“If I can make it from scratch, I will make it from scratch. I also try to cook with whole foods as much as possible and eat more vegetables/plant-based meals at least once a week.” — Mhyre Virtudazo
When Allison told me her plans for Auguest 2020 and asked if I wanted to be one of her guest contributors, I was immediately onboard! I didn’t hesitate and said yes in a heartbeat! I was very thrilled to hear about this month’s theme which is RAINBOW COLORS!! 🌈 How could I say no to that? I was just so excited that I volunteered to share a recipe for a blue-colored dish.
Fast forward to a couple of months before August, I realized that there’s a challenge to the color I chose. I wanted my dish to represent me. I wanted it to be completely plant-based. I’m trying to incorporate more vegetables and other plant-based products to my meals. I love meat and will not go vegan but this is my way of lessening my carbon footprint. I’ve also been trying to make more Filipino dishes so that’s another thing. The trickiest part is I don’t typically find blue-colored food attractive. I mean I won’t eat blue soup but I can eat a blue dessert.
So… I had to come up with a Filipino dish that’s plant-based and visually appealing for my taste. Most importantly, I wanted to consider Allison’s readers and IG followers. I wasn’t only creating this for myself but also I’d like for you guys to try and enjoy what I’ll be sharing.
One afternoon, I was brainstorming by myself (LOL) when I heard an ice cream vendor pass by my house. So I thought, why not dessert? What about ice cream? I can make it blue by using butterfly pea flowers! But then I couldn’t imagine eating blue ice cream cone. I kept on making a list of possible ingredients then I wrote coconut milk on my notebook. That’s when the idea hit me—ice buko! Why not? I mean it brings me happy childhood memories and it meets my complicated requirements! Oh, and I just found out that there’s a Wikipedia entry for it! Haha! Most of all, I could eat it even if it’s colored blue!
I hope you try the recipe. I like how smooth and creamy the texture is even without condensed milk! You’ll also be amazed with how it turns out visually from making it to the final result! It freezes into a soft blue just like the color of the sky while the swirls of white are coconut milk and macapuno strings that look like clouds.
PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 10 MINS | MAKES 4 ICE LOLLIES
Freezing time: 4 hours
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 2 cups of water
- 2/3 cup white sugar (two 1/3 cups)
- 1/2 cup macapuno strings (syrup must be drained)
- 1/4 cup dried butterfly pea flowers
- 1 tbsp cornstarch (two 1/2 tbsp)
- In a pot, heat coconut milk and sugar in low heat.
- Make slurry using the coconut milk from the pot and some cornstarch. Combine it with the rest of the liquid in the pot.
- Stir the liquid gently until sugar has been fully dissolved. Be careful not to bring it to a boil.
- Add the dried blue pea flowers. Mix until all the flowers are soaked in coconut milk.
- Turn off heat and cover the pot. Steep for 8-10 minutes. Remove the flowers.
- Wait for the liquid to cool.
- Put a few spoons of macapuno strings in each mold. Pour the liquid, put the lolly holder on top and freeze for about 4 hours.
- Admire your beautiful Celestial Ice Buko before devouring them! Enjoy!
Here are some conclusions/tips/notes for making this Celestial Ice Buko:
- Traditional ice buko has red beans. I didn’t include them because it might not go well with the butterfly pea tea. But feel free to experiment!
- Instead of red beans, I tried rice crispies and loved it! Wanna try it, too? It pretty much follows step 6 but you freeze a teaspoon of rice crispies and a tablespoon of blue liquid first for 30 minutes. The rice crispies will float if you put a large amount of liquid. They will also stick to the lolly holder if you quickly fill the mold up.
- I wanted to dip my ice buko in melted white chocolate first and then sprinkle it with rice crispies. However, I read on the package that it had dairy in it so I scrapped my plan. If you’re okay with a not so 100% vegan dessert then go ahead and enjoy your ice buko with white chocolate casing. I bet it’s going to be yummy!
- Another thing you can try is freezing 3/4 coconut milk-blue pea flower mixture in the mold for 2 hours. Fill up the rest of the mold with butterfly pea tea and freeze for another 2 hours. When it freezes, it will have different layers of sky blue and indigo. Just like the galaxy!
- For another galaxy-looking option, sprinkle blue, pink and purple colored sugar on your ice buko.
- No ice lolly molds? No worries! You may use paper cups and popsicle sticks. I also made a batch with them. I doubled the quantity and was able to make 11 pieces!
- Freezing time may vary depending on your freezer. It took overnight for my ice buko to fully solidify in one of the refrigerators I used. (Back story: I made this recipe 8 times in 4 different houses. Therefore, I’ve tried 4 different refrigerators. 😅)
Photo Courtesy & Recipe Copyright © 2020 | Mhyre Virtudazo (@acupofjasminerice)
– Mhyre Virtudazo