In response to my sister Claudine's request for my recipe of maja blanca, I’m sharing this recipe with her and with all of you my friends. This is a richer version of the usual maja blanca mais with latik and budbod (toasted grated coconut topping), because of the addition of cream and cheese. So that's why I call it special...
The word 'maja blanca' is a Filipino adaptation of the Spanish word 'manjar blanco', which refers to the traditional holiday Spanish dessert pudding.
'Manjar blanco' means 'white delicacy'. The word is a direct translation to Spanish of the French word "blancmange" which is a molded pudding. It is a sweet dessert commonly made with milk, cream, sugar and almond flavoring, thickened with gelatin, cornstarch or carageenan.
Blancmange (pronounced blay' mandz) originated in the Middle East and introduced to early medieval Europe by Arab traders during the Middle Ages. Middle Ages lasted from the 5th-15th centuries and began after the fall of the Roman Empire.
The Arabic tradition of blancmange used almond milk with rose water flavoring and became popular in the Muslim-occupied Italy and Spain. The sweet pudding became popular with the nobility and the upperclass.
Maja Blanca or maha blanka, the Filipino version, which is what I'm cooking here now, is made from coconut milk, cream, sugar, cheese and cream of corn. It has the consistency of thick gelatin and has a smooth delicate flavor.
Another variation of maja blanca is maja de ube. It uses ube (purple yam) as main ingredient giving it a deep purple color.
2 c cornstarch
1 c thick coconut milk
1 c cream of corn or corn kernel
1 pack all-purpose cream (250 ml)
1 pack quickmelt cheese (185 g), grated
1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 c water
1. Dissolve cornstarch in water. Set aside. Boil coconut milk and
sugar. Add cheese and cream of corn or corn kernel. Save some cheese for sprinkling on top later. Mix well.
Boil. Add cornstarch dissolved in water. Mix thoroughly to avoid
lumps. Turn off heat.
2. Add all purpose cream to the mixture. Pour onto a pan. Let cool
3. Sprinkle grated cheese on top before serving. Serve.
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