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maandag 28 mei 2012

Home made vlaai

Ever heard about 'vlaai'? It's a very special kind of Flemish dessert. Many different recipes occur, and some of them are protected - including having secret ingredients and recipes - but my mum has her own.

It's always made out of milk, speculoos (a light brown biscuit made with different spices) and peperkoek (a kind of breakfast cake with yet again many spices) and syrup. My mum also adds raisins for taste and from time to time we also add coconut macaroons (a delicious biscuit made almost entirely out of grated coconut).

candy syrup

As you see, this really is a regional dessert, with all these native ingredients.

The recipe here is my mum's. In Belgium all bakeries and town have their own, so I'm not claiming the truth about vlaai.  But it's worth trying, simply because it's so good and incredibly simple to make. You really can't do wrong in any way!

- 1 l milk
- 1/2 pack of peperkoek (about 250 grams)
- 100 grams speculoos
- a few spoonfuls of candy syrup
- raisins as many as you want (if you like)
- coconut macaroons to taste

How to:
Put all the ingredients (except the raisins) in a large pot and crush them with a potato masher until you get a kind of brownish liquid. You really have to make sure there are a few lumps left, it sounds not very good but it's essential for the texture. 
Butter an oven tray or an aluminium baking tray. Pour the mixture in and scatter some raisins on top. Push these down with a fork so that they won't burn in the oven. 
Put the tray in a 180°C oven for 45 minutes. Take the vlaai out of the oven and let it cool. 

When first taken out of the oven, it tends to be still a bit wet. But it sets after cooling down.
It's also best eaten a while after baking. The taste gets more intense. 
We usually make it the night before or early in the morning. During hot days like these I put it in the fridge for extra coolness and it sets more easily too.

For serving, you just cut out a square piece. No fuss at all :)


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