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Aug 23, 2013 08:14 AM


Any place you can find ensaimadas in the area? Officemate pining for them since spending living in Spain.

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  1. Hah, I lived in Mallorca as a kid (that is where Ensaimadas are originally from). Spectacular stuff, never seen them here in Beantown, and even in Mallorca, the genuine fluffy wonderful article (made with lard) are harder and harder to find.

    17 Replies
    1. re: StriperGuy

      Puig Major? did you have the Es for breakfast/with butter/jam? was the cheese on top more of a mild flavor, not so much a presence?

      1. re: opinionatedchef

        Mallorquin Ensaimadas NEVER have cheese. How the heck do you know Puig Mayor?

        They are a super fluffy ethereal powdered sugar dusted croissant like item.

        Some times split and filled with whipped cream or a special spaghetti squash jam for special occasions.

        1. re: StriperGuy

          ah ha! now i see the adzuki cream connection! cheese: the filipino ones discussed above have cheese on top, per the link i posted.
          (my dad was a career naval officer.)

          here's photo etc. name comes from word for pork lard. this wiki entry says they're common in central america and puerto rico, stripes, so maybe itaunas or another could find you some in this area........they sure sound lovely.
          The spanish ones use a brioche dough:

          1. re: opinionatedchef

            Was he posted to the Puig Mayor base? Amazing spot.

          2. re: StriperGuy

            Right, mallorcan Ensaimadas are very different from Filipino Ensaymadas. Ensaimadas are laminated with lard, and are not like brioche, where Filipino ensaymadas are more of a brioche-like sweet bread usually made with butter or margarine and then dusted with powdered sugar and sprinkled with salty queso de bola (Edam, basically). Latin American ensaimadas are nothing like the Mallorcan bread either other than the use of lard. They are more like the Filipino sweet breads.

            1. re: saria

              Here is a video of Mallorcan ensaimadas being made. I've actually made them and it's really not difficult if you have done any sort of bread-baking. So that might be something to consider.


                1. re: saria

                  <Ensaïmades produced far from Balearic Islands of Spain usually taste very different, mainly because the same kind of reduced pork lard is not used outside these islands or the nearby areas with similar culinary traditions, like Valencia or Catalonia. To tell whether pork lard has been used, if one can't tell by taste, a true ensaïmada must stain a piece of paper with the pork lard (which when heated has a similar texture to oil).>

                  saria, what do you think is 'reduced pork lard'? i can't figure that out. I mean, lard is 100% fat, there's no liquid......

                  And can you think of any other baked sweet that includes a
                  grated hard cheese? that's the part of Es that fascinates me.

                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                    Could it be a typo? Maybe they mean rendered?

                    The cheese isn't in the dough, they're usually topped, in my experience, though I'm sure there are filled ones.

                    The combination of cheese and sugar is very popular in certain Latin American countries. Guava and salty cheese for example (like in certain loaves of Colombian bread stuffed with guava paste and melty white cheese) or fresh slightly salty cheese with syrup, or fried or baked very ripe plantains stuffed with cheese.

                    1. re: saria

                      True mallorquin Ensaimadas are never topped with anything but a dusting of sugar, filled yes.

                      1. re: StriperGuy

                        Yeah, I was referring to Filipino ensaymadas.

                      2. re: saria

                        rendered>> good thinking.

                        i know about mild creamy cheeses, but stronger flavor edam-like cheese in a baked dessert-- that's new to me. maybe that's unique to some latin countries? can you think of examples in non latin cuisines? because i cannot.

                    2. re: saria

                      That recipe/technique is not correct. I can see by the texture of the finished product that it is not even close to wispy enough. The lard is actually added, smeared actually during the roll out and he does not do this. This video is much more correct:


                      1. re: StriperGuy

                        I don't think the end result is great, but I posted it because he points out that it's a laminated pastry and you can see how thin it is. It was the best video I could find in English.

                        1. re: StriperGuy

                          Actually I was wrong, he does smear on the lard, but the texture just looks way to brioche like.

