Crème brûlée is a traditional French dessert that literally means burnt (brûlée ) cream (crème). It is usually served in individual ramekins, which are small oven dishes used for baking. It belongs to the same family as the Spanish burnt cream, crema catalana.
They both are called “burnt creams” because they are desserts that consist of a custard base topped with burnt sugar. This caramelized crust is achieved by sprinkling sugar on the surface and subsequently burning it with a kitchen torch or an iron burner.
So if you want to reach the rich custard and enjoy its flavor, first you’ll need to crack the caramel layer with a spoon! Mmmm…
Crème Brûlée History
The origins of crème brûlée are still uncertain, however, it seems that the crema catalana had a great influence on the creation of this French dessert. The first known recipe for crema catalana appears in a 14th century Catalan cookbook, Llibre de Sent Soví. And it also appears in another medieval recipe book from the 16th century, Llibre de Coch. On the other hand, the origins of the crème brûlée are situated at the end of the 17th century. It is said that the chef François Massialot created this recipe during a meal organized by Philippe d’Orléans, brother of the king Louis XIV of France.
This vanilla cream is one of the most popular desserts in France. Its creamy texture can only be reached by going through the crisp caramelized crust.
Differences between Crème Brûlée and Crema Catalana
These two creams belong to the same family of custards, but there are certain differences between them.
The first one is the elaboration process. Crema catalana is cooked in a saucepan, where it gets its consistency. In addition, we use cornstarch for thickening. Crême brûlée is a French dessert baked in the oven, thus achieving a creamy texture and a delicate flavor.
Another differences are the ingredients used to flavor the custard. Creme brulee is flavored with vanilla, while crema catalana gives its custard a hint of citrus and cinnamon.
How to Make Crème Brûlée
This crème brûlée recipe is made with milk, cream, vanilla, eggs and sugar. You only need as equipment a saucepan, an oven, a whisk and 4 ramekins.
1st step: Flavor Milk
1. In a saucepan, pour 1 cup of whole milk.
2. Cut two vanilla beans in half lengthwise. Once opened, scrape the seeds inside with a knife and add them into the milk.
3. Add in a lemon peel. It is important that the lemon peel has no white part as it bitters. Tip: use a potato peeler or a vegetable knife when peeling the lemon.
4. Put on medium heat (level 6) and stir for 5 minutes until boiling. When it comes to a boil, remove from heat and set aside. Allow the milk to cool down to room temperature.
2nd Step: Turn On the Oven
5. Preheat the oven to 100ºC (212ºF).
3rd Step: Make the Cream
6. Get 5 medium size eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. In a bowl, add the yolks and, with the help of a whisk, stir very slowly so that the yolks don’t foam.
7. Add 6 tablespoons of sugar into the yolks and stir until the sugar dissolves. Keep in mind that the yolks must not froth or become pale.
8. Add 1 cup of heavy whipping cream into the yolks. Stir with the whisk (no beating!) until combined.
9. Pour the milk into the yolk mixture through a sieve. Stir gently with the whisk until blended.
10. Carefully pour the mixture into the ramekins. In this step, I used the strainer again to remove all the lumps. I do this so that the texture of the creme brulee gets smoother and finer.
11. Place the ramekins in the oven and bake for an hour and a half. Remember that these types of creams (crème brulee, Spanish custard, crema catalana) thicken as they cool down, so don’t worry if you see that the cream is not thick enough, or a bit liquid, when you take it out of the oven.
12. Take the cream out of the oven and let it cool to room temperature for about ten minutes. Then, put it to chill in the refrigerator for three hours. Keep in mind this resting time in case you want to serve the cream the same day or overnight.
4th Step: Make the Caramelized Crust
13. It’s time to make the caramelized, crunchy crust that we love so much! Before serving, sprinkle sugar on the surface of each ramekin. With a small kitchen blowtorch, carefully bring the blue flame close to the sugar until it becomes first liquid and subsequently turns golden brown. Et voilà! You have just made one of the most famous French desserts in the world, the creme brulee!
Cut two vanilla beans in half lengthwise. Once opened, scrape the seeds inside with a knife and add them into the milk.
