Friday, 25 February 2011

Vla - a Dutch Recipe

When I was little my mum lived in Holland for a few years, so I went to stay with her on school holidays as I was living in Portugal with my grandma.

My fondest memories of Holland are a round bread that I used to get from the shop underneath my mums flat, playing with a girl outside my mums flat (she spoke no portuguese and I spoke no dutch but we were best friends), my mum making my hair curly, dressing me in a pretty dress and going taking me on a walk which we went past a river and Vla....

Vla, in chocolate, strawberry or vanilla.... seriously I could probably drown in the stuff I liked it so much! Its not custard by any means but its similar, only 100 times better...

A couple of days ago I popped over to Tales from Windmill Fields blog and saw the nice cartons of Vla as her Dutch thing of the week, I think it should be the Dutch thing of forever really, never mind the week but it did make me crave Vla. I went to search for Vla to see if there was anywhere I could buy it in the UK but had not much luck apart from coming across a recipe that looks simple enough to make here on Thomers' website, now I hope he doesn't mind but I had to share it with you and pop it on here for my future reference as I don't want to ever loose sight of it.

I'll certainly have to try and make it and tell you all how it worked out, if you make it before me, let me know how it went. Apparently in America they call this cornstarch pudding, not sure if theirs is the same but hey we won't know until an American tells us so!

Chocolate vla topped with whipped cream


  • 1 litre of whole milk
  • 1/4 litre (1 cup) of heavy cream (or less, down to 50ml or 1/4 cup)
  • 70 grams (1/3 cup) of sugar
  • 2 additional tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 40 grams (slightly less than 1/3 cup) of cornstarch
  • a half or whole vanilla bean (or plain old vanilla flavoring)
  • optional: yellow food coloring
Add a few tablespoons of milk to the cornstarch and stir until the cornstarch dissolves and the liquid is uniform. Heat up the remaining milk in a large pan with a cut open vanilla bean in it. 

In the meantime, use a (hand)mixer to beat the 70g of sugar with the eggs until foamy—this takes a few minutes. Keep an eye on the milk. When the milk starts to boil, lower the heat and dump in the cornstarch fluid and stir until somewhat gelatinous—this should take a minute or two, but don't worry if it doesn't get gelatinous. Keep it on a very, very gentle boil.

Slowly pour in the foamy egg/sugar mix into the gently boiling milk; keep it like that while gently stirring and beating the mix until the vla is uniform and somewhat gelatinous.

To cool it, pour the vla into a bowl and lower the bowl into a larger bowl filled with cold water. Stir the vla every few minutes and replace the lukewarm water with cold water. Store in fridge.
Before serving, beat the desired amount of heavy cream with 2 tablespoons of sugar until stiff and stir into the vla—use less cream to keep the vla lighter. If you want to make it look more like the real thing, add 10-15 drops of yellow food coloring and stir.

Optionally sprinkle some hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles) on it for the full effect.
Enjoy the taste of Holland.

Monica xx

1 comment:

Windmill Tales said...

Oh Vla, yep my Dutch thing of the week. It is such a typical kiddie thing for pudding here. In fact we had it tonight but Dubbel Vla, two toned/flavoured Vla that magically comes out from one carton still seperate!
Thanks for link up Monica!

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