Cafe Loft in Causeway Bay. Creme brulee. 25 August 2004 (Photo by Lee Wing-sze/South China Morning Post via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
Crème Brûlée Vs. Crema Catalana: What's The Difference?
Many cultures have their own take on a rich egg custard with a caramelized sugar topping, from Latin American flan to French crème brûlée to Spanish crema catalana. The latter two desserts both feature a crispy bruléed sugar topping, making them all the more similar, but they do have a few key differences.
Crème brûlée traced all the way back to a 17th-century French cookbook, and consists of a super-silky, cold vanilla or plain custard with cream, plenty of egg yolks, and a crunchy bruléed sugar topping, often served in elegant ramekins with fresh fruit. The topping is usually caramelized via a torch or a broiler.
Meanwhile, crema catalana is one of the oldest European desserts, created by the Jewish people of Catalonia. Rather than a neutral cream base, crema catalana is made with milk flavored with lemon, orange and cinnamon, adding acidity and toastiness, along with a crunchy sugar topping and light yet creamy texture.