Add in a lemon peel.
Put on medium heat (level 6) and stir for 5 minutes until boiling. When it comes to a boil, remove from heat and set aside. Allow the milk to cool down to room temperature.
Turn on the Oven
Preheat the oven to 100ºC (212ºF).
Make the Cream
Separate the yolks from the whites. In a bowl, add the yolks and, with the help of a whisk, stir very slowly so that the yolks don’t foam.
Add the sugar into the yolks and stir until the sugar dissolves. Keep in mind that the yolks must not froth or become pale.
Add 1 cup of heavy whipping cream into the yolks. Stir with the whisk (no beating!) until well combined.
Pour the milk into the yolk mixture through a sieve. Stir gently with the whisk until blended.
Carefully pour the mixture into the ramekins.
Bake for an hour and a half.
Take the cream out of the oven and let it cool to room temperature for about ten minutes. Then, put it to chill in the refrigerator for three hours.
Make the Caramelized Crust
Before serving, sprinkle sugar on the surface of each ramekin. With a small kitchen blowtorch, carefully bring the blue flame close to the sugar until it becomes first liquid and subsequently turns golden brown.
Poached pears in red wine is a classic dessert at home. This recipe belongs to Victor’s mother, who has already shared delicious recipes like this no bake cheesecake.
What Type of Pear to Use?
I use two types of pears to make this recipe: blanquillas (or water pears), which are harvested in summer, or Conference pear, which is harvested in autumn. The former are very watery and juicy, and the latter are sweeter.
Water pears, also known as “blanquillas” are typical Mediterranean. Today you can find them cultivated around the world though. Its most important characteristic is that, as soon as you start to peel it or bite it, it releases water by the pear. Once it is ripe to eat, its meat is very soft and exquisite.
It is in summer time when these pears are really harvested and distributed throughout Spain. If you want to eat a water pear, you can do it from June to December.
The other type is the Conference pear. although they do not release as much water, it does not mean that they are not delicious in flavor, it has a sweet taste and a slight acid touch. The best time to eat it is in autumn.
What Type of Wine to Use?
When making this recipe, I use a young Rioja wine. You don’t need to buy an expensive wine, because it will come out delicious anyway. Wine brands I use for this dessert: San Asensio and Palacio de Beltrus.
Make pears with wine for an elegant dessert! It is a simple and colorful dessert that will impress your guests.
How to Make Poached Pears in Wine
1. In a saucepan, pour a liter of wine, a tablespoon of sugar per pear (8) and 4/5 cup of water. First stir a little with a wooden spoon over low heat (level 4 on vitroceramic) and leave the lid on.
2. Peel 8 pears (blanquillas or conference) using a vegetable peeler, leaving the stalk on.
3. Once they are peeled, drop them into the hot liquid. Leave the pears to cook for an hour and a quarter over low heat (5 level) with the lid on, leaving it slightly ajar.
4. After an hour and a quarter, the pears should be tender and soft. With the help of the wooden spoon, pick them one by one by the stalk and place them in the dish where you are going to serve them. Stand them up for presentation.
5. Drizzle the pears with the wine syrup. If you see that the wine syrup is too liquid, leave it to cook for twenty more minutes to thicken. Et voilà! You have made delicious pears in wine!
You can serve them with whipped or liquid cream. I recommend serving them warm.
Pears in Wine Recipe
Pears are delicious when cooked in red wine. This classic recipe combines the sweet flavor of ripe pears with the rich taste of red wine.
This lemonade recipe is amazingly easy and quick to make. Don’t feel like squeezing lemons? Want to always have a pitcher of lemonade in your fridge? You are in the right place.
This homemade drink is:
Easy and quick to make.
You only need four ingredients to make the best homemade lemonade.
Neither too tart nor too sweet, this recipe has the perfect balance of lemon and sugar. This is a refreshing drink for a summer day!
How to Make Lemonade
It may seem that making this drink is easy (and it is!) , but you have to play with the measurements to get the right proportions.
If you add too much lemon, it can turn out too tart; if you pour too much water, it can turn out too watery. This lemonade recipe is deliciously balanced, so all you have to worry about is enjoying the summer!
