I finally gathered enough courage to make this ensaimada recipe from Marketman. Ohhh, I was not disappointed. In fact, this was the best Ensaimada I’ve ever had in my life and I can’t believe I made it!
Of course, I need practise with the shaping of the dough as you can probably tell from the photo. Just as I was getting good at it, the dough ran out since I only made half the recipe. But, my goodness….it was perfect! I used a Virginia ham filling that went beautifully with the dough which was light but rich-tasting. It was rich even before I topped it with cheese so I decided not to add any at all. For an ensaimada like this, only queso de bola that’s specially made for the Philippine market will do it justice.
My mother used to describe to us how an old relative from Betis, Pampanga would make her ensaimada using tons of European butter. She told us how the dough had to be kneaded on a slab of marble, adding the butter as she went on and on with her kneading. For years, I scoured the internet and Philippine cookbooks for a similar recipe but never found one.