recipes to replicate my favorites and satisfy my cravings. If I can’t go ‘home’, I will bring ‘home’ to me. To my stomach!

What favorite childhood food have you tried making (to bring you back in time)? How did it go?

12 Responses to “Ensaymada Part I — ala Scones”

  1. Elle says:

    Joy, if it’s any consolation, they look really good! The June Daring Baker’s Challenge was a Danish Braid/puff pastry. It was very simple and straightforward, and you can do so much with it!

    What flavors are you going for in them? What kind of cheese? the flavors in the puff pastry are orange, cardamom and vanilla, but you can leave those out or change them to suit your recipe.

    You can see the recipe all over the place, and on my blog as well.

    Elles last blog post..Beef Stroganoff? In July? Seriously? And some awards, too!

  2. Ben says:

    One of the things we’ve learned about you is that you never get discouraged and when something doesn’t go your way, you try and try again until it is right. I admire that from you. :)

    And one food I tried to recreate from my childhood with great success was gorditas de piloncillo. My mom was an expert at making them and I think I did a pretty good job when I made them. Here’s the recipe http://whatscooking.us/2008/02/27/sweet-breakfast-memories-gorditas-de-piloncillo/

    Bens last blog post..Fat chefs or skinny gourmets?

  3. joy says:

    Elle — Thanks! I saw that and I chickened out of making it. I definitely like the flavors you have there on the braided bread…I think try it! The flavor in the ensaymada dough come from butter, and 4 egg yolks are used. The cheese traditionally used is edam, but I just got mild cheddar.

    Ben — I have to credit my obsessiveness. :) Thanks! Oh my goodness, I remember the gorditas you made! Send me some of those sugar blocks and I’ll eat them on their own. Hehe.

  4. Elle says:

    Joy, Ben’s right about that! You take a challenge head on and keep trying until you get it right. I really admire that!

    Mmmm, Edam. Cheeeese…..

    Like i said, it looks scary to make the dough, but the directions are just wordy from details.

    Mix dough, wrap, rest. Roll, fold, wrap, rest for 30 minutes–repeat 3 more times, rest for 5 hours. Then your dough is ready to do what you want with. So yes, it’s time consuming as far as down time, but not actual work time.

    I hope you get to make them the way you remember them to be!

    Elles last blog post..Beef Stroganoff? In July? Seriously? And some awards, too!

  5. chet says:

    Hi! why don’t you try this link? you might find what you have missed out :) http://filipinorecipes.org/ensaimada/ Nice to know that there are brave souls like you who try out these stuff in the kitchen. Fortunately for us here back home, we just buy these yummy stuff :)

  6. A continual saga of mine is trying to duplicate my mother’s rice pudding from Peru. It always tastes amazing, but is missing that little extra thing. I’ve come to realize that I don’t think I’ll ever figure out what I do differently, nor will I ever cook as good as my mother!

    Chiropractor Vancouvers last blog post..Chiropractor in Vancouver Loves Yoga!

  7. Manggy says:

    I’ve a recipe too, but I’m going to check it out before giving it to you– need to know first if it’s worth spending 8– I said 8! egg yolks on. It is also the chewy, brioche-y kind of ensaymada– I’m not sure if that’s the kind you like.

    I salute you for attempting to make it :) The reason I tried making them (like the Spanish bread) despite being able to buy them is that I know the time will come when I will crave it too :)

    Manggys last blog post..Cauliflower Risotto

  8. I enjoyed reading this post. Nice picture.

    Hélènes last blog post..Mmm…Canada, The Savoury Edition

  9. JMom says:

    I have been meaning to make ensaymada for the longest time too. I made the June Daring Bakers challenge mentioned above, and that is a great dough to use if you want to make croissants. However, I think it would be a tad too flaky for enseymada.

    I have bookmarked these enseymada recipes from Manang Kusinera for the longest time as it looks like she had good results. Her family used to own a bakery in the Philippines so I’m pretty sure she knows what she’s talking about. You should check out her recipes.

  10. joy says:

    Elle — Thank you for the encouragement. Once I get settled back in the kitchen, I’ll tackle this head on!

    Chet — Thanks for the link! I’ll give that one a try. You’re so lucky…eat an ensaymada for me. :P

    Chiropractor Vancouver — Wow, that sounds excellent. Ask her for the recipe!

    Manggy — Damn, 8??? That’s the consistency I’m looking for. I’ll let you be the guinea pig for the recipe first. hehehe. Thanks for reminding me about the Spanish bread. I want to make those, too! Too many recipes, so little time and calorie allocation….tsk, tsk.

    H√©l√®ne — Thanks!

    JMom — Wow, that looks good! Thanks for the link. I’d need an army to feed with all the ensaymada I want to try.

  11. miasam17 says:

    I’ve been looking for a good ensaymada recipe similar to Red Ribbon or Hizon’s in the Philippines. I saw your Mocha cake ala Goldilocks and thought, wow, if you can make something like that, maybe you can make an ensaymada ala Red Ribbon too! haha! Have you tried any ensaymada recipes since this post? Any luck finding a good one? Please share if you do! Thanks

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