No-drip ice block

Tropical Ice Candy – Cool Summer Treat

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Being in the southern hemisphere, it is the beginning of fall in Auckland while it is the opposite in the northern hemisphere. Summer passed so quickly I don’t even remember being out in a singlet without a backup jumper.  It’s been a really crazy summer for us further down under as it wasn’t as hot as a summer person like me would want it to be.  The long holiday was full of rain and the nights were chilly. Oh well… not too late to make ice candies (called ice blocks in NZ)  for Kulinarya Cooking Club though. Especially when this is my first post as a new member.   Arnold of Inuyaki and Jun of Jun-blog said, “Do whatever strikes your fancy as long as they’re frozen, sweet, and reminds you of summers back home.”  Cool!

I remember quite vividly the summers my siblings and I spent when we were kids.  Running on neighboring vacant land sections with tall blades of grass that gave me painful cuts.  The first time I learned to bike, tried on scooters and roller skates I don’t remember how many times I fell flat on my tushy.  We put a leash on dragonflies and beetles using long pieces of thread to fly them like kites. We climbed a mango tree to run barefoot on our roof!

No computers or handheld video games, definitely no iPads, we were left to entertain ourselves. We played in the streets and we made our own games. You can say my siblings and I were literally “batang kalye” till our mom called us in. She would shout our names one by one with a loud voice from more than 20 meters away ala-Howard Wolowitz’ mom.  Mga nagigitata pagbalik sa init ng panahon.  Ah, summer childhood memories are endless and one of these is the refreshingly cold fruit snacks we were served.  “Kain muna mga bata!

Our old home in a little suburban town was surrounded by fruit trees and my parents often prepared fruit juices – chopped fruits like rockmelon, coconut, avocado and guyabano mixed with milk, crushed ice and a bit of sugar.  Fruits were coarsely chopped, as smoothies were virtually unheard of then.  Or at least by my parents.  Though I’m pretty sure we did try making them into ice candies, we preferred them just like that.

I don’t actually remember when was the last time I made ice candies.  A is the one who does it for the boys. Pretty basic though – Milo or tropical fruit juice.  But for KCC, I decided to whip up the following using plastic molds:

Mango Ice Candy – reminds me of the mango tree we used to climb to get on the roof. It also has a twist – no-drip as I used tropical flavored jelly crystals to mix with chopped fresh mangoes.  Got the idea from the Kiwis. Couldn’t find Philippine mango but the Thai ones are good enough.  (Oh, and I wanted to layer different jelly flavors but too lazy haha!)

No-Drip Mango Ice Candy

Serves 4
Prep time 15 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly


  • 4-6 heaped tablespoons chopped fresh mango
  • 1 packet tropical-flavored jelly crystals


Prepare jelly crystals according to packet instructions. This usually means dissolving jelly crystals in 2 cups of hot water. Leave to cool for a while.
Pour mixture into moulds. Then add the chopped mangoes to each mold. Freeze.

If you run out of ice candy molds, pour left-over mixture into jelly molds instead and chill... another yummy summer treat.



Rockmelon Ice Candy – inspired by the melon fruit juice dad used to prep for us when we were kids.  Like frozen smoothies but I still like the rockmelon flesh coarsely chopped, then mixed with buttermilk and fresh cream with a wee bit of vanilla extract.

Rockmelon Ice Candy

Serves 4
Prep time 15 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly
Frozen summer fruits like rockmelon mixed with buttermilk - definitely a thirst quencher.


  • 1 wedge rockmelon (seeds discarded)
  • 1 part buttermilk
  • 1 part fresh cream
  • Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


click to enlargeScoop out rockmelon flesh and dice into small pieces. Set aside.
click to enlargeMix one part buttermilk and one part fresh cream in a container. Add rockmelon and sugar to taste. The amount of sugar depends on one’s preference. No sugar at all is too bland for me but I don’t like too sweet as well.
click to enlargeStir in vanilla extract.
click to enlargePour mixture into ice-block molds. Freeze.


“Kulinarya Cooking Club was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colourful cuisine.

Each month we will showcase a new dish along with their family recipes. By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino food as we do.

If you’re interested in joining our Kulinarya Cooking Club, please feel free to drop by our foodblogs and leave a comment. We would love to hear from you!” – Kulinarya Cooking Club

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

20 thoughts on “Tropical Ice Candy – Cool Summer Treat

    1. Hi Jenn, it’s actually my first time to use buttermilk instead of plain milk to make ice candy. No regrets though. It has that extra bit of tanginess that buttermilk offers.

    1. Hi Tina, I actually think my molds look a bit funny haha! My partner A is the one who bought them. But yeah… they look ‘sharply’ interesting!

  1. I love the idea of no drip and the mold; will have to make that with my ice pop molds.

    Here in Virginia rockmelons are sometimes called lopes, short for cantaloupes. The first time I saw that sign I thought the fruit stand was selling some Portuguese fruits. lol
    Oggi recently posted Ice Candy

  2. I’m so used to seeing ‘rockmelon’ everytime I buy them here I didn’t realize it’s called another thing back home and in the US hahaha!
    But thank you all for dropping by. I enjoyed this challenge very much.

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