Before you start, make sure you have the following equipment: a blender of at least 600 watts, a strainer, a pitcher and a wooden spoon.
Let’s get to it!
1. In the blender, add 5 ice cubes and crush the ice in 2 ten-second batches at maximum speed.
2. Wash 3 lemons and cut off both ends. Then, cut each lemon into four pieces, and toss them in the blender.
3. Add in 100 grams of sugar and one liter of water.
4. In 3 batches, beat at maximum speed for 1 second.
5. Using a strainer, pour the lemonade into a pitcher. And then add 250 ml of water, mint leaves and ice to taste. Stir with a wooden spoon. The mint gives it a touch, even more if possible, of freshness and menthol aroma that combines perfectly with the flavor of the lemonade. Et voilà! Enjoy the summer!
This classic chocolate mousse may become the ultimate dessert for dinner parties this summer. This mousse is light, smooth and frothy.
Mmmm… there’s something about this French chocolate dessert. I don’t know if it’s the taste or the texture, or the combination of both, but it always leaves me wanting more. When I finish my portion, I’m satisfied but … I can’t help but look at the others to see if they finish it or need a little help!!
Few desserts leave me with this feeling, so I launch a warning to navigators: this dessert can become addictive!
If you’ve made more recipes from this blog, you’ll know about my passion for sweet treats and, above all, for chocolate.
Here are some other chocolate desserts to encourage you to try, if you haven’t already!
Will you be able to resist the magic of its texture and intense chocolate flavor?
Once you have made this chocolate mousse, you will feel like the chef of any French restaurant in the heart of Paris.
As you savor the mousse, and notice how it melts on your palate, the intensity of the chocolate will conquer your senses and (possibly) take your imagination to visit magical places such as la tour Eiffel or the pedestrian streets of the French capital.
Last summer was another mousse the star dessert on the blog. It was a success because of its simplicity and creaminess. It is another type of mousse with a different texture made with condensed milk.
Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea to propose chocolate mousse as this summer’s dessert.
Although chocolate mousse is a dessert that is eaten throughout the year, this time we are going to put it in the freezer for 60 minutes so that it has a refreshing touch, without losing the intensity of the chocolate.
How to Make Chocolate Mousse
This delicious chocolate dessert is made with only 4 ingredients, so it is important that they are of high quality and at room temperature.
Butter at room temperature
Eggs at room temperature
1. In a bowl, add 200 grams of dark chocolate and 40 grams of butter, both in small pieces, and melt in a bain-marie or in the microwave for 1 minute. If there are any lumps in the mixture, stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve them. Chocolate can burn in the microwave, so it is best not to overdo it and just stir until the chocolate and butter small pieces are dissolved. Let the mixture sit cool at room temperature.
2. Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Remember that eggs (2) must be at room temperature.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff with a hand held mixer. Add in one teaspoon of sugar at the end until dissolved.
4. Add the 2 egg yolks to the chocolate, which is already at room temperature, one by one. Stir with a wooden spoon until the yolk is dissolved and well combined. You shouldn´t see any trace of yolk.
This next step is very important to create the texture of the chocolate mousse..
5.Add the meringue to the chocolate in 3 phases. In the first phase, add 1/3 of the meringue and stir quickly with the wooden spoon until combined. Once integrated, add in another third of meringue and stir more slowly until combined. Then, carefully add the remaining meringue and combine both mixtures with slow folding movements, a bottom-to-top and top-to-bottom motion, until well integrated.
6. Pour the mixture into small glasses, cover them with cling film and put them to chill in the freezer for 1 hour.
7. Take them out of the freezer and sprinkle chocolate on top to decorate and give a crunchy touch to the dessert. Et voilà! You have made a delicious chocolate mousse.
Chocolate Mousse Recipe
This delicious chocolate mousse is made with only 4 ingredients. Its texture and flavor makes this French dessert addictive!
In a bowl, add dark chocolate and butter in small pieces, and melt in a bain-marie or in the microwave for 1 minute.
Separate the egg whites from the yolks
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff with a hand held mixer. Add in one teaspoon of sugar at the end until dissolved.
