The holidays means it’s potluck season in our little kitchen. My husband and I are usually invited to parties – we rarely host parties because we don’t have the space in our tiny home. My husband is a great cook and I enjoy making sweets so most of our friends look forward to our potluck contributions. This year I have been leaning towards making Filipino desserts instead of my usual cupcakes. My husband completely approves and I am thankful for Lalaine who blogs at Kawaling Pinoy for giving me simple recipes that taste like I spent all day slaving away in my kitchen making them. I’ve had several friends who asked for the recipes so this is my gift to anyone who ever needed a yummy dish to bring to a party with beginner level skills in the kitchen like me.
The first recipe I tried is Lalaine’s Maja Blanca Espesyal, this is a sweet corn pudding topped with latik. My husband tweaked the topping for my version, I use toasted grated coconut bits on mine. I use cream style corn instead of whole corn kernels, I find that the slight saltiness brings a nice dimension to the flavor. I love this recipe because it has water in it – I use Kangen water and that adds a freshness to my version of this dish. My best friend assured me that this is very easy to make and she was right!
Maja Blanca Espesyal 2.0
- 2 14-oz cans of coconut milk
- 1 12-oz can of evaporated milk (I have substituted this with 12-oz of almond milk, tastes good too!)
- 1 14-oz can of sweetened condensed milk
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 1 15-oz can of cream style corn
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup Kangen water
- 1/3 cup grated coconut for topping
- coconut oil (optional)
- Brush inside of your serving dish with coconut oil, I use a glass pie plate to serve this and I didn’t need to brush coconut oil on it.
- In a large stock pot, combine all the milks (coconut, evaporated, condensed) and the sugar. Stir well until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil in medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Add cream style corn (including the cream) and cook for 3 more minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch into the water until dissolved.
- Slowly add the cornstarch mixture into the corn mixture. Whisk vigorously to avoid lumps. Cook and whisk until mixture thickens to a paste. The mixture will thicken within a minute or so.
- Transfer mixture into prepared dish and smooth top with spatula that had been dipped in coconut oil.
- Cool before refrigerating for 1-2 hours to set.
- Toast grated coconut in a non-stick pan and sprinkle on top of the maja blanca before serving.
Makes 6-8 snack-size servings or 16-20 potluck-size servings.
Another Kawaling Pinoy based recipe that had gotten rave reviews at a party we attended last night is the Cassava Cake with Custard Topping. I love custard or the dessert we Filipinos call leche flan. It’s a staple dessert in Filipino fiesta tables and I have always associated it with parties.
I have tried unsuccessfully to bake custard-topped cake recently. But I have made cassava cake before, it’s a very easy dish. Unlike custard-topped cake, the cassava cake is baked first then custard is poured on top of it to set after. Adding the custard elevates the humble cassava cake to holiday level goodness!
Cassava Cake With Custard Topping 2.0
For the Cassava Cake:
- Melted butter for coating baking pan
- 2 14-oz packages of grated cassava
- 6 tablespoons (or more) of shredded cheese, I used a four cheese blend but cheddar would work too
- 2 14-oz cans coconut milk
- 2 14-oz sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
For the Custard Topping:
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 14-oz can condensed milk
- 1 12-oz can evaporated milk (can be substituted with almond milk)
- Grease your baking pans with melted butter (I used 4 pie tins I recycled from store-bought pies, which aren’t very tall).
- Preheat oven to 375 ° F
- Combine cassava, coconut milk, condensed milk, sugar, cheese, and cassava in a deep bowl. Stir well and pour into prepared baking pans.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. In my counter top oven and because I had a thinner layer in the pie tins, it took about 20-30 minutes.
- Combined evaporated and condensed milks with the egg yolks for the custard topping. Stir well.
- Once the cassava cake is set, pour the custard topping mixture over it, and continue to bake until set. This took less than 10 minutes for me, it will depend on how thick your custard topping layer is.
- Allow to cool and serve.
Makes 4 8-inch pie tins or 32 potluck-size servings.
Easy, right? Wow your potluck hosts without spending the whole day in your kitchen!
Merry Christmas, my friends! May your holiday kitchens smell as wonderful as ours.