Sunday, 10 May 2015

Crema catalana al naranja

We're simple creatures, we people. All throughout the world. Some cream, a bot of sugar. Maybe some eggs. And hey presto, you have a dessert. On the blog you've already been introduced to the French crème brûlée and Italian panna cotta, which I've made with lime and white chocolate and with cinnamon and chilli-spiked milk chocolate

The first one is set by cooking it n the oven, the latter lets gelatin works its magic.

Latest and so-totally-not-the-least version comes from Spain in the form of crema catalana. This one differs from the previous in that it is first cooked in a pot over low heat until the mixture starts to thicken after which is left to set in the fridge.

Let your imagination run free. I for one have made versions with toasted and crushed fennel seeds and even with saffron. But the one I just can't seem to get enough is orange-infused version that I fell in love with at the brunch at Boqueria on our last trip to Stockholm.

By the way, in case you're one of those people who can't get enough of orange, try this flan from Seville, famous for their oranges!

Depending on the size of the serving dish this yields 4-6 portions 

Crema catalana al naranja:

5 dl heavy cream
the juice of 1/2 orange (1/2 dl)
a couple of strips of orange zest
(optional: 1/2 tsp cardamom OR toasted, crushed fennel seeds OR a pinch of saffron)
6 yolks
60 g sugar

for serving: a couple of tbsp demerara sugar

Measure cream, orange zest and juice into a pot. Over medium heat bring just below boiling point. Cover and let infuse for 15 minutes.

Which yolks and sugar until all sugar's incorporated. Don't whisk until all pale and fluffy as this makes it more difficult for the final mixture to thicken. 

Drain the cream mixture and pour into the yolk mixture continually whisking. Pour into a clean pot and, stirring every now and then, cook over low to medium heat until the mixture starts to thicken.

Pour into ramekins and leave to set in the fridge until the next day.

Before serving sprinkle with sugar and burn the top with a blow torch.

Serve. Be in heaven.

Just like with crème brûlée, the best part is that first spoonful; breaking the sugary crust and diving into that velvety pudding...!





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