Manjar Blanco, also known as milk delicacy or just Manjar, is a sweet cream commonly flavored with cinnamon and taken as a dessert. The main ingredients are milk or almonds, cornstarch, cinnamon sticks and powder, lemon peel, and sugar.
In regions of Valle del Cauca and Cauca in Colombia, this dessert is a local favorite. It's occasionally paired with stewed figs and/or curd cheese. It's the ideal treat during Christmas celebrations, sunny afternoons, family Sundays – really, any time or place.
For many Colombians, Manjar Blanco brings back memories of togetherness, joy, and anticipation. Families would gather, play music, enjoy their favorite drinks, and eagerly await the moment the dessert was ready to be savored.
Once it was ready, traditional bowls called "totumas" were brought out, and everyone would sit down with their spoon to enjoy this delicious treat.
These communal dessert-making sessions have become less common, but some families still uphold the tradition.
Considering the cherished memories and the explosion of flavors this dessert offers, I invite you all to join me in making a homemade Manjar Blanco. It’s perfect for satisfying occasional cravings and for enjoying the company of loved ones. A great reason to bring the family together over a weekend to prepare a delectable treat. Let's cook.
What's the secret to achieving the perfect texture in Manjar Blanco?
The key to a smooth and creamy texture lies in soaking the rice for 24 hours before preparation. This softens the rice, allowing it to blend better with the milk when blended, resulting in an impeccable consistency.
How can I prevent it from sticking?
Constantly stirring the mixture during cooking, especially when adding the blended rice and cinnamon sticks, is essential to prevent sticking. Using a thick-bottomed pot also ensures even heat distribution and reduces the risk of burning.
When is the right time to add sugar?
The best time is after the milk has been reduced through boiling. This ensures the sugar dissolves fully and is uniformly mixed in. Adding sugar too early can result in a grainy texture in the Manjar Blanco.
Should I strain the blended rice before adding it to the milk?
Yes. Straining ensures the removal of any lumps or impurities, ensuring a smooth, consistent texture.
How do I know when the Manjar is ready?
It's ready when it achieves a thick, creamy texture. Cooking time can vary, but patience is key. Once the desired consistency is achieved, remove from heat and let it rest before serving.
Tips and Tricks
- For an extra flavor touch, add a few drops of vanilla essence during cooking.
- Use whole milk instead of skim or semi-skimmed milk for a richer and creamier texture.
- Manjar Blanco can be enjoyed warm or cold. If you prefer it cold, let it cool to room temperature before refrigerating.
- Not soaking the rice long enough can result in a grainy texture.
- Using skim or semi-skimmed milk alters the texture and taste.
- Not stirring continuously during cooking can cause it to stick to the pot's bottom.
Recommended Similar Recipes
- Rice Pudding: Shares ingredients like milk, rice, and cinnamon with Manjar Blanco. The main difference is that the rice in the pudding doesn't require a 24-hour soak and is cooked in the milk from the beginning. It's perfect for those seeking a quicker option.
- Colombian Natilla: This traditional Colombian dessert also uses ingredients like milk, sugar, and cinnamon. Though it doesn't contain rice, its creamy texture and delicate taste make it a great alternative to Manjar Blanco.
- Mazamorra Paisa: This Colombian dessert primarily uses corn instead of rice. Like Manjar Blanco, Mazamorra Paisa is slowly cooked in milk, giving it a creamy texture and comforting flavor. If you love Manjar Blanco, you'll likely enjoy Mazamorra Paisa as well.
These recipes are great for those wanting to experiment with various Colombian desserts or just utilize ingredients already at home. All offer delicious, comforting flavors, perfect for family gatherings or special events.
- 3 Liters of milk.
- 600 g sugar.
- ½ cup rice.
- Cinnamon sticks and powder to taste.
- Soak the rice for 24 hours.
- After soaking, proceed with the rest of the preparation.
- Boil the milk for at least 1 hour, then add the sugar.
- Blend the soaked rice with its water twice.
- Strain the blended rice and add it to the boiled milk.
- Add the cinnamon sticks, let it rest. And you're done.