Saturday, January 5, 2013

Love-filled Mango Float by Yours Truly

One of the best perks of being a member of my family are the great tasting meals served at home courtesy of both parents who have perfected their own renditions of the different dishes known to our taste buds. I could have the whole day in telling you about those precious recipes of my parents and the why’s the go with those, but they’re going to be different set of posts. This, here, is entirely about my own take of the beloved dessert of many Filipinos. I proudly present to you…my very own “Heavenly” Mango Float.

It will be unfair to brag too much about my Mango Float because I, yours truly, have not tasted others’ than mine. And, I am pretty sure; others’ are just as sinfully good that’s why it has managed to conquer most, if not all, Pinoys’ best desserts list. But I love my own and it’s a rare phenomenon that I praise myself like this. As far as I can remember, I was in college when I got very curious of this dessert that was a word-of-mouth of the time. It was around 2003 when I made my first Mango Float. With the help of my sisters and cousins, I was able to get the basic recipe and list of ingredients then went my way. Everyone knows how seemingly “easy” it is to make a mango float and that was how I started to do it---the easy way. I, sometimes, make it hard to please myself. Even though my folks and friends loved it and demanded more of it, I knew I wasn’t happy with results. There, I began a long-term romantic relationship with “Perfecting-my-mango-float-project”. Every family celebration became a chance to top the former concoction. It wasn’t a smooth-sailing affair with the project as I have disappointed myself a lot of times. But the wide grins from those I shared them with, regardless of my thoughts on it, are priceless that makes me want to make them forever.

My ingredients are basically the same with a little twist that makes it my own, though I can say, and many can attest, that I am always generous with applying everything, traits I got from my parents and basically the principle I go by when preparing food. And the old tale that says making Mango Float is “No Sweat” at all will never be true with mine anymore.

Ella’s Heavenly Mango Float

(For Party Serving)

3 Kilos of Very Sweet Mangoes (Preferably Guimaras mangoes)

6 Packs of Graham Crackers (Preferably MY San Grahams)

10 packs of All Purpose Cream (Preferably Nestle)

2 cans of Condensed Milk (Preferably Carnation)

2 Packs of Roasted “Unsalted” Cashew Nuts (Preferably from Western Visayas)

A Big Mixing Bowl (Preferably Clear)

Containers: 2-3 pcs of 8”x12” Aluminum Pan Containers (or equivalent)

Aluminum Foil (if needed)

How I do it?

(With Love….)

- Wash and peel the mangoes

- Make thin (not too thin) slices from 2/3 of the total mangoes and set aside seed parts

- Grate or make puree out of the remaining 1/3 of the mangoes

- Grate or scrape off remaining juices from the seed parts

- Mix Well Mango Puree/juice with the All-purpose cream

- Add 1 can of condensed milk to the mixture. Add some more if needed. (Once frozen, sweetness of the creamy mixture lessens)

- Set aside/chill the mixture while preparing the Graham Crackers and Containers.

- Apply first layer of grahams into the pan/container, add, sprinkle crushed/powdered grahams to cover imperfections/holes for creamy mixture to stay above layer.

- Add generously creamy mixture on the graham layer.

- Generously lay mango slices on top of the creamy mixture

- Repeat last 3 procedures for the second layer

- As topping, sprinkle with roughly crushed grahams and crushed unsalted roasted cashew nuts

- Cover with aluminum foil and leave inside freezer for at least 12 hours

- Best served frozen

If done correctly, the mango float would taste like your favorite nutty mango and cream flavored ice cream. That was an understatement, if I have to be bold. I can proudly say that my Mango Float has evolved into this “heavenly treat” that it is now because of love. Like love, it has to be made and given generously with a lot of time, patience and heart. How about you, what has love made you perfect to make?

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