Sunday, July 25, 2010

It's summer... right?

Don't let the overcast skies fool you. Even though it feels like summer has been eluding us in California, summer is definitely here. Growing up in the northern tip of the Philippines, summer was best described in one word: HOT! So it makes me cherish this mild and very comfortable weather!

The usual signs of summer are also present, including the sound of my kids taunting and laughing with each other -- even to the point of annoying each other, obviously a sign of summer boredom haha! I really enjoy this time of the year.

Summer brings forth memories that defined my youth.  And like my 3 kids' upbringing, growing up in a large, tight-knit family had the same benefits: playing, taunting and yes, laughing and goofing around. Our usual question to our mom was "what's for merienda (snacks)?", and I remember we would always request for "dudul" (our  version of maja blanca - a dessert made of coconut milk and corn starch).

The aroma from making latik (which is a reduction of coconut milk) teased our nostrils and titilated our pallates... I call it kitchen seduction since all of us always found our way to the kitchen just to check whether the treat is almost done. The hot afternoon eased us into an anticipation of something good.

There were times when we would request for "dudul" but my mom complained that it was too tedious to prepare. I can't blame her, for extracting coconut milk the traditional way entails a lot of work, even now. Luckily, we had a good alternative back then. Long before there were fast food chains that dominated the food business, we knew a nice lady, whom we called Dideng, who walked around town, carrying with her a "bilao" (basket tray) on her head. We would sit and wait by the porch for her to pass by. And when we saw her, we would run towards her, carrying our own serving trays. I remember how the "hot" steam from the sun-baked asphalt had felt on my feet after running barefoot towards her; I was so carefree and unmindful... Even when my Mom screamed that I should wear slippers and watch out for tricycles (local taxi cabs, a motorcycle with a side car), I just heard the dudul beckoning!

Making majah blanca recreated those summer memories.  While I was cooking the latik, all my kids asked me, "What are you cooking, Mom?" I smiled as I remembered those days when I could not wait to have a bite of dudul. Recreating something that I experienced when I was little warms my heart:  I can recall the exact feeling when the same aroma comes from my kitchen. The only difference is that I don't have to extract the coconut milk the hard way anymore; I could conveniently just open a can of coconut milk to use.

Majah Blanca


2 cans coconut milk
3/4 can condensed milk
1/2 can sweet corn
1/2 c cornstarch dispersed in 1/2 c water
2 tbsp coconut oil (extracted from the latik)


First, we need to make the latik.  Latik is the residue formed from the reduction of coconut milk.  Just pour the whole can of coconut milk in a thick saucepan.  Bring it to boil and continue to stir until most of the liquid has evaporated.  The milk will begin to change its color to slight brown and begin to solidify.  At this point make sure to turn your fire to medium low as to avoid over-cooking the latik.  This is the part when the sweet smell surrounds the house.  An oil-like layer will form as a result of the reduction.  Continue stirring, and remove from heat when residues form and had turned brown.   Separate the latik and save the coconut oil as well.

Now we're ready to make the maja blanca.  Pour all the ingredients together: coconut milk, coconut oil, condensed milk.  Let it boil.  Add the corn starch mixture to thicken, stirring continously.  Pour into a mold.  Level it with a spatula.  Let it settle. 

To serve:  Unmold the maja blanca, top it with latik.  And in my case, I wanted to add more corn into it so I sprinkled more corn... Btw, do you like the mug in this post?  My daughters made that for me,  and as the mug suggests  SLAINTE!


  1. oh this looks great and I bet you were so cute as a child remember the story for the radio show lol

  2. This is definitely something I miss from back home... maja blanca with lots of corn!! And of course topped with lots of latik... fresh from the market. I didn't know it is this simple to make. Thanks for the recipe, Malou!

  3. Rebecca: your comment made me smile. My family and I are excited for the blogtalk radio guesting.

    Jun: Yes it's uber easy... and cooking the latik was a delightful experience... sarap!

