Myra’s Tortas…

Myra Magsaysay-Sun is a Cebu-based newspaper columnist who also bakes wonderful tortas. These are a refined version, not the traditional classic version with lots of lard and tuba as leavening agent. A few months ago I tried to come up with a recipe that I liked and along with sister, concluded that maybe we just didn’t like the classic tortas enough… I know I lean heavily towards a butter based torta, because of that rich, buttery flavor and aroma, but it gnaws at me that it is a major departure from the tortas that say my mom would have hankered for… If you can’t be bothered to tinker in the kitchen, ordering these beauties is an easier alternative. I have had them three times and they are delicious. Lighter because of the lack of lard, and possibly due to yeast in the base, these buttery tortas also come with small bits of salty ham and cheese and are still quite filling and substantial.

Ms. Sun sells them in small single serving sizes (24 to a box) for PHP600 (PHP25 each) which may sound like a lot, but are for me a good deal when you know what goes into them in terms of ingredients and effort… or in “jumbo” sizes that easily serve 4-5 people for PHP200 each. To order, kindly contact Sun Homemade Cakes and Pastries in Cebu at 032.268.0983 and 0915.825.2140

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23 Responses

  1. Per Dodi’s suggestion (thanks, Dodi!) I had my first torta in Camiguin this week, the kind you buy at Vjandre’s Bakeshop so it’s probably the ‘generic’ variety. I liked it enough to buy a dozen more, haha.
    This seems more refined, indeed, but I take it she delivers within the Cebu area only?

  2. Hey I don’t think they’re expensive MM. At P25/piece, I think they’re reasonable. Would you know how long they keep?

  3. MM, sayang we were in Cebu a week earlier. Surely could have gotten these as tortas were in my list of “must buy” Cebu food items. The way you described the taste and texture of this version, is it more bread-like as the ensaimada?

    We actually planned to drive all the way to Argao to try out the tortas there following your tip in an earlier post. However, we got distracted with the old houses of Carcar thus ran out of time. Too bad I could not find tortas for sale in the mall we went to in the city center as well as at the airport.

  4. That’s one yummy looking torta! I think at PHP25 a piece it is a deal but then again I could only guess how big they are without something familiar beside it to approximate the size (but then again that will ruin the picture).

  5. Mart, the small ones must be around 3-3.5 inches wide and the large ones maybe 8 inches acrtoss. Ruth, these were still cake like, not bread like, but dense cake. MP, these should keep a few days at most. Artisan, yes, in a sturdy box, these could definitely travel…

  6. i’m a bicolano by heart since i grew up in the majestic island of catanduanes. but i was born in mindanao where i was accustomed to having our regular dose of home made torta as the staple “pamainit” (snack item) and “pabalon” (for take home to guests) during fiestas and special occasions.
    a few days before the big event, my grandmother would open here aparador to take out her vintage “molde” (baking mold) shaped from super thick galvanized iron from the 1920s.
    it was such a delight to savor freshly baked tortas straight from the woodfire oven, lined with multi-colored “papel de japon” (mixed by hand and truly, a labor of love)
    even though we now have commercial bakeshops and modern food establishments in our hometown, i’m glad that the tradition is still practiced up to this time.
    no visit during fiestas would be complete without a bounty of tortas from the host’s residence.

  7. will keep these in mind next time i’m in Cebu. do they need advance notice (say, a couple of days) for the orders, MM?

  8. My late aunt gave her the recipe of my Lola when she became unable to bake herself and taught her how to make the torta. Mrs. Sun’s mother was a good friend of hers and my aunt asked her if she would bake them for her. She was happy to share the recipe but I’m not sure if she was 100% tickled pink with that recipe becoming a commercial venture. At the end of the day, she was a great lady who supported the venture and ordered torta from Mrs. Sun whenever she had a reason to. Several times in the year we would all get boxes groaning with torta…always with a critique of the finished product :-) I see from the photos that they have evolved from the orginal..Tita M would be happy to know that!

  9. I recently received a box of wonderful tasting tortas – they are cake-like in texture (with lots of butter!) and with lots of anise seeds, too. They are the best tortas I have ever tasted (I also like the SanLo Tortas) and I think they are from a bakeshop in Cebu named Vicky’s. I was meaning to tell you about them, MM, since I know you love tortas. I’m glad to see this post on Myra’s tortas and seeing that they almost look like Vicky’s. I will try to get these next time we are in Cebu and compare them with Vicky’s! Have you tried, Vicky’s tortas, MM?

  10. It should just be called a different name. I would rather have a cake when I have a hankering for it. Now a pastry made from native eggs, that is beauty.

  11. Thank you MM! I was able to place an order for a box of 24 pieces earlier today. Best thing is that it would be delivered in the hotel on Sunday morning! Great!
    Thanks again! :)

  12. to Susie Europe my late mom and i knew that Torta cebuana is a much developed and researched magsaysay family recipe

  13. We just ordered a box from Mrs. Sun yesterday and it was the first time I tasted torta so I’m not sure how it should taste like :) but my mom liked it and finished 2 in one sitting

  14. hi, kind a new here. ‘am a bit curious about these torta? is it same with bibingka? because, when i here torta, its eggplant or potatoes that quickly gets in my mind? pero here in the picture, its like a cake…feed me more please. thanks.

  15. hi, never mind my early comment. already got and read all about torta…looks interesting, yeah, something fresh for my tastebuds! thanks much…and congratulations for having a worldwide reader proven and featured in “saveur’s”….

  16. dannie, thanks. In the Visayas, tortas are sweet cakes, leavened with tuba, and made with lard traditionally. In the rest of the country torta can refer to an egg dish with meat or other ingredients. I have posts about both types in the archives.

  17. * Hi MM! Your blog is getting to be a byword in the household so I took the liberty of surfing the net and olla, I’m finally here! Been working in Switzerland for the past 9 years now and I had the privilege to taste the sinfully delicious, Myra’s “special” tortas when I visited my hometown Cebu 9 years ago! I still have vivid memories of gobbling it all up and savoring its diced Hock Sio Ham on top, another local ham that is worth dying for and mind you, the authentic Quezo De Bola, Marca Pato, was sprinkled profusely as its toppings! I love Cebuano delicacies and crave Myra’s tortas endlessly. Thanks for posting her number coz when I go to Cebu for our coming family reunion this Sinulog, I will certainly have my fill of eating mountains & mountains of Myra’s tortas!

    More power to you MM and to Myra Sun, my sincerest condolences for your late mom’s demise. She was the one and only society columnist in Cebu who knew how to write with class & style!

    Mica Z. Massigani

  18. Hello MarketMan. Myra is my first cousin and I can attest to the fact that her Torta Cebuanas are to die for! It is indeed a tradition in our family to have this during Magsaysay gatherings. This has been one of my constant cravings since I moved overseas 10 years ago.

    Thank you for featuring this on your blog. Our family is passionate about our food and we pride ourselves in being good cooks and chefs. I know that Myra puts her heart and soul in all her endeavors and she would only share the best.

  19. this makes me miss the tortas we used to eat growing up in Tacloban City

    marketman, do you have a recipe for torta? my mom will surely remember tacloban city now that we’ve been in Canada for quite some time

  20. (032)266-8889

    Attention MarketMan and to all those interested, these are my new numbers. The ones in the article are already obsolete. Muchos Gracias.

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