|Alternative names||Coconut pudding, Coconut cake, kalamay|
|Place of origin||Philippines|
|Serving temperature||Room temperature, cold|
|Main ingredients||Coconut milk, cornstarch|
|Variations||Maja blanca con maiz. Maja de ube|
Maja blanca (Tagalog: [ˈmaha ˈblaŋka]) is a Filipino dessert made primarily from coconut milk. Also known as coconut pudding, it is usually served during fiestas and during the holidays, especially Christmas.
Maja blanca has the consistency of thick gelatine and a delicate flavor, and is creamy white in color.
Etymology and history
As the name suggests, the dessert is of Spanish origin, adapted from the traditional holiday dessert manjar blanco, and is thus related to other similar desserts such as blancmange. The name means "white delicacy”.
Maja blanca is also known as maja blanca con maíz, maja maíz, or maja blanca maíz when corn kernels are used in the preparation (maíz is Spanish for corn).
Maja blanca is relatively easy to prepare. A coconut milk (not coconut cream) and cornstarch mixture is heated to boiling over a low flame while stirring. Agar (gulaman in Filipino) can be substituted for cornstarch. Corn kernels, milk, and sugar are also often added, though these are not traditionally part of the recipe. Once the mixture thickens, it is then poured into serving dishes previously greased with coconut oil and allowed to cool. Once firm, latik (browned coconut cream curds) are then sprinkled as toppings.
The Maja Blanca Recipe is almost like a Panna Cotta in texture but in terms of flavor, the coconut milk gives it a more subtle depth. It is very creamy but not too sweet, and the Sweet Corn kernels that you find in between each bite will add another exciting flavor. The Latik toppings are also there to add another texture and give it a nutty flavor.
Maja blanca can easily be adapted to include various other ingredients, often resulting in changes in the color of the dish. Examples include squash maja blanca which uses calabazas (Filipino: kalabasa) and a version of maja maiz that uses butter, resulting in a distinctive yellow color.
Other common variants include maja de ube (or maja ube), a deep purple variant of maja blanca which uses ube (purple yam); and maja buko pandan a light green variant which is flavored with pandan leaves and coconut meat.
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