Add the egg yolks to the chocolate one by one.
Add 1/3 of the meringue and stir, with the wooden spoon, quickly and in circles until integrated. Once integrated, add in another third of meringue and stir more slowly until combined. Then, carefully add the remaining meringue and combine both mixtures with slow folding movements until well integrated.
Pour the mixture into small glasses, cover them with cling film and put them to chill in the freezer for 1 hour.
Take them out of the freezer and sprinkle chocolate on top to decorate and give a crunchy touch to the dessert. Et voilà! You have made a delicious chocolate mousse.
This recipe for fried plantains with orange sauce, or platanos fritos, won´t leave you indifferent!
What I like about our grandmothers’ desserts is that they were made with basic products. Who doesn’t have sugar, bananas and oranges at home? You only need these three ingredients to make a real delicacy.
This is another recipe from Victor’s grandmother, Nona, who is delighted to be able to contribute her bit to this blog. Thanks Nona! Another of her famous recipes is this recipe for chocolate cake.
How to Make Fried Plantains with Orange Sauce
1. Make an orange juice with 2 oranges.
2. Grease a frying pan with a tablespoon of butter and put it over medium-low heat (level 4 on glass-ceramic). Tip: Use a frying pan in which the plantains fit. For this dessert I use a 9.5 inch pan.
3. Slice 2 bananas lengthwise.
4. When the butter starts to foam and sizzle a little, put the plantains with the cut side down. Let them cook for 12 minutes.
5. When the 12 minutes are up (it starts to smell good!), add orange juice until it covers half of the bananas. Then add 1 tablespoon of sugar per banana, and soak the banana loin with the juice from the pan. Let the sauce cook for 25 minutes over medium heat.
6. The sauce that is being made is like a kind of syrup. You can shake the pan a little so that the sauce is well distributed. When you see that it has thickened during this time, without caramelizing, it´s time to remove it from the heat. Et voilà… and in a very simple way you have just made delicious fried plantains with orange sauce.
The texture of the sauce is thicker than syrup and less thick than caramel. If you see that it caramelizes too soon in the pan, add a little more orange juice.
The texture of the banana at the end should not be hard, but soft as shown in the photo above. If you see that it is hard it needs to be cooked a little more in the pan.
These platanos fritos are served warm and with just the sauce taste delicious. However, you can add either whipped or liquid cream as an accompaniment if you want.
I love this recipe for fried bananas, it’s super easy to make and you don’t need a lot of time. I hope you enjoy it savouring it´s incredible texture and flavour!
Grease a frying pan with a tablespoon of butter and put it over medium-low heat.
Slice 2 bananas lengthwise
When the butter starts to foam and sizzle a little, put the plantains with the cut side down. Let them cook for 12 minutes.
When the 12 minutes are up (it starts to smell good!), add orange juice until it covers half of the bananas. Then add 1 tablespoon of sugar per banana, and soak the banana loin with the juice from the pan. Let the sauce cook for 25 minutes over medium heat.
When you see that the sauce has thickened , it´s time to remove it from the heat. Et voilà! You have just made delicious fried plantains with orange sauce.
Crema Catalana is a traditional Spanish dessert, also known as burnt cream, characterized by its citrus and cinnamon aroma and its crunchy caramelized crust.
I love the Spanish food and what my country land offers to our gastronomy. If you have ever been to Spain, you know it has different climates and landscapes from north to south and from east to west. Therefore, we have a rich gastronomic culture since every region provides its own ingredients and culinary specialties.
Crema Catalana vs. Crème Brûlée
Although crema catalana and crème brûlée belong to the same family of custards and both are called “burnt creams” ( they are topped with burnt sugar), there are certain differences between them.
Crema catalana is a Spanish dessert made with cornstarch and cooked on the stove, while crême brûlée is a French dessert baked in the oven and no cornstarch is needed. Another difference is that lemon and cinnamon are used to flavor the crema catalana, while vanilla is used to flavor the creme brûlée.
Is Crema Catalana Gluten Free ?
