If you were to ask me my earliest memory of recipe collecting it would be 'putong puti' (or a version of this recipe, I should clarify). In fact, I still have the handwritten recipe (circa age 7-8?) in my file box! I always wondered why the putong puti never quite met my expectations until I did online research to find out that they are actually steamed not baked. Ah, after countless years the mystery has finally been solved! Source: manyamanmalinamnammabsiyummy.blogspo...
Note and ALTERNATE cooking directions: the Filipinos use special steaming cups to steam the putong puti. You can use individual silicone muffin/baking cups if you have them. If not, grease a muffin/cupcake tin well or use parchment paper and pour the batter into the cavities. Set the muffin tin into a baking dish and pour water halfway in the baking dish (bain-marie). Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes-cooking time will vary.
Sift first four ingredients together. Sift again. There will be a small amount of unsifted rice leftover which you can just add to the mixing bowl.
In a mixing bowl, add coconut milk to sifted ingredients and blend well to make a smooth mixture. Stir in the anise seeds.
Fill *greased* (individual) muffin pans 2/3 full. Cover with foil (I used a glass lid instead so I could watch the steaming process carefully). Steam on LOW or LOW-MEDIUM heat for about 20-30 minutes (steaming time will vary). The steaming water should be very hot but not boiling. Remove foil/cover immediately. Test for doneness. Muffins are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. The texture will look like sponge cake.
Transfer the putong puto to wire racks to cool. Allow to cool at least 10-15 minutes. If you try to remove them too soon from the muffin cups they will fall apart as they are very delicate.