I’ve been always amazed about the taste and the textures of crema catalana, our own “crème brûlée”. It includes a chilled cream, very rich in flavour and content (mainly coming from the yolks), and the crunchy caramel layer, still warm when served. It is prepared in advance, but only just before to be served, the sugar is caramelized, providing a sense of freshly made. And the most surprising thing is how easy it is to be prepared! I really recommend you to try this recipe out. You will be surprised with the results.
If you don’t have a kitchen torch, you can still prepare it. Just warm the broiler up and put your containers just below for about 2 minutes (try to keep this time as short as you can, so you can still caramelize the sugar but you don’t overheat the cream). You can use regular granulated sugar or brown sugar. Normally we use regular granulated sugar, but both work well. And about the amounts: if you need to prepare a bigger amount, just double the ingredients. It will work perfectly. Don’t hesitate to provide me with your comments if you make it your self. Enjoy!
Ingredients for 3-4 servings:
-500 ml milk
-3 egg yolks
-100 gr granulated sugar (plus a bit for the caramel)
-20 gr corn starch
-1 cinnamon stick
1. Heat 400 ml of milk with the lemon zest and the cinnamon stick. You don’t need to bring it to a boil, but just warm it up until some vapor comes out of the milk. Remove the lemon zest and the cinnamon stick and reserve.
2. Mix the egg yolks, 100 ml milk, the sugar and the corn starch until combined. Transfer the mixture into the warm milk and mix well. put on low heat and keep stirring until the cream thickens (about 2-3 minutes). Now, transfer into your containers (preferably flat) and cover with plastic wrap to avoid the surface from drying. Chill completely in the fridge.
3. Just before serving, remove the plastic wrap, add some cast sugar on top and burn it with the help of a kitchen torch until the sugar is caramelized. Alternatively you can use the broiler for the same purpose. Try to keep this step as short as possible to avoid the cream to warming up too much. Serve inmediately.