Picture yourself at home, utterly drowned in the heat of the Philippines at the peak of noontime. With sweat dripping from your forehead, you are thirsty for some kind of a drink to help cool you down. Or alternatively, picture you’re preparing for a family reunion and you’re looking to create some sort of dessert on a small budget.
What desserts and drinks can you make for dirt cheap, with ingredients you can pick up from your local supermarket, that are sure to satisfy the rest of your family without fail?
Let’s say your fridge only has some condensed milk, mangoes, sugar, and some graham crackers. Am I telling you that you can actually make a full blown drink, snack, or dessert out of these simple ingredients? Absolutely, yes, with just a little bit of Filipino ingenuity.
These things you have lying inside your fridge are actually the basic ingredients for various mango graham desserts and drinks! Where the combination of mango and graham crackers originated from, it remains elusive.
One thing however is undeniable, and that it’s successfully ingrained its place in Filipino households over the years as an absolute classic of homemade Filipino goodness!
In this article, we shall be looking at two ways one can use these simple ingredients — either as a mango graham shake or cake — and together we will figure out how exactly to make these scrumptious mango and graham based treats for you, your family, and your friends to enjoy!
How to make mango graham cake?
Mango graham cake is exactly the sweet, creamy, mango guilty pleasure it sounds like. It’s literally a cake made of mango and grahams!
The ingredients are as follows:
2 cups of heavy or whipped cream
2-4 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk
3-4 fresh and ripe mangoes
First, you take the whipped cream and pour it into a bowl. Using a handheld electric mixer, or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the two cups worth of cream on medium-high speed until it’s nice and whipped.
Next, you switch to low-medium speed and drizzle condensed milk little by little. Depending on how much condensed milk you pour, the cake can become sweeter. Once you’ve poured enough condensed milk, switch back to medium-high speed and continue whisking it until it’s smooth and stiff.
Then, you slice your mangoes into cubes. Slice the mango into two halves. Afterwards, you make a few vertical slices from the top to the bottom, and then a few horizontal slices from the left to the right, then simply push on the back on the mango skin to make it pop out like a flower.
On a separate rectangular baking dish, place a layer of graham crackers at the bottom and evenly spread a cup of the cream you whisked earlier on top. Next, put a layer of diced mangoes on top. Keep repeating these steps until the entire dish is filled. If the grahams are too big, don’t hesitate to cut it to fit the container!
Once finished, you can either freeze it or chill it in the refrigerator overnight. Freezing makes the cake more ice cream-like and would take minutes before serving. Meanwhile, chilling would make it more creamy and soft, making it ready-to-eat straight out of the fridge.
Whichever method you choose, enjoy! This cake is sure to last for a while depending on the size of your baking tray.
How to make mango graham shake?
If you’re not into making a full blown cake, another option for you is to create mango graham shake. Is it difficult to make this shake? You’d be surprised to find out that it’s actually easier than it looks. It’s no wonder that it’s such a common drink in the Philippines!
The ingredients are roughly as follows:
1 piece of ripe mango
1 1/2 cups worth of crushed graham crackers
3 tablespoons of condensed milk (you can use either the normal kind, or the mango-flavored kind)
1 tablespoon of sugar
2 tablespoons of all-purpose cream
3 cups of crushed ice.
First, the mango must be sliced into nice cubes so it can easily be mixed. Separate some for later, and chuck in a few tablespoons worth into the blender. Afterwards, add in the rest of the ingredients. Add in the two tablespoons of mango cubes, the condensed milk, and the sugar. Now wait a while and blend it until it’s smooth.
For each of your cups, place an initial serving of graham bits at the bottom to form a nice layer. Afterwards, pour mango shake for the next layer, and repeat these two steps as much as you like until it’s filled to the brim. The nice thing about mango graham shakes is you can create as many layers of mango and graham bits as you want. Some people might opt for more layers, and some might opt for more.
When you’re all finished, top it off with crushed graham, mango cubes, condensed milk, and all-purpose cream on the top, and it’s ready to serve.
Where did the man-go?
Though these dishes originated in the Philippines, it’s no wonder that even foreigners from the West have started to catch onto these sensational homemade graham and mango recipes. It may have started in the Philippines, but just as with most great food and desserts, they soon become an international hit!
Whether you choose to make a mango graham cake, or a mango graham shake, the power combination of mangoes and grahams are sure to give you, your friends, and your family a treat fit for any occasion!
Be it a midnight snack, a summer treat, or a dessert prepared for parties with your relatives, consider making either of the two recipes in this article to wow your friends with this unusual, yet powerful combination of ingredients.
Lastly, remember that mango graham shakes or cakes are best enjoyed in the company of those you love, truly in the Filipino spirit. Make sure to share the love of mangoes and graham crackers! To keep such sweetness to oneself is truly criminal after all.