Pianono (Filipino Sponge Cake Roll)

With coffee or tea, a soft, pillowy sponge cake with a sweetened margarine filling makes the ideal combination. For breakfast or a snack in the middle of the day, try this jelly roll made in the Philippines!

1 What is Piano
2 The Filipino version
3 Use of cornstarch
4 Tips On Making Meringue
5 Stages of whipping egg whites
6 How to serve and store

What is Piano

Piano, often spelled Pionono, is a sweet treat that’s popular in the Philippines, South America, and Spain. It was named for the late Pope Pius IX, also known as “Pio Nono” by the good people of Italy, the country from where the Pope was originally from. Ceferino Ysla Gonzalez, the first person to invent Pionono, hails from Santa Fe, Granada, Spain, and is a devoted follower of the Virgin Mary.

The narrative claims that Gonzalez chose to honour Pope Pius IX by making these little bite-size cakes in the Pope’s likeness and naming them after him years after he established the Immaculate Conception as a doctrine.

The Filipino version

The Filipino-style Pianono is a jelly roll made of a soft, pillowy sponge cake wrapped around a combination of margarine and sugar, similar to its Spanish and South American equivalents where bread or pastry dough is rolled around various fillings. It is frequently modified to incorporate regional flavours like ube, mango, and mocha.

Use of cornstarch

Due to its low protein concentration, cake flour is essential for creating piano cakes’ delicate and airy texture.

However, due to the lack of cake flour as a common pantry staple, this recipe substitutes cornstarch and all-purpose flour. To prevent gluten from forming in the all-purpose flour and produce a more soft crumb, a portion of the all-purpose flour is substituted with cornstarch.

Tips On Making Meringue

Although cold eggs are simpler to separate, you should wait until the egg whites are room temperature before whisking them to add volume.
If at all feasible, use fresh eggs; while they may not provide as much volume as older (3-5 day-old) eggs, they produce a meringue that is more stable.
Make sure the egg whites are free of any oil, fat, or even yolk smears since these substances will hinder the whites from foaming correctly.
Use clean, grease-free bowls and whisk attachments for optimal results. Make sure to use glass or metal bowls since a greasy layer on plastic might prevent the whites from whipping up to their maximum volume.

Stages of whipping egg whites

Here are some samples of each stage to serve as a guide.

The foamy stage mixture is a hazy, bubble-filled liquid.

Whites from Soft Peaks Stage eggs have a faint shine and tiny bubbles. When beaters are removed from the foam, peaks start to develop, but they are too fragile to maintain their shape.

How to serve and store

Slice into pieces and serve with coffee, tea, or your preferred beverage for breakfast or a noon snack.

Transfer the cake to an airtight container or wrap it in cling film to prevent drying out. It can last up to three days at room temperature if properly stored.

Wrap the cake securely in plastic wrap to keep the moisture in and freeze for up to three months for extended storage. When you are ready to eat, thaw at room temperature.

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