Spain’s Creme Brulee – Crema Catalana

By Jackie DeKnock  ,

November 26, 2015

Everyone loves crème brulee, this is Spain’s healthier version. The recipe comes to you from Alicia of our Catalan Cooking Holiday in Spain and it’s delicious.

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  • Yields: Serves 6


4 cups milk (plus a little milk to dissolve cornstarch)

7 oz sugar

8 egg yolks

1 oz cornstarch

cinnamon stick (1/2 tsp ground cinnamon)

1 zest of lemon


Bring the milk to a boil with the cinnamon and lemon zest. In another bowl mix together the sugar, egg yolks and the dissolved cornstarch. When the milk is boiling, remove from the heat and add in a slow stream to the mixture in the bowl, stirring with a whisk. Return the mixture to the saucepan and place it on low heat. When the ‘crema’ beings to bubble, turn off the heat. Pour the ‘crema’ into earthenware dishes and let it cool, then refrigerate. Before serving, sprinkle sugar on top of each ‘crema’ and caramelize with a hot iron.

Chef’s note: Always caramelize the sugar immediately before serving, otherwise it will start to dissolve and you won’t be able caramelize…and that’s the most exciting part of this recipe!

Serve with Spanish Hot Chocolate. Grate 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate into a bowl and cover it with a little of the 2/3 cup of boiling water. Mash the mixture into a paste. Add the rest of the water and 1 tsp vanilla, 3 tsp sugar plus a dash of cinnamon and beat with an electric mixer until frothy. The chocolate will not totally dissolve and will have a grittiness to it.

Buen Apetito!

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