A few days ago my mom said she had a craving for Cebu style torta. While there are several places in the Chicago area that sells torta, it wasn’t an option for now because of the current lockdown. So I told her I’d figure something out and get back to her. After an extensive search online I found a couple of recipes that looked promising, so I took those apart and tweaked it to my preferences. I delivered to this mom a couple of days ago and she loved it, said it was pretty authentic, so hopefully you all enjoy this too.
- 10 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 2 ½ cups all- purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 star anise
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup or 1 stick of butter (at room temperature)
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp sugar
- Line cupcake/muffin pans with liners. Recipe yields 2 dozen mini cakes. *
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Slowly bring the coconut milk and sugar to a boil. Add the star anise and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Stir constantly to avoid burning.
- In a separate bowl; combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix thoroughly and set aside for now.
- Using an electric mixer, cream the butter until pale, then slowly add the egg yolks and vanilla. Mix on low for two minutes.
- Slowly add the oil, coconut syrup, and condensed milk while continuously mixing.
- Add the flour mixture and keep mixing on low for a couple minutes until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Take care not to overwork the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared molds.
- Bake at 350 F for about 18 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- While the torta is baking, prepare the topping. The extra butter should be at room temperature and have a pastry brush ready. Place the additional sugar in a small shallow bowl.
- Once the tortas are done baking, use the pastry brush to coat the tops with a generous amount of butter. Then roll the still warm and buttered tortas in the sugar making sure to get an even coat. Serve warm.
* Traditionally, tortas are baked in specialized molds that give them their distinct star shape. However, these are hard to find outside the Philippines, so I use cupcake/muffin molds since most people have those handy in their kitchen.