Ensaimada Pudding a la Marketman


The concept of a bread pudding never really floated my boat, if you get my drift. It just sounded so blah-ish. That is, until a couple of years ago when I saw Ina Garten make a bread pudding with croissants on one of her televsion cooking shows. I stored that concept in the back of my mind and when I was recently doing all those tarts, I realized that I had her recipe for that pudding in one of her Barefoot Contessa cookbooks. So while the inspiration was definitely from Ms. Garten, I think I have sufficiently altered the ingredients to tack on the “a la Marketman.”


If the inspiration was from Ms. Garten, the impetus was 1.25 huge (about 5 medium sized ensaimadas equivalent) leftover Medina ensaimadas (the best commercial ensaimadas I have tasted in Manila) that had gotten shoved towards the back of our refrigerator and were now 5 days old and slightly stale but still very edible. I decided to attempt an Ensaimada bread pudding and here are the results…


To make, slice the slightly hard (better to use 2-3 day old ensaimadas) ensaimadas in half as you would a hamburger bun. Cut into smaller pieces if using huge ensaimadas as I did. Place all the bottom pieces on the bottom of an oven proof baking dish, adjust size to the amount of bread/ensaimada that you have. For the dish in the photo above, I rummaged through the fridge and concocted this custard mixture… put about 1 cup of cream (or use 1.5 cups of whipping cream) and 2 cups of whole milk in a bowl with 2/3 cup sugar and two medium sized eggs and 2 teaspoons of good vanilla and whisk this all up to combine well. Sprinkle small chopped pieces of dried mango (I used golden raisins which worked well, but would have done mango if we had it) over the bottom halves of ensaimada, then top with the upper half slices of ensaimada and press down firmly to flatten and “trap” the dried mango bits or raisins. Then carefully pour the custard mixture over the ensaimada until they are practically submerged.


Let this stand for about 10 minutes so that the bread can absorb the cream/milk/egg mixture. Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 350 F, and put the prepared dish into a larger pan with about an inch of hot water and cover this all with some foil and put into the oven. Make sure the foil isn’t touching the tops of the ensaimada. Cook this for roughly 30 minutes (longer if you made a bigger pudding) and remove the foil and cook for another 20-30 minutes until it is puffed up, the liquid has been absorbed and the tops are just lightly browned.


Let this cool for say 10-15 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar for arte and a touch of added sweetness. You could add some heavy cream to be served on the side if you have a cholesterol death wish. This is the first and only time I have ever made a bread pudding, and I can tell you, this was an absolute slam dunk home run experiment! The richness of the underlying ensaimada with more cream, milk and eggs and sugar made for a pillowy, moist and tasty pudding, with bits of golden raisins (or mango) and it was just wonderful! Next time I will have to buy a lot more ensaimadas on purpose so that I have enough left over to make this pudding again! This would make a perfect dessert to a slightly stylized and gentrified Pinoy meal. Do not attempt this with most airheaded commercial ensaimadas; you will need substantial versions or leftovers from home made ones using this recipe I posted last year… And you do have to estimate the amount of liquid you will need, considering that the ensaimada you use will sop up a lot of liquid. You don’t want the finished product to be too dry, and you don’t want it swimming in cream either. But this particular attempt was definitely a keeper! Excellent.


15 Responses

  1. Your pudding looks so delicious I might eat the whole thing!
    It looks so fluffy and moist that it doesn’t give a hint of being made out of recycled leftovers.
    The last photo looks a bit like panettone without frutta candita.
    Pudding goes well with plain salabat (ginger tea) as pangtulak (a drink; lit. something used to push – cannot say ‘pusher’ though) – in my opinion, since the light sharpness of the ginger tea balances the pudding’s richness and sweetness.

