Crema Catalana

This Spanish version of creme brulée is a stunning dinner party dish.

  • Preparation Time20 mins
  • Cooking Time10 mins
  • Serves10
  • DifficultyEasy
1.2L milk
4 strips orange zest
2 cinnamon sticks
Pinch salt
8 large egg yolks
200g granulated sugar, plus extra for caramelising
65g cornflour
2 tsp vanilla essence
Special equipment: 10 (140ml) ramekins

In a medium saucepan, bring the milk, orange zest, cinnamon sticks, and salt to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 mins to infuse flavours. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the 200g sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the cornflour and whisk until thoroughly combined.

Remove and discard the orange zest and cinnamon sticks from the milk. Whisking constantly, gradually add the milk to the egg yolk mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly to thicken, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Strain the custard into a large bowl and whisk in the vanilla. Divide the custard between 10 (140ml) ramekins and smooth the surfaces. Cool the custards slightly, then cover the ramekins with the cling film and refrigerate them until the custard is cold, at least 8 or up to 24 hrs.

To serve the crema catalana, sprinkle each ramekin evenly with two teaspoons of sugar. Use a kitchen torch to melt and caramelise the sugar until browned and crusty. Serve immediately.

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