Ah, Creme Catalan. Such a simple, yet perfect combination of flavours and textures. Everyone seems to love shattering the topping and breaking into the delicate orange-scented delights below. I’ve always loved Crème brûlée but when I first visited Spain I had this and thought the orange zest in the Spanish version made a great thing even better. Our customers have always agreed and this has been our most popular dessert over the years.
Creme Catalan (Crema Catalana)
- 5 medium egg yolks
- 375g double cream
- 200g full fat milk
- 75g caster sugar
- Zest of 1 orange
- Seeds of 1 vanilla pod
- Extra caster sugar to finish
Add the vanilla seeds and orange zest to the cream and in a pan. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat.
Mix together the egg yolks and caster sugar in a bowl. Add the milk in stages and stir to combine.
Pour mixture into 4 wide moulds or ramekins and cook in a bain-marie at 100°C until set. Refrigerate for 2 hours until chilled.
Sprinkle each with a fine, even layer of caster sugar and gently flame with a blowtorch* until golden, taking care not to burn the sugar. Return to the fridge for 5 min to set.
* If you don’t have a blowtorch you can always use a grill for the final stage, although it’s harder to get as crisp and glassy a finish on the sugar.