Yes! Catalan cream is made with cornstarch, the flour is corn-based, not wheat-based; therefore, it is gluten-free. This dessert is suitable for celiacs.
Crema catalana is usually served in the typical clay dishes. It is a very traditional dessert and is part of the heritage of our rich gastronomic culture.
If you have never made this homemade dessert, and you are wondering how to make crema catalana, I assure you that it is very easy to make it.
How To Make Crema Catalana
1. In a saucepan, pour a liter of milk and add in a cinnamon stick and a lemon peel. It is important that the lemon peel has no white as it bitters.
2. Put it over high heat and, when it starts to boil, lower the heat and let it cook for 5 more minutes. Set aside with the saucepan covered, so that the milk continues to take on the flavor.
3. Separate 8 egg yolks from 8 egg whites, and place the yolks in a bowl. Add 150 grams of sugar and beat the mixture with a hand held mixer until it turns foamy and pale yellow.
4. Add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into the mixture and beat with the hand mixer until well integrated.
5. Pour the milk into the mixture through a sieve, removing the cinnamon stick and the lemon peel. Whisk with the hand held for one second .
6. Once you have all the mixture integrated, put it back on the stove over a medium heat. Stir with a whisk until it starts to boil. You will see that it begins to thicken, but don´t let it get too thick because when it chills it will also thicken and we want it to be creamy.
7. As soon as you see the first boiling bubble, remove it from the heat and pour it into traditional clay dishes.
8. Allow the custard to cool at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Then, put it to chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours. Keep in mind this resting time in case you want to serve the cream the same day or overnight.
9. Before serving, sprinkle a thin layer of sugar on top of each dish. With a small kitchen blowtorch, burn the thin layer of sugar until turns golden brown. This is how you coat the top of the custard with a crunchy, caramelized crust.
How Do I Caramelize Crema Catalana ?
First, sprinkle a thin layer of sugar over the top of each dish with a spoon. Then get out your small kitchen blowtorch and carefully bring the blue flame close to the sugar until it becomes first liquid and subsequently turns golden brown. This is why it is also known as burnt cream.
I Don’t Have A Blowtorch, Can I Caramelize Crema Catalana In The Oven?
Yes, you can burn the sugar in the oven, putting crema catalana as close as possible to the broiler. First, preheat the oven to 428ºF (220ºC), and when it reaches the temperature, sprinkle the sugar onto the cream and, immediately, put it in under the broiler for a few minutes. Be careful not to burn it! It might not get the same results as with the blowtorch, but it will work.
When Should I Caramelize Crema Catalana ?
Just before serving. I recommend taking crema catalana out of the fridge half an hour before eating it, so you can enjoy savouring its creaminess.
From one delicious dessert comes another delicious dessert. While making this crema catalana, I had eight egg whites left over. What should I cook with these egg whites? The answer was a delicious pavlova .
Authentic Crema Catalana Recipe
Crema Catalana is a delicious traditional dessert of the Spanish cuisine.
1tablespoonsugar per serving for caramelized crustoptional
In a saucepan, add milk, a cinnamon stick and a lemon peel.
Put it over high heat and when it starts to boil, lower the heat and let it cook for 5 more minutes. Set aside with the saucepan covered.
Separate 8 egg yolks from 8 egg whites, and place the yolks in a bowl. Add 150 grams of sugar and beat the mixture with an electric hand mixer until it turns foamy and pale yellow.
Add 2 tablespoons of cornflour to the mixture and beat with the hand mixer until well integrated.
pour the milk into the mixture through a sieve, removing the cinnamon stick and the lemon peel. Whisk with the hand mixer for one second.
Once you have all the mixture integrated, put it back on the stove over a medium heat. Stir with a whisk until it starts to boil.
As soon as you see the first boiling bubble, remove it from the heat and pour it into traditional clay dishes.
Deja que se atempere 10 minutos y metes la crema en la nevera durante 3 horas hasta que repose y enfríe.
Before serving, sprinkle a thin layer of sugar over the top of each dish with a spoon and burn the sugar with a small kitchen blowtorchto caramelize the thin layer. Et voilà! You have just made a delicious crema catalana!
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