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Filipino Desserts II

Pastillas de leche
From the Spanish word “Pastilla” or “Pellet”, (and that’s exactly what they look like) and “Leche” meaning milk. This simple yet seemingly irresistible bite sized candies are made from just 3 ingridients: Powdered milk, condensed milk, and sugar. The province of Bulacan is infamous for producing this dessert. Adding another ingredient to the mix will produce a different variant. “Pastillas de Ube” is created when you add mashed Ube root to the Pastillas de leche recipe. There’s also “Pastillas de Mani”, where a heapful of ground peanuts (English for “Mani”) is added. The best one I tasted was a variant where the condensed milk was replaced by fresh Carabao’s Milk.

Buko is the Tagalog word for Coconut. Pandan is the leaf of the “P. amaryllifolius” tree and is commonly used in many Asian recipe’s primarily to add aroma to the dish. Buko-Pandan is made from shredded coconut meat and Pandan-flavored Gulaman (Agar-agar) that is tossed together with cream and condensed milk dressing.

Brazo de Mercedes
Brazo de Mercedes literally means “Arms of Mercedez”. This dish looks like a cake log or cake roll. It’s a roll of soft Meringue with a custard like cream filling in the center.

Maja Blanca
A creamy dessert made from corn, coconut milk and cornstarch. The original Maja Blanca resemble a pudding like consistency and was wrapped in banana leaves. Nowadays, a softer version is made by using gelatin or powdered Agar-Agar to the recipe. Some refer to this dish as a “Corn Blancmange”.

Ice Candy
A childhood favorite of mine. This simple dessert snack is popular during the summer days. It’s simply frozen fruit juices encased in long and thin plastic bags. The most popular flavor is “Buko” or coconut. Fruits that were in season were also used.

Buko Salad
Buko Salad is the Filipino twist to Fruit Salad. Whereareas Fruit salad contains only fruits, Buko salad added shredded coconut meat, Nata de coco, “Kaong”, and sometimes cubed cheese. Buko salad's dressing is also more watery than that of the Fruit Salad.

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