With Valentine's Day coming up, I thought of sharing with you one of my favorite Filipino treats. It's not something chocolatey, but who says Valentine's Day is all about chocolates? It is a day to show our love and appreciation for those we care about, and I believe one of the perfect ways to do that is to give them homemade sweet treats (which doesn't necessarily mean something with chocolates!). Homemade treats never fail to show your thoughtfulness and for me, it's the simplest but sweetest way to say "I love you". The effort and time you spent in making them will never go to waste, I tell yah! But don't get me wrong...you don't have to spend the whole day in the kitchen. Neither do you need to be an experienced cook to make something lovely and yummy. Like these Mamon, for instance...
It only took me a little mixing and less than 30 minutes to make them! Mamon is the Filipino version of sponge cake which is really soft and tasty. What makes Mamon different from regular sponge cake is that they are baked in small molds which are good for individual servings. They are usually served for merienda (snack), and can be eaten plain or topped with butter and grated cheddar cheese. The ones with toppings are what you call Mamon Espesyal (Special Mamon). When I was growing up, only the regular Mamon was available. I was already in college when I first got to try the one with toppings. Well, I honestly love them both...and believe me, they make perfect gifts for any occasion.
Follow these easy steps (adapted from Goldilocks Bakebook) and enjoy Filipino-style mini sponge cakes yourself!
Yield 20 cupcake-sized Mamon
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, (1/4 cup softened and 1/4 cup melted)
- 6 eggs (whites and yolks separated)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup cake flour, sifted
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 5 tsp fresh orange extract
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese, for topping
1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line muffin pans with paper cups.
2. In a bowl, cream 1/4 cup butter and 1/3 cup sugar using a mixer on high speed. Add egg yolks and 1/4 cup water. Mix until well combine. With the mixer on low gradually add cake flour, baking powder and orange extract, and continue mixing until well blended. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl combine egg whites and cream of tartar. Beat on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining sugar and continue beating until stiff. Fold in the yolk mixture into the egg white mixture.
4. Divide batter into prepared muffin pans, filling until 3/4 full. Bake for 15 minutes. Once baked, removed from pans and transfer to wire racks to cool. Brush top of mamon with remaining melted butter then sprinkle with grated cheese.