  4. Too bad, Tugue is now dominated by giant food chain restaurants. A far cry from what we were used to be.
    Dudul is also a favorite, your version is the "Amercanized" one though. Don't get me wrong, I love fusions.


  5. Looks so easy and yummy. Your daughter did a good job on that mug, beautiful.

  6. It was delicious desserts like this maja blanca that got me in trouble during our visit to PI this past Christmas. I said then that it was a good thing that I did not know how to make it or else I'd be eating it all the time. Now, you've gone and provided a great recipe - I'm really in trouble! (But happy). 8-)

  7. maja blanca is a childhood fave of mine as well. And got lots of food memories with latik. Thanks for this post, reminded me it time to make maja blanca again, soon! I like your mug, too! :)

  8. TagaTugue: glad you liked the fusion... but it's just the look, the taste is simply the same.

    Anncoo: definitely so easy to make, you're done mamking it in less than 30 minutes.

    Tracey: well i think the key is moderation which I myself don't practice haha... thanks for dropping by

    Caroline: Glad to know you have fond memories of latik... the smell is just a tease hahaha, and im sure you know what i mean.

  9. Sounds simple enough. I hope mine will turn out right :) I love coconut and gravitate towards anything coconut.

  10. Lovely recipe. And gorgeous photo. Bravo!

  11. What an unusual treat. You've made it sound very easy to make. From what I've read this is a favorite for many people who are enjoying memories of this childhood treat. I hope the day treats you well. Blessings...Mary

  12. It's summer here but still cold :( We don't have many hot days in summer so must dive out into the hot sun whenever it's here! Beautiful dessert...mmmm.

  13. I've never heard of this, but it must be really yummy with the use of coconut milik and condensed milk.

  14. Xian Yen: I believe this is your first time here, so welcome and glad to meet you. Happy that we have one thing in common and that is our love for anything coconut!

    Lazaro: Thanks... I wasn't too sure about my photos, but you liking it makes me feel good about it.

    Mary: Thank you Mary. It's really so easy to make this, so I hope you can try it soon.

    MaryMoh: I didn't know that it's summer there now too. We learn something new everyday, and my new learning came from you LOL!

    Pigpigscorner: Yes it's absolutely good haha, i may be bias since I grew up knowing the taste of it but sure try it.

  15. This looks like a heavenly treat! I love the combination for condensed and coconut milk. My mom also used to make coconut milk the long way. I'm so glad that this stuff comes in the can these days.

  16. This is one of my favorite filipino desserts but I always forget what it's called. Thanks for the reminder so I can ask my mother to make it! :-)

  17. Mmm I've never heard of this but I love anything that is absolutely INFUSED with coconut. I also love how implicitly this dish is tied to your childhood and your memories. Those can be the best kind...

  18. Christine: mmm yes I so love the combination of the coconut milk and condensed's something I'm so familiar with, and it's so close to a hug from home.

    Jean: Oh you're welcome. I hope your mom finds time to make it. Im sure she has her own version too.

    Joanna: hey great to see you again. It's great to know we have one thing in common which is our loco for coco LOL! But yeah, I do love coco, whether it's sweet or savory!

  19. I have a question ... hopefully you are able to check this posting. So, you mentioned dudul -- the ones I've eaten are always brown, gray or even purplish ... do you know how to make those? Because that dessert recipe is so hard, if not impossible, to find ... unless it goes by another name (like maja blanca minus the corn). Would you happen to know the answer ... or better yet, a recipe?? Thanks!

  20. Hi lex,
    Dudul is my favorite too and the maker died already. I asked the son and daughters how their mom used to make it but no one knows how she did it. Don't worry ive been experimenting and i will let you know when I could replicate it.

    thanks for visiting,

  21. Hi Malou!

    Thanks for responding!! :) I really should try to make it as well ... I think I might have a better idea after looking at the internet. Anyway, yeah, if you can come up with something, that'd be great!! I know, it's so weird, that dudul, a lot of us like, but no one seems to know how to make it ... and everyone that knows, doesn't really share ... :(

  22. ...looks easy...great mug...cheers!...p.m... :{)


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