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.
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.
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
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