A recipe for Hopjesvla (Dutch Coffee Custard)! Inspired by the Dutch Hopjes candy, this vla is light and creamy with a wonderful coffee caramel flavor.
Foodie Extravaganza: Caramel
Foodie Extravaganza is a monthly party hosted by bloggers who love food! Each month we incorporate one main ingredient or theme from The Nibble into recipes to share with you and Kelley of Simply Inspired Meals chose to celebrate caramel for today’s event!
Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you!
Hopjesvla (Dutch Coffee Custard)
When we were in the Netherlands in 2016, Claire was still an infant with an early bedtime so we usually picked up food from a nearby grocery store for dinner after a long day walking around Amsterdam.
Visiting the local grocery store at least once has actually turned into a highlight during our travels. It gives me a chance to really see how much of the language I have learned and I often find a few things to take back home.
The cartons of vla lining the dairy section particularly stuck out during one of these stops in Amsterdam. Vla is a pourable custard that comes in a variety of flavors. It was especially perfect to enjoy at the end of a long day.
Some of the more popular options include vanilla, chocolate (or a combination of the two- Dubbelvla), fruit, caramel, specialty seasonal flavors, and even Blanke Vla (plain/neutral). I also like to pair it with yogurt and jam parfait-style to make a Vlaflip (you can find a recipe for Vla-Flip over at Live Eat Learn).
I didn’t try it while in the Netherlands, but recently came across Hopjesvla and it is my new favorite flavor!
Inspired by Hopjes, a Dutch coffee caramel candy, this creamy custard has caramel and coffee in every bite! Granulated sugar is cooked over medium heat until caramelized, then blended with milk and coffee (strongly brewed coffee + instant coffee for an extra boost) to form the base. Egg yolks and cornstarch are added to thicken the liquid.
The Hopjesvla is delicious on its own after chilling or you can top it with a little whipped cream or a sprinkling of Hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles).
If you are in the Los Angeles area, I have recently come across the Hopjes coffee caramel candy at Holland International Market in Bellflower.
A Few Tips
Keep a close eye on the sugar as it caramelizes in the pan. It will quickly go from golden to burnt.
Do not stir the sugar until you are adding the water (and be careful at this point- it will steam). Gently swirl the pan if needed to get the sugar to melt more evenly.
Constantly whisk as you slowly add the milk coffee to the caramelized sugar. If any pieces harden, continue to stir as the mixture heats up and the caramel will melt back into the liquid.
Slowly add the hot milk coffee to the cold milk coffee/eggs a tablespoon at a time while constantly whisking to temper the eggs. This will gently warm the eggs to the right temperature and keep the mixture smooth without scrambling them.
After adding the eggs to thicken the cream, take care to not increase the heat to try to speed up the process. Stir constantly and heat just until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and starting to bubble. If the mixture overheats, you may end up with cooked, curdled cream.
If the vla thickens too much after cooking, whisk in a splash or two of milk to get it back to the right consistency. You want it thickened, but not to the point of pudding. The mixture should still be pourable.
To chill, cover the top of the custard with a layer of plastic wrap to prevent a film from forming.
Check out what everyone else made:
Your favorite bloggers from #FoodieExtravaganza have gathered some of their favorite caramel recipes into one spot to kick off the fall baking season. Don’t these all sound amazing!
- Caramel & Orange Cake Pudding Trifle by Sneha’s Recipe
- Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- These Caramel Butter Bars by Making Miracles
- Caramel Stuffed Brownie Bites by Food Lust People Love
- Easy Caramel Modjestkas by Palatable Pastime
- Galaxy Cake by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Hopjesvla (Dutch Coffee Custard) by Tara’s Multicultural Table
- Salted Caramel Mudslide by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Hopjesvla (Dutch Coffee Custard) Recipe
Hopjesvla (Dutch Coffee Custard)
- 2 1/4 cups (530 milliliters) milk
- 1 cup (240 milliliters) strongly brewed coffee
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
- 2/3 cup (140 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) water
- 2 1/2 tablespoons (25 grams) cornstarch
- 2 large egg yolks
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, coffee, and instant coffee granules until well combined.
- In a large saucepan, add the sugar in an even layer and place over medium heat. Do not stir. Gently swirl the pan if needed and heat the sugar until golden.
- Pour in the 2 tablespoons water and whisk to deglaze the caramel. Slowly pour in 2/3 of the milk coffee mixture while continuing to whisk until the liquid is smooth and blended. Decrease heat to medium-low and stir occasionally until steaming, but not boiling.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and egg yolks. Whisk into the remaining 1/3 milk coffee mixture.
- Take 1/2 cup of the heated milk coffee and slowly pour into the cold milk coffee with eggs, 1 tablespoon at a time, while continuing to whisk until warm. Pour the mixture back into the pan while continuing to whisk until smooth and blended.
- Cook while continuing to stir (especially the bottom and sides of the pan) until the custard has thickened and is starting to bubble, but not yet boiling.
- Remove from heat and transfer to a heat-safe container. Cover the top with a layer of plastic wrap to prevent a film from forming and refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours, before serving.