During my early vegan days, I wasn’t sure if I would ever meet another vegan let alone find myself in a community of vegans. Much to my surprise, not only did I find myself in a community of vegans, I found myself in a community of vegans that could cook! And because my friends and I love to cook, we would throw potlucks every once in a while.
Recently, we gathered together for yet another potluck. My friend Jenn at @Jenncooks hosted a spring vegan potluck at her lovely home in Lafayette. The potluck theme was spring so i thought of bringing something light like my Citrus Kinilaw and Maja Blanca pudding.
Maja Blanca is a Filipino dessert made mainly of coconut and sweet corn. It’s light yet rich, creamy, and sweet. I topped my Maja Blanca with the traditional “latik” or toasted coconut milk curds which I achieved by simply reducing the coconut milk until it turns into brown crumbles.
Making Maja Blanca is very simple because it uses only few ingredients. If there’s any hard part, I would say it’s achieving the right thickness of the pudding before cooling it down. Another key to a great Maja Blanca is using high quality ingredients. I made my coconut milk from scratch instead of using canned coconut milk and resorted to corn on the cob instead of using canned corn. I ended up running out of fresh coconut milk for my latik however, so I used canned coconut milk.
MAJA BLANCE RECIPE:
Cooking time: 35 minutes, plus one hour for cool down
- 8 cups of coconut milk
- 2 cups sweet corn kernels
- 2 cups evaporated cane sugar, plus more to taste
- 3/4 cup corn starch mixed in 1 1/2 cup water or coconut milk. You may need more depending on the brand of your corn starch. See my notes below for details.
For the latik:
- 1 cup coconut milk or coconut cream
- White sugar is not vegan because it uses animal bone char in its filtration process, so I used evaporated cane sugar for this recipe.
- You may use fresh or canned coconut milk. I used coconut milk made from scratch which produced better flavor, but I also understand it’s more convenient to use canned coconut milk. I’ll leave it up to you.
- Traditionally, Maja Blanca calls for yellow sweet corn but white corn works fine as long as you cook it thoroughly so it will not have much bite.
- The amount of corn starch needed may differ from brand to brand. You may need only 3/4 cup or you may need 4 cups! Rule of thumb is to keep adding the corn starch mixture bit by bit to the coconut milk so you could control the consistency. The goal is to have a thick paste. If you end up adding a lot more corn starch than anticipated, add more sugar to adjust the flavor.
- Pour the coconut milk in a pot over medium heat and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Add the corn and let it cook until the corn softens throughly. You may taste test the corn every 5-8 minutes to see if it’s cooked and soft enough.
- Add the sugar and mix well.
- Pour the corn starch mixture bit by bit. Do not pour all at once. Keep stirring to avoid any lumps. Keep adding more corn starch mixture until you’ve gotten a thick paste. The consistency should be gooey like glue.
- Taste and add more sugar if desired.
- Turn off the heat then transfer the pudding to a serving container, preferably a mold like a pyrex glass.
- Let it cool down to solidify (about 45 minutes to an hour).
- Serve with toasted coconut milk curds or latik on top.
HOW TO MAKE TOASTED COCONUT MILK CURDS OR LATIK:
- Using a medium-size pan over high heat, pour the coconut milk.
- Put it into a boil without stirring until it reduces in half.
- Lower the heat then lightly but constantly stir the coconut milk until it forms into curds and eventually into brown crumbles, about 15-20 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and top the latik on Maja Blanca.
My Maja Blanca was a success. My friends seemed very curious of the dish. They also seemed to enjoy eating it along with the rest of the delicious food everybody brought to the potluck.
Below are some of the highlights of the event. I snapped only few photos because I was in the moment, enjoying the company of my friends. Believe it or not, I met them all through Instagram! So if you think you’re the only vegan in your group, feel free to start your own vegan meet up and who knows, maybe you’ll find yourself at the presence of talented vegan cooks!
SCENES FROM THE LADIES’ SPRING VEGAN POTLUCK:
There are many more dishes not pictured such as the scrumptious “Quinoa-stuffed Squash” made by Brandi at @brandirevisited, “Strawberry Quinoa Salad” by Lauren at @laurenbyogi from the cookbook, “Oh She Glows”, Vietnamese Salad with “chick-un” (made from scratch) by Kathy at @ktkinoakland, and the “better-than-Reese’s” peanut butter cups (in my humble opinion), by Charlie at @thedoughgirl, from the cookbook “But I could Never go Vegan!”, and many, many more!
As you could imagine, I went home stuffed to the gills -and with two containers of to-go food. Good times indeed.
Now that the weather is warming (even more) here in California, I look forward to more potlucks and gatherings. Feel free to make and bring Maja Blanca to your own get-together. I hope you’ll have a lovely time at your event as much as I did. Happy Spring!