Thursday, December 22, 2011

KULINARYA COOKING CLUB DECEMBER 2011--Ensaimada for Noche Buena

"Huli man daw at magaling, naihahabol din"

I got so caught up with the Christmas holiday season this year that I completely forgot the dates...no kidding. So sorry to my fellow Kulinarya Cooking Club-bers, but here is my post for this month's theme. I've always been thinking and planning Christmas Eve Dinner or Noche Buena as we Filipinos call it, but I noticed that it was always the savory items that I prepared...desserts took the backburner maybe because someone always gave leche flan or the ubiquitous fruit salad. But this year I have decided to start giving dessert the attention it deserves on the Noche Buena table. So I tweaked this recipe I found because after baking and tasting, it reminded me of ensaimada, which is a sweet bread that is also part of Christmas in the Philippines. It came out with a tender crumb and the sweetness was just right, not cloyingly sweet as some recipes of ensaimada turn out.

RAISINS AND CASHEW BRAIDED ENSAIMADA
Dough:

1 teaspoon Instant Yeast

1/4 cup Fresh Milk

1/4 cup Water

3 Tablespoons Sugar

1/4 cup Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons Salt

2 Large Eggs, beaten

3 1/2 cups All-purpose Flour, sifted

Combine milk and water, and heat until lukewarm (I usually do it in the microwave, 30 seconds), set aside. In a clean bowl, combine flour, sugar and yeast. Dissolve the salt in the lukewarm milk-water mixture and whisk in egg, pour mixture into flour and knead with the softened butter for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp towel and leave in a warm place to rise until double in bulk (it took me 1 hour).

Filling:
3/4 cups Cashew, chopped roughly

1/2 cup Raisins

1/3 cup All-purpose Flour

3 tablespoons Sugar

6 tablespoons Butter, softened

Combine ingredients in a clean bowl mixing well. Refrigerate.

Punch down dough and knead for about 2 minutes. Roll out dough into a rectangle. Place filling in the middle of dough and roll up starting from the long side, pinch edges to seal. Slice down the middle and lay on the worktable with the cut side up with the filling and braid the bread, tucking down the ends. Put on a greased baking sheet. Leave to proof (rise for a second time) for 20 minutes. Brush with a beaten eggs and bake in a preheated 350 degrees farenheit oven for 30 minutes.

I baked a batch of this bread and gave it to some friends as Christmas gifts and got rave reviews. I will also bake another batch for our Noche Buena and experiment with Majestic Ham for filling. Thank you Joy and Sherilyn for hosting this month's theme! Maligayang Pasko!
Kulinarya was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney, who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colorful cuisine. Each month we will showcase a new dish. By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino food as we do.



If you are interested in joining our Kulinarya Cooking Club, please feel free to drop by our food blogs and leave a comment. We would love to hear from you!




8 comments:

Suz said...

Beautiful! Maligayang Pasko! :)

Wok with Ray said...

I love your version of ensaimada - beautiful! Merry Christmas, Chef!

chef_d said...

Maligayang Pasko Suz and Ray!

Joy Calipes-Felizardo said...

a brilliant idea in turning a ho-hum ensaimada Christmassy!

oggi said...

It's brilliant making it into a braid...beautiful!

Have a safe and happy New Year!

Joy said...

The bread looks wonderful. I love how you filled it.

lisamichele said...

The minute I saw Ensaimada, my tummy did flips. I buy Ensymada buns at a local Filipino bakery quite a bit (same thing as Ensaimada, different spelling right? I hope?). I love that you braided it with raisins and cashews..it's beautiful and I'm dying to try it!

Gorjuschik said...

I got the privilege of tasting this Ensaimada! I don't like raisins on any dish but I don't know how I was able to eat them with this bread. There was no after taste. It was soooo yummy! Perfect with coffee!

Thanks...

A blessed year ahead! ")