I made espasol for the first time over the weekend and was inspired at the last moment to cut it into fun shapes instead of just rolling it into it’s usual mini log (like tootsie roll) shape. My daughter really liked it and didn’t know it was espasol until she tasted it.
Espasol is a type of kakanin made with toasted finely ground glutinuous rice. FIY: Kakanin is a Filipino sweet delicacy, it’s mostly glutinous rice and coconut milk with some sugar added to make it sweet but not overly so and cook in different ways or style. Some kakanins are made with cassava. There are different kinds of kakanin, and these are the ones that I know: biko (my fave), bibingkang kanin (another fave), cassava cake, pichi-pichi, maja blanca, maja maiz, sapin-sapin, suman sa ibos, suman sa lihija, suman latik, kalamay, palitaw, kutsinta, puto, nilupak, espasol and a lot more…this list is making me hungry.
The best espasol I’ve had was from Laguna. It’s usually rolled in a brown/white paper, it looks plain – the color is brown coated with toasted sweet rice flour – but it tastes really good.
My sister gave me instructions on how to cook espasol. She didn’t give me an exact recipe, just the ingredients and how to proceed. She warned me though that it involves a lot of stirring..
I followed her instructions, I bought malagkit rice (sweet/glutinuous rice), I toasted some (about 1 cup) until it’s golden brown and the grind it finely in a food processor (I used my handy-dandy Magic Bullet). You can skip this step and just use sweet rice/ glutinuous rice flour and toast it. Use the recipe as a guide; since it is my first time to make it, I purposely made it in small quantity, in case I didn’t make it right the first time, I still have some ingredients left for another try; but thankfully it turned out well.
1 1/2 coconut milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup sweet macapuno (coconut sport)
1 cup toasted ground malagkit or sweet rice flour
extra toasted sweet rice flour for dredging
Put coconut milk and sugar in a saucepan, heat until the sugar is melted then add the macapuno strips, bring to a gentle boil. Gradually add the toasted ground sweet rice while stirring. The flour will absorb all the liquid and will form into a ball. Lower the heat and cook for about 10 minutes with continuous stirring. Turn off heat and let cool for about 10 minutes.
When the dough is cool enough to handle, You can divide it into balls and roll each ball into a mini log like a tootsie roll and dredged it in toasted flour or if you want it to be more fun and appetizing for the kids, cut it with different shapes using cookie cutters. Roll it first to your desired thickness in a floured surface then cut, dredge and serve.
- PUT COCONUT MILK AND SUGAR IN A SAUCEPAN, HEAT UNTIL THE SUGAR IS MELTED THEN ADD THE MACAPUNO STRIPS, BRING TO A GENTLE BOIL. GRADUALLY ADD THE TOASTED GROUND SWEET RICE WHILE STIRRING. THE FLOUR WILL ABSORB ALL THE LIQUID AND WILL FORM INTO A BALL. LOWER THE HEAT AND COOK FOR ABOUT 10 MINUTES WITH CONTINUOUS STIRRING. TURN OFF HEAT AND LET COOL FOR ABOUT 10 MINUTES.
- WHEN THE DOUGH IS COOL ENOUGH TO HANDLE, YOU CAN DIVIDE IT INTO BALLS AND ROLL EACH BALL INTO A MINI LOG LIKE A TOOTSIE ROLL AND DREDGED IT IN TOASTED FLOUR OR IF YOU WANT IT TO BE MORE FUN AND APPETIZING FOR THE KIDS, CUT IT WITH DIFFERENT SHAPES USING COOKIE CUTTERS. ROLL IT FIRST TO YOUR DESIRED THICKNESS IN A FLOURED SURFACE THEN CUT, DREDGE AND SERVE.