Monday, 26 November 2012

Creme Catalana - A Random Recipe

I haven't been to Europe much on my holidays, usually I fly west instead of east. I have, however made the odd trip to the continent and one of these trips was to the amazing city of Barcelona in the Catalan Region of Spain.
Barcelona, pickpockets and scam artists aside, is a beautiful city. It pretty much encompasses everything you want in a holiday with it's white sandy beaches, rolling hills and mountain sides, bustling city life and of course, amazing food. If you ever get the chance to visit, have a wander around The Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria which is the main food market on Las Ramblas in the centre of the city. It is truly stunning, miles of fresh vegetables, seafood, patisserie, meat and charcuterie, it is a food lovers dream. Then play catch the chair with the rest of the crowds (speed and sneakiness is the key) on one of the tapas stands and eat what you have just gawped at.

So why am I wittering on about Barcelona, well as usual over in Blighty, everyone's favourite Ringmaster is orchestrating his usual Random Recipe challenge over at Belleau Kitchen. This months challenge was to pick a cookbook associated with our birthdays e.g. mine is on the 20th (May, I like whisky) so I counted to the 20th book and randomly picked a recipe. The book I picked was Ramsay's World Kitchen and I landed on the Spanish version of the classic Creme Brulee; Creme Catalana.  

4 large yolks
70g Caster sugar
2 tbsp cornflour, sifted
zest of one lemon and one orange
cinnamon stick
250ml whole milk
250ml double cream

Whisk the yolks with the sugar until pale and creamy
Whisk in the cornflour and zests
Slowly pour in the milk and cream whisking continuously.
Pour the custard into a saucepan and add the cinnamon stick.
Heat gently whilst stirring continuously, when the custard can coat the back of a spoon, turn off the heat.
Pour through a fine sieve into a jug then pour into individual ramekins
allow to cool completely and chill in the fridge until needed.

Sprinkle a thin layer of demerara sugar over the top and either wave a blowtorch over the top to caramelise the sugar or preheat a grill to high, place on a tray and place under the grill until golden.

Lighter than a traditional creme brulee with a lovely citrus undertone, couldn't taste much cinnamon, might infuse the milk beforehand  next time to see if that helps.


  1. Oh I LOVE creme catalana - I'd forgotten all about it and now I've remembered it.

  2. i don't think i've ever heard of creme catalana... but it sounds bloody lovely!... nice job... fab entry... now where's my whip? I need a whip if i'm going to be a ring-master!... thanks for the entry this month mate x

  3. ok this is the first I've heard of creme catalana, but if it's like you described, like a creme brulee but lighter and citrussy, it's pretty much amazing, can't wait to give it a go.

  4. Sounds delicious! The citrus should cut the richness of the custard, which can make creme brulee seem a bit much sometimes.

  5. This looks great. I'm ridiculously fond of a CC but I must admit it's even nicer on a sunny day when there's nothing to do but relax and eat.