I have read so much about tortas, a very rich sweet Visayan cakey buns loaded with egg yolks and butter, similar to ensaimada. I have never tasted them before, and when I saw the recipe in the FOOD magazine the hubby brought from the Philippines as one of his pasalubongs I was excited to be able to make them. The smaller buns called tortitas, adapted from the recipe of Mrs. Cosette Montelibano, are from Iloilo. The recipe has yeast as leavening making them bready and should not be confused with the Cebuano tortas which look more like a leche flan/cake combination. The Cebuano tortas have more egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, and have baking powder or the coconut sap toddy called tuba as leavening agent. I'll also try to make the Cebuano version without the tuba just to compare them.
I made some flat-ish buns as described below and some I baked in lined cupcake pans. I can't tell if this is what they should look and taste like but I love that they are not overly sweet, they are very soft but not very delicate, they don't get crushed or get out of shape when you bite into them or cut with a knife. Preparing the dough is easy although the rising times are long, two 2-hour risings, but it's worth all the time I spent making them. They are perfect for Easter breakfast with sliced aged edam cheese and barako coffee or hot chocolate.
BTW, the 2 FOOD magazines have loads of yummy cakes and desserts that I am salivating just looking at the photos and will make them ASAP, the 7-layer toffee crunch cake and ube roll are two on the top of my list.:-)
adapted from FOOD magazine
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup warm water
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
12 egg yolks
1 cup butter, softened
6 to 7 cups all purpose flour
melted butter for brushing
sugar for dusting.
- In a small bowl, combine warm water and 2 tsp sugar, sprinkle yeast and whisk to mix. Cover with plastic film and leave in a warm place for 5 - 10 minutes or until bubbly.In a large bowl of stand mixer, mix together sugar, salt, and egg yolks. Add butter and mix until well blended. Add the yeast mixture. Gradually add the flour and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. (I finished kneading by hand for 3 minutes).
- Form dough into a bowl and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic film and leave in a warm place for 2 hours.
- Remove from bowl, punch down gently and divide into 60 -70 gram portions. Shape into buns and lay on a greased or parchment-lined baking pan. Cover with plastic film or cloth and let rise for another 2 hours or until double in bulk.Bake in a preheated 300 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool slightly then brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.