Cornstarch is needed to give an opaque jelly like structure to maja blanca recipe. Maja recipes posted on web have stated amount of cornstarch. Most of them have the same cornstarch to liquid ratio. Some varies slightly. Increasing the amount of cornstarch will give a firmer product. Increasing the liquid amount will result to a more wiggly and watery cake.
I setup a simple experiment to know the ideal cornstarch to liquid ratio. I used plain water in replacement of coconut milk. Other ingredients are also discarded. I made 7 trials:
1) 1 part cornstarch + 2 parts water
2) 1 part cornstarch + 3 parts water
3) 1 part cornstarch + 4 parts water
4) 1 part cornstarch + 5 parts water
5) 1 part cornstarch + 6 parts water
6) 1 part cornstarch + 7 parts water
7) 1 part cornstarch + 8 parts water
In each trial, cornstarch was dissolved in respective amounts water. Placed in a pan and heated over medium flame with continuous stirring until sticky. No trial was heated for more than five minutes. Placed in mold and allowed to cool.
Trial 1 was considered bad. The resulting gel was too dry. It set so fast. Dune surface can be seen in picture.
Trials 2 and 3 are the best, firm moist gel. Using Trial 3 (1 part cornstarch + 4 parts water) will save on cornstarch cost. The next two pictures are trials 2 and 3 respectively.
Gel produced by trial 4 was wiggly and too moist.
Trials 5, 6 and 7 are not recommended. The gels can still hold its shape but broke easily when held in between fingers. Next pictures are trials 5, 6 and 7 respectively.
Note: Actual results may vary depending on amount of flavoring ingredients, brand of cornstarch and type of ingredients. Using trials 5 to 7 might result to firmer end product when mixed with starchy commodities such as cassava and ube.
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.