December 21, 2011

Pianono, Pionono, Pio Nono

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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.

Filipino Pionono
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.
This is the Spanish Pionono I adapted from the recipe given by the website mentioned above. I love the thin custard filling and the broiled custard and sugar topping.

Spanish Pionono
5 tablespoon sugar
¾ cup water
¼ cup rum or brandy

2 cups whole milk
¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1½ tablespoons cornflour
6 egg yolks, well beaten
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

4 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 parchment-lined jelly roll pan; bake for 10 minutes at 340ยบ 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.


Jay-agent112778 said...

i like mine w/ custard

heres my share for the weekend

sorry for the late visit, i need to be onto something since saturday (dec 17)
collectively im visiting thru Food Friday; Food Trip Friday and Yummy Sunday

thank you for visiting and/or commentimng on my entry

Unknown said...

this is my grandma's favorite.:p
i like mine with custard, too.
Merry Christmas!

imriz said...

my mom's favorite, too.

have a blessed holidays.

maiylah said... sounds familiar. i might have tasted something similar eons ago, lol. the nuns on your former school were mostly Italian? ours were German during my they're mostly Filipinos. :)

thanks much for sharing over at Food Friday, Ms. Oggi
have a very Merry Christmas!

wok with ray said...

Oh yes, Pianono! Mom used to buy this only on special occasions. Thanks for bringing back another beautiful memories.

Merry Christmas to you and your family, Oggi!

~ ray ~

chef_d said...

Pianono is a childhood favorite of mine, thanks for sharing this recipe...I might just make it one of these days!

Unknown said...

The pianono looks great.

Anonymous said...

Is it really only 4 tbsp of flour?

Oggi said...

Yes, 4 tablespoons. If you want a bit thicker cake increase ingredients to 6 of each (egg, sugar, flour).

Anonymous said...

How big should the jelly roll pan be?

Oggi said...

Jelly roll pan is typically 10½ x 15½ x 1 inch for a 10-cup batter. Most recipes I've seen are measured for this pan size.

Mrs.OwTwo said...

hi i would like to ask what size of pan can i use if im gonna make it a round cake? please reply. would love to make it on friday (2 days from now) for my mom's bday.. thank you!!! :)

Oggi said...

This very small recipe is not for round pans. The cake might collapse although I'm not really sure because I haven't tried. You can probably cut the baked cake into rounds using a template or an 8-inch round pan as guide. Hope that helps.

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