              1. If the Filipino style of ensaymada would do, you can find them in a small bakery called Kéyks on Rt. 27 in Chelmsford. The owner's main business is custom cakes but she does have a limited selection of ensaymadas and some other Filipino goods in her shop. I noticed a Nutella ensaymada when I popped in to check things out today.

                I'd call ahead before you go to make sure they'll have what you are looking for. This small bakery is off the beaten track on a mostly residential stretch of road, so make sure your GPS is working. (Kéyks is not that far from Gene's Flatbread Cafe in S. Chelmsford if you're willing to navigate the local streets.)

                333 Acton Road
                Chelmsford, MA 01824

                6 Replies
                1. re: tomatotomato

                  I'm sure no where near as good as fresh from a bakery, but I found Filipino ensaymada at Kam Man once. They are pre-packaged, and appear to be from a bakery in the NJ/NY area. I'm not sure if it was experimental, or if they have this regularly. I tried it out of pure curiosity, not knowing what it was.

                  A taro flavored one with cream filling and a sprinkle of cheese. It was ok - glad a I tried it, but not something that made me want to rush out and get one again.

                  1. re: tomatotomato

                    t, you mean that she carries packaged ensaymada, right; she doesn't make them there?

                    these look lovely. i wonder what cheese they use. I can't think of any sweet baked good that uses grated cheese.(cream cheese, ricotta, farmer's, yes, but not grated. Am I forgetting something?)


                    1. re: opinionatedchef

                      OC - Rowena makes many varieties of them fresh in large batches to sell at local Asian Markets and at her small storefront. Maybe she will chime in here, if not you can feel free to email her at

                      1. re: mjg0725

                        hi m, i'm a little confused. Rowena is the owner of the Chelmsford area shop ? thx.
                        edit: oh i see; same email/same person!

                        1. re: opinionatedchef

                          mjg0725 is absolutely right! The goods are made at Keyks (Rowena). I haven't tasted other ensaymadas so I am not in a position to compare with anyone's ideal form of this pastry. I may have to get over to the bakery this week, though, just to do a taste test again. If anyone beats me to it I'd be interested in your thoughts.

                    2. re: tomatotomato

                      Wow, thanks for this tip. I know where I'm going for dessert after my next trip up to Gene's. =)

                    3. Taralli, I'm Rowena of Kéyks in Chelmsford. We do bake and carry Filipino-style ensaymadas at the shop and at local Asian stores. It comes in 6 varieties-- the traditional ube (purple yam), macapuno (coconut), cheese, and our specials-- mango, nutella, bacon!

                      tomatotomato, mjg0725- thanks for the mention!
                      opinionatedchef-- we bake, package and sell the ensaymadas at the shop too.

                      looking forward to seeing you at the shop! :)

                      1. I agree, Spanish ensaimadas differ from Filipino ensaimadas. The only topping on a Mallorcan ensaimada is powdered sugar and it is made with lard, rolled thin before getting rolled again into a spiral. Filipino ensaimadas are topped with all sorts of cheese, butter, sugar..
                        Try making your own as it's really easy..

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: trvlcrzy

                          The texture of the one in that recipe is all wrong. A proper mallorquin one is whispy, feathery delicate, the one in the photo looks far too doughy.

                          1. re: StriperGuy

                            Yeah, there isn't enough separation between the layers. It's all about the lamination. The dough must be stretched very thin!

                            1. re: saria

                              hmmm yes, sari, our schedules are very flexible- when you are ready for your taste testers :-}

                              1. re: opinionatedchef

                                Ha, when I get my hands on good lard again I will make some.

                                1. re: saria

                                  Have you had them in Mallorca? The best I ate were sadly made by a baker no longer in practice at a bakery (now a shadow of its former self) on Avenida Asturias in Soller.

                                  Remarkable stuff, ensaimadas like clouds, delicate meringue-like coconut macaroons, burnt caramel custard rum cakes and other goodies that have a proustian tug on my psyche. I would give anything to bring that master patiseur back to work.