I've loved ensaymada (the Filipino version of the Spanish ensaïmada) since I was a small child but I have rarely eaten the fluffy cake-like Goldilocks™ version. To me it's not ensaymada; it's more like a variety of sweet bread and the only thing it has in common with the Spanish ensaïmada is the procedure of rolling the small pieces of dough, brushing with butter, and shaping into a coil. The coil serves no purpose because the bread becomes one fluffy thing, no visible layers in the crumb. Filipinos often call it Philippine brioche but I again disagree. I've made brioche many many times and they are not the same; not even close.
I can't remember a single time I've been to any Goldilocks™ store in the Philippines or here in the US. I think I bought 1 each of ensaymada and mamon a few years ago from the Asian store. I'm just not into their baked goods and I can't explain why. When they published their cookbook, I asked my sister in the Philippines to buy a copy for me out of curiosity and because I'm a cookbook hoarder. I also wanted to know why they became so successful and to try baking their most popular recipes. Unfortunately, the recipes are not very special after all, they already are in my collection of Filipino and American cookbooks.
After 2 years, I finally decided to bake their version of ensaymada just to compare with the other Filipino recipe I've already done. The verdict: the ensaymada following the recipe in their cookbook are NOT the same as the ensaymada they sell in their stores. The ones I made are very soft but not as fluffy and the flavor is very bland, nothing to write home about. It's fine I guess as I already lowered my expectations after reading the ingredients and the baking process. No surprise. I won't be making them again. Or maybe I could use this recipe for cinnamon buns or other sweet breads or dinner rolls.
adapted from GOLDILOCKS BAKEBOOK
Temperature of milk and water are not specified in the bakebook
Butter for dough not specified if softened or melted
Eggs not specified if cold or at room temperature
Melted butter for brushing is missing
Therefore, I added the specifics in the following recipe
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2/3 cup warm water, divided
3¾ cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
¼ cup evaporated milk, at room temperature
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
melted butter for brushing
creamed unsalted butter
grated cheddar or Edam cheese
- In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in half of the water; set aside.
- In the mixing bowl of a standing mixer, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add yeast mixture, remaining water, eggs, and milk. Mix at low speed for 2 minutes;, increase speed to medium and continue mixing for 4 minutes.
- Add butter and knead until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes. Transfer dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and leave to rest for 15 minutes at room temperature (I left it for 45 minutes on my slightly cool kitchen counter).
- Knead dough lightly to remove air bubbles; divide into 60 gram portions.
- Leave the dough pieces, covered with plastic wrap, on the kitchen counter for 15 minutes. Roll out each dough piece into thin 8 x 5 inch rectangles, brush all over with melted butter. Roll into a long cigar and shape into a coil. Place on a greased ensaymada mold. Place each mold in a cookie sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Bake for 17 minutes or until top is golden.
- Remove from molds and let cool on a wire rack.
- Spread creamed butter, sprinkle with sugar, then add cheese on top.