I miss the tibuk-tibuk from my childhood, the ones served on banana leaves, glistening with the oil from the latik (browned coconut milk). The ones sold at the Fil-am stores are often made of milk and corn. I like the palengke version that’s white because it’s made of coconut milk — a true maja blanca. Also, the stores use toasted coconut flakes instead of latik. I understand why; making latik is time-consuming and a lot of hard work. I actually enjoyed making latik as a kid. Love the smell of coconut oil, which my grandmother used to put in my hair. Beats any salon hot oil, I tell you.
Fortunately, my aunt in California remembers how to make tibuk-tibuk. Here’s her recipe, with some adjustments:
4 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch dissolved in 1/2 cup water
Bring coconut milk to a boil. Turn the heat down a little before you add the corn starch, Otherwise your mixture will become lumpy. Stir rapidly about 2 minutes or until mixture thickens. Immediately transfer to molds. Set aside to cool. Makes about 8-10 servings, depending on the size of your molds.
FOR THE LATIK