Creamy tropical buko pandan

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By Chef Ed Dychauco

Pots and Pans

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

THIS needs no introduction whatsoever.

But I still believe this is one dessert that everyone will fall in love with once they have tried this. The creamier, the better.

A very simple delight that even a child can do and prepare which can be a starting point for them to indulge into the basic of culinary arts at a very tender age.


But of course, with the “extra” help from the adults.

Technically, pandan flavor came from the Pandan leaves but with modern technology, this has been developed in food laboratories, giving us the artificial pandan flavor and even the pandan flavor & color in one.

Not bad I should say, especially for those who want to simplify the procedure. That is if we are talking of using plain gulaman or gelatin for this purpose.

For those who are new to this, plain gulaman or gelatin is used in making the “jello” part. With the addition of the flavor and coloring, this should give us the “pandan” jelly. Just follow the procedure in the box.

When mixed in boiling or hot water, gulaman doesn’t need to be chilled to solidify, unlike the gelatin, which needs to be set in a cold environment like the refrigerator.

Once this is done, meaning it has “hardened” or become solid, it is cut into cubes. Sizes can and may vary depending on each one’s preference.

I believe there is also pandan-flavored gulaman/gelatin in the market already.

Next come the buko. I prefer fresh, immature buko strings or strips. It can even be cut into cubes. Although fresh frozen buko found in the freezer section of the supermarket is okay.

For this dessert, tapioca or sago can be added to give more depth or more mouth feel.

It would also be nice to add some “kaong” or “nata de coco” which comes in attractive colors.

I don’t mind having some chunks of fresh, really sweet tropical mangoes which blends well with the other ingredients. But not much that it over powers the “buko” in the buko-pandan!

Now for the liquid part of this delicious and aromatic (remember the pandan?) sweet course, it can be an equal mixture of evaporated milk, condensed milk and all-purpose cream as a start.

Although one can also substitute heavy cream and light cream for the all-purpose cream for a fuller, more pronounced creamy taste.

Naturally, this dessert is best when eaten really cold, but sometimes, I prefer it to be semi-frozen. In fact, if it is very creamy, it can be frozen and cut, served into squares.

To make it more heavenly, a scoop of vanilla ice cream can be added on top with a little drizzle of caramel cream! That should be oozing with oohhs… and aahhs… from everyone!

And to dress it up, maybe a piece of barquillos or broas can be stuck into the ice cream plus a little sprinkling of pinipig.

Another way of presenting this would be placing them in individual cups, chilled or frozen which saves time when served.

I have also been served with buko pandan using just “plain” green colored jello but with the flavor coming out from the cream mixture instead which also does the trick.

Variation for this can be the use of other tropical fruits instead of buko. We have mangoes (top on my list!), shredded cantaloupe, papaya chunks, canned pineapples tidbits and sliced bananas.

Personally, I don’t mind enjoying this anytime of the day, any day of the week, any week of the month or all year round! Of course, am kidding!

Now that the warm weather is near, guess it won’t be bad to have this in our refrigerator or freezer for those “pick me up” moments!


Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 27, 2014.


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