La Torta de Argao is made of flour, sugar, egg yolks, lard and tuba (sweet, fresh coconut sap or wine), the Torta of Argao has its origins way back to the Spanish colonial era of the Philippines. The people of Argao used the tuba as it is more available than yeast during that time. The tuba also works to lengthen the shelf life of La Torta.
When building construction thrived in the late 18th and early 19th century, egg whites mixed with lime were used as a binding material for stone walls. In order not to waste the egg yolks, a culinary innovation with a Spanish touch baked in clay ovens heated by fired coconut husks and shells, yielded the Torta. This what makes the La Torta de Argao unique and so delicious on its own.
La Torta de Argao, the one made in Argao in southern Cebu is still the best although torta are available in many bakeshops in Cebu. It is their famous delicacy that they are so proud. In fact, Argao’s previous Pitlagong Festival was replaced in 2011 by La Torta Festival, a feast mainly dedicated to its famous delicacy.
For me, La Torta de Argao is the most delicious Torta I have ever tasted so far in Philippines. Some of you may not know La Torta de Argao, but this dessert is worth trying. So don’t forget to try it when you visit the beautiful province of Argao, Cebu. The cheapest Argao-made torta is sold at P15 to P20; the large sells at P35 but one can buy 3 for P100. So if you want to try this at home, here’s the basic recipe for La Torta de Argao. Happy baking and enjoy!
You may also watch this video on How to make La Torta de Argao by Victor Kintanar.
La Torta de Argao Recipe
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup tuba
- 3 cups sugar
- 20 egg yolks
- 1-1/2 cups cooking oil/lard
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- a pinch of anise
- Optional toppings are raisins, sugar or grated cheese.
Note: use an electric mixer.
1. Pour the tuba into the flour. Add the salt. Mix well.
2. Add the sugar gradually into the egg yolks while beating well.
3. Add the oil. Blend well.
4. Put the mixture into a pan lined with paper and greased with butter or oil. Add anise.
5. Wait for 7 hours before baking (to allow the batter to rise). However, if the weather is cold, wait for 8 hours before baking.
6. Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit until cake tests done.
Note: instead of tuba for the torta, some use sparkling wine, such as ricadonna or asti spumanti, or even a sparkling rose if you don’t want it so sweet.
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