  2. Looks and sounds good… will try and do it myself when i accumulate old ensaimadas… unless i get to bake them myself, hopefully soon!
    Also read your review of the available ensaimadas in Manila from 2005… was wondering if the results could be because they are not “original” – not in the branch or not the original bakers or franchised owned stores, not a good enough quality control going on.
    Anyways, back in the 70s, early 80s, we savored ensaimadas bought/eaten from Goldilock’s at Rustan’s in Cubao, Hizon’s in old Manila, a patisserie at the Hilton in UN, then there was my great grandmother’s mama Nitay Roa’s recipe that i am still hoping someone in the family in Cagayan de Oro has, then before i left for the US, there was a couple of home based bakeries popping up in Forbes or Dasma or was it San Lo, and also another bakery just starting owned by the Muhlacks (did i spell it right?) in QC.
    During the beginning of my pregnancy early this year, i was craving for that taste i remembered back from the 70s, 80s, but ended up just buying from Goldilock’s and Silvana’s here in the bay area in California. I still do want to try and bake it myself, hopefully soon after i give birth, before Christmas i wish and maybe “mass produce” it for presents this year… and will definitely try your recipes i have read here somewhere sometime ago. Do you remember and could recommend where i should find a perfect recipe of enaymada in your site? Isn’t the best cheese to use Pato’s queso de bola? I would appreciate tips and feedback from you MarketMan, please.

  3. Have always free associated bread pudding with poverty though not abject poverty, ground corn brittle fills that bill but your version sounds like Marie Antoinette’s tumbril reply to the mob clamoring for bread for their pudding “use brioche” or our better local version. Btw, your ensaimada recipe works much much better for me than that of Memories of Philippine Kitchens.

  4. A very good idea for leftover ensaimadas to evolved into something unique for a taste! Bravo…. By the way, MM— can we add some crumble on top of the pudding & add some brandy or rum on the custard? gonna buy some ensaimadas later!

  5. try to make bread pudding with leftover krispy kreme (if there is any)! i usually make the custard with less sugar as i put vanilla ice cream on top ;)

  6. The pudding looks great MM! I bought Ina Garten’s books last time I was in manila and they are worth every penny I paid. Everything I tried from those books turned out really well… You know how some recipes are a bit bland, too sweet, somewhat vague, etc., but I’ve never had this problem with the Barefoot Contessa recipes. I will definitely try the pudding next time..

  7. Your posts are full of wonderful surprises and great innovations!!!! :-)

    I have been making puddings out of leftover pandesal and other leftover bread in the house (even muffins!) and never thought of ensaymada pudding! I should make extra ensaymadas when i bake it next time!

    Thanks MM… Yo da man!!!! hehehehe

    I love Ina Garten and have been using her recipes, but you should also try some of Sara Foster’s recipes, simple yet deliciouso! yummm!!!!!

  8. I’m a BIG bread pudding fan! I like when variations are done to it, like with cinnamon raisin bread, or croissants. Your ensaimada version is brilliant! And I love how the top looks just like a nicely-grilled ensaimada. I can’t stop looking at the picture…YUM!

  9. I have been thinking of making Barefoot Contessa’s recipe with pain au chocolat for a while , but that idea has moved to the back burner after this post. This is definitely the next bread pudding I will make. What a brilliant idea!

  10. Wow, this sounds like a wonderful idea. I’ll have to try this sometime. That is, if the ensaimada can survive snacktime around here!

  11. And if you add maybe 2-3 tablespoons of cocoa powder to your custard mix, you’ll have chocolate ensaimada pudding that would be wonderful with a vanilla creme anglaise. AND if you add mini marshmallows, few chopped walnuts and chopped chocolate or chocolate chips, you would have created a rocky road pudding….yum yum :-)

  12. This looks good!! A must try!! I remember seeing Ina Garten doing her version using croissants. I also remember someone doing it with brioche (can’t remember who).

  13. The great thing about bread pudding is that it usually ‘fixes’ bad bread. We had a meeting earlier today where we were served some unidentified store-bought ensaimadas and cinnamon rolls. The flavor was ok I guess, but they were both dense and on the dry side, almost stale.

    I took a tray of leftover bread home, and made a custard base with condensed milk and whole milk, and added cinnamon and some single malt whiskey on a whim.

    It’s baking right now, and I hope it fixes the dry ensaimadas!



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