No Spanish tapas night is complete without a serving of crema catalana. The crisp layer of caramelised sugar contrasted by a silky cream of egg yolks and vanilla has had people yearning for this traditional dessert since its inception around the 14th Century. As one of Europe’s oldest desserts, perfecting crema catalana to Spanish standards brings about much prestige, although even the most seasoned chefs might stumble along the way. The only way to find out whether you have what it takes is to give it a whirl.
- 250 ml heavy cream
- 110 ml milk
- 40 g granulated sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 vanilla pod
- 10 g vanilla pudding powder
- 5 g brown sugar (for caramelising)
To ensure a smooth cooking experience, please read the Smartwhip care and safety guidelines before usage.
- Preheat the oven to 120°C.
- Pour the milk, heavy cream and sugar into a medium-sized pot and gently heat the mixture over low-medium heat, whisking continuously.
- Slice the vanilla pod down the centre, scrape out the marrow and add it to the saucepan along with the vanilla pudding powder. Stir the mixture well until you achieve a smooth consistency.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and add the egg yolks, stirring continuously to ensure that the egg yolks do not curdle.
- Place the mixture into a cream dispenser, connect your Smartwhip, and charge it to 13 bar.
- Shake the cream dispenser for 5-10 seconds to evenly distribute the gas, then release the mixture into individual ramekins. Pour hot water into a tall baking dish to create a water bath and place the ramekins in the bath to cook the crema catalana.
- Sprinkle a teaspoon of brown sugar atop each portion and place them in the oven to caramelise for approximately 60 minutes.
Remove the ramekins from the water bath and allow them to cool for 30 minutes. Chill the crema catalana in the fridge for a few hours or overnight before serving. Enjoy the crema catalana along with an espresso or cortado as dessert.
This recipe is an adaptation from Kitchen Stories.