Dessert Comes First

An obsession with dessert and other unabashed opinions of a food writer

Magnum White King

Enter The Ensaymada, Enter Christmas

posted by in Home Bakers

I know I’m starting to feel the holiday spirit when I start hankering for two things: tsokolate made with real tablea and ensaymada.


Because ensaymada is one of those foods rooted in tradition, people are very emotional about it. I’m no different and I make no effort to hide my preference for the ensaymadas made by Addie Wijangco, who already expects my call every December, followed by Chona Ayson of Homemade Treasures. Why I haven’t written yet about the latter is an error on my part that must soon be rectified.

I’ve said before that food is fashioned to reflect the taste of the times, and ensaymadas are no exception: a feast of flavors from Baby Pat and hearty, everyday ones from Tito Panadero.


Then there’s Judy Ang’s Hey Gourmet! She offers what she calls gourmet ensaymadas in what I describe as a flurry of flavors, there’s just so many of them. Such a happy, showy lot they are when viewed from above with names that trigger the imagination: Chocolate Panic, Household Favorite, S’Mores, and more. The idea came about when Judy was an entrepreneurship student and she wanted to run with some type of baking innovation. “The idea came to me to introduce flavored ensaymadas since flavored donuts and yogurt [at that time] were a big hit … so why not with ensaymadas?” She reasons. “Nowadays people don’t really appreciate our Filipino delicacies, so I want to bring back the old fashioned ensaymadas but with a twist.”

Using her mom’s recipe, Judy tweaked it “…until I got the perfect texture that was just right for my flavors.” The result is a dough that’s soft with a cohesive crumb unlike a traditional ensaymada’s distinctive coils and twirls. From there, it’s a matter of choosing a flavor. Some are discernible: the Ube, purple and potent; while the Salted Caramel isn’t representative of its name.

Savory ensaymadas second and third from the top.

Because the dough of these ensaymadas is more bun-like in composition as opposed to a brioche-like dough, which is what an ensaymada is made from, I feel that Judy’s savory ensaymadas are where she excels. The Creamy Pork Floss and Wasabi Pork Floss satisfy with savory glazes of sorts, every bite sending floss falling; so moist and fluffy too. If you’ve ever had the Pork Floss Bun from Bread Talk, these are equally drool-worthy.

Judy doesn’t seem surprised when I ask if she’d consider cutting down her sweet selection to focus on her savories; she replies that she’s been waiting for someone to tell her just that. For the holidays she’s working on her next concept: “More savory and sweet ensaymadas using different kinds of cheese from all over the world.”

Apparently, Judy really is quite the gourmet baker. Aside from her gourmet ensaymadas, she also makes a whole slew of cakes, cheesecakes, cupcakes, and some sweets that fascinate me: rock salt & cheese bars and white chocolate cheddar cookies. I must try those next.


Hey Gourmet! By Judy Ang
0922 857 9151
On Facebook: HeyGourmet

4 Responses to “Enter The Ensaymada, Enter Christmas”

  • ooh… another thing to try when I go back home! I love the pork floss buns at Bread Talk, more so the spicy one. When I was still in the Philippines and living with my parents, I used to buy those in bulk then gorged on them with my dad!


  • Judy’s ensaymadas are the bomb! Especially the dough which she has perfected over time. I think I also prefer the savory ensaymadas because I’m not really big on sweets. Can’t wait to try her new flavors!


  • Judy’s Gourmet Ensaymada is mouth-watering and ymmy. It’s a feast for the eyes too because of its artistic and delectable toppings


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