Filipino Pionono filled with sweet Star margarine
Spanish Pionono filled and topped with custard
The internet is a wonderful thing. I found out while searching for a Spanish dessert that the Filipino jelly roll called Pianono came from the Spanish Swiss roll cake Pionono. According to this website the Spanish Pionono was created in honor of Pope Pius IX; Pio Nono is Italian for Pope Pius IX. It's not hard to understand why the cake exists in the Philippines as many of our cakes, desserts, and candies came from the Spanish.
Pianono isn't one Flipino cake that I crave. I think I've only had it maybe 3 times at the most. I remember when I was in High School, I was asked a few times to fetch a tray of pianono from the nuns' kitchen on the third floor of the school building to bring to the school store just before the morning break. [BTW, the nuns in our school, Mothers we call them, were mostly Italian.] The smallish cake roll is simple sponge filled with margarine or butter then sprinkled with sugar and once rolled is rolled in more sugar. It is sold by the slice and takes just 2 bites to eat. I looked online for a recipe but most have coconut and I don't remember eating pianono with coconuts. My cookbook RECIPES OF THE PHILIPPINES compiled and edited by Enriqueta David Perez has the recipe and to my utter surprise is called Pionono. Why it became Pianono is anybody's guess.
recipe adapted from RECIPES OF THE PHILIPPINES
4 eggs, separated
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons cake flour, sifted
sugar for sprinkling
soft butter or jelly
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer with the wire whisk attachment, beat egg whites until almost stiff. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time and continue beating until glossy. Beat the egg yolks well and add to the whites and stir until well blended. Cut and fold flour into the egg mixture. Spread evenly on a parchment paper-lined jelly roll pan.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Invert cake onto a towel sprinkled with sugar. Remove parchment paper and roll immediately with the towel from the long side. Set aside to cool completely. Unroll and spread with butter and sprinkle with sugar all over. Re-roll and roll the whole cake on sugar. Slice into 1½ inch-thick pieces and serve.
5 tablespoon sugar
¾ cup water
¼ cup rum or brandy
custard2 cups whole milk
¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1½ tablespoons cornflour
6 egg yolks, well beaten
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
sponge4 eggs, divided
6½ tablespoons sugar
10 tablespoons cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
- Syrup: Place ingredients in a saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Let cool.
- Custard: Put milk and sugar in a pan, stir over medium heat until it starts to steam. Remove a half cup and mix into both flours; return into the remaining milk in the pan. Cook for a few minutes. Stir in rum and vanilla, add beaten egg yolks and keep stirring until mixture is creamy and thick. Remove from heat and cover with plastic wrap.
- Sponge: Beat egg whites into peaks, slowly add sugar then broken yolks while mixing. Fold in the flour, spread mixture in pachment-lined jelly roll pan; bake for 10 minutes at 340º F. Turn sponge upside down onto another piece of parchment paper and peel off paper. Allow to cool then pour syrup over sponge. Spread with a thin layer of custard. Carefully roll sponge from long end Swiss roll style. Cut into 2 inch lengths, placing each on cut end in a paper cake case. Top with a spoon of custard, sprinkle with sugar and caramelize with a blowtorch or broil in oven. Sprinkle with cinnamon, chill in fridge for several hours before serving.