Crema Catalana

Cakes, pies & tarts | Traditional Spanish Recipes

Crema Catalana, Natillas and Polvorones: This is Xmas and Season’s Eatings!!!!

Have you heard about Season’s Eatings?… this is the Event Katie organizes once a year (Xmas time) at her blog: Thyme for cooking. If you want to know about it, click here.

My package contained a good bunch of Star Anise, 2 natural vanilla sticks, a gelato recipe, a beautiful card and good Xmas wishes :D, all coming from sunny California, U.S.A. Simona from Briciole is the sender of the package and from here I send her a BIG THANK YOU!!!!! I will not be performing the gelato this time, but I will keep the recipe for the summer time ;D. You can get it here if you wish.

Instead, I used Simona’s fantastic spices to cook/bake Polvorones, Natillas and Crema Catalana… desserts that we will enjoy these Xmas days :D

Here you have polvorones or mantecados: simple steps to follow to get these sweeties over your table at Xmas time!

Ingredients for 4 servings: 200 grs of flour, 200 grs of butter, 100 grs of icing sugar, some ground cinnamon a bit of anise (in liquid) and 6 star anise.

1.- Have a pot ready at low heat and place the butter there, add the star anise until the butter melts completely.
2.- Take away from heat, let cool down and when cold, place in the fridge. With the help of a fork mix the flour with the butter (discard the star anise), the icing sugar, a pinch of cinnamon and a bit of anise aroma (one teaspoon).
3.- When we have worked the dough and ingredients are well blended, form the balls and place in the fridge for one hour.
4.- Then crush the balls slightly on their top and bottom and insert in the oven for 15 minutes at 150ºC. Once cold, sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon and plenty of icing sugar.

Crema Catalana might make you think about Crème brûlée; they have some similarities, no doubt, but even though Crème brûlée sounds more chic… Crema Catalana won’t deceive you :D. Here is your opportunity… go and try it!
Here is what I did: The basic ingredients for Crema Catalana and Natillas are the same: Milk, sugar, cornstarch and yolks. The difference is in the quantity of cornstarch we add and the aroma we choose. So, I took the basics: 1 liter of milk, 200 grs of sugar and 8 egg yolks and divided them in 2. Half the ingredients for the Crema and the other half for the Natillas.
Next thing is: Crema C. needs 40 grs of cornstarch (since I used half the ingredients, I took 20 instead). Natillas need 20 grs of cornstarch (since I used half the ingredients, I took 10 grs instead).
The aroma chosen for the Crema was a lemon peel and a branch of cinnamon.
The aroma chosen for Natillas was star anise and vanilla. (6 stars and 1 vanilla stick).

1.- To prepare them: In a big bowl mix the egg yolks with the cornstarch and a shot of milk. Whip with a kitchen beater.
2.- Heat the rest of the milk in a pot with the sugar and the aroma you chose. Have at medium heat and when it stars boiling, let cool down away from the heat.
3.- Once the milk has cooled down, add little by little into the eggs mixture and don’t stop stirring. Strain it and pour in another clean pot. Have it at low/medium heat stirring all the time. 4.- When you see that it gets thicker stir more energetically and when it starts boiling take away from the heat and keep on stirring until it cools a bit.
5.- Place on earthenware small dishes and when cold place in the fridge. Just before serving, sprinkle generously with sugar on top and burn it with a blowtorch or any other kitchen tool you have for that purpose. There you are :D :D :D

And see what I have here to show you: Turrones… these ones are made out of chocolate and nuts… Mmmmmm I love them!!!! Still haven’t learnt to make them, but I bet next year I will be ready to show you all their recipe :D.
Turrones can be made out of nearly anything: egg yolk, dried fruits, almonds, any kind of nut, liquours, etc.



, , , , , , , , ,



12/23/2008 · 19:05 h by Maryann

What a lovely gift from Simona! You lucky girl, you!

12/23/2008 · 23:01 h by We Are Never Full

oh this is one of my favorites when made right and it looks like you’ve TOTALLY done just that (would i have imagined anything different?). this looks wonderful and HAPPY HOLIDAYS NURIA!

12/23/2008 · 23:13 h by Simona

I am so glad the package arrived before Christmas, in time for you to make these great goodies. This is such a fun event. Happy Holidays!

12/24/2008 · 0:08 h by Joelen

This takes me back to my childhood as polverones are popular among Filipinos. Thanks so much for sharing!

12/24/2008 · 2:31 h by taste memory

This is perfect for the season! I can imagine the glorious scent of these spices ~ so enticing ~ the turrones look especially delicious!

12/24/2008 · 5:58 h by Lali

mmmm Crema catalana!
Bon nadal i felicitats pel bloc!

12/24/2008 · 12:17 h by Bellini Valli

It;sw so nice to receive gifts from aroujd the world at Chritmas. It draws the foodie world a little closer. Thanks for sharing these special Catalan treats with us. Have a wonderful holiday season Nuria!!!!!

12/24/2008 · 13:12 h by Peter G

The polvorones are very similar to the Greek Kourabiethes I just made. Also i want to make crema catalana! It looks delicious Nuria! Feliz Navidad Chica and all the best for the new year…thanking you again for your beautiful gift!

12/24/2008 · 18:03 h by Núria

Thank you all guys!!!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!


I’ll be back as soon as I can.

Hola Lali! Benvinguda i gràcies per les teves paraules :D. Avui té les hores contades… Mmmmmmm.

12/24/2008 · 19:35 h by Ivy

Provolones, I’ve heard about them but now I can see that they resemble like kourabiedes. Crema Catalana sounds great as well.
I wish you and your family Merry Christmas and have a great time.

12/25/2008 · 2:58 h by Passionate About Baking

Yes, lucky lucky girl Nuria…but you are as sweet…so I’m glad you got something so wonderful! Love the delicious sweet eliccasies you’ve made. Of course the brulee is as good as it gets & I love all the flavours in there! Bookmarked to make one day…just too good!! XOXOXO Much love, warmth & hapiness to you & your family this season!!

12/26/2008 · 13:56 h by Joan Nova

ooh…turrones de chocolate. I never saw that. We had a more conventional turron but we had a pumpkin flan with praline brittle. I’ll be posting soon. I think you’ll like it (if you like pumpkin).
Meantime, I hope you and your family, especially the little one, had a wonderful Noche Buena.

12/27/2008 · 1:55 h by Jen of A2eatwrite

These look beautiful and SO sweet! Merry Christmas, Nuria!

12/28/2008 · 0:45 h by Lori Lynn

Love the Crema Catalana. I would take that any day over the ubiquitous creme brulee…

Hope you are enjoying the holidays and wishing you a wonderful 2009!

Lori Lynn

12/28/2008 · 16:32 h by katiez

Oh, my… That looks wonderful! Every bit of everything… Can I come live with you? The closest I came to any Catalan food over the holidays was stuffing myself with tomato bread. A bit cold for gelato, I agree!

12/29/2008 · 2:57 h by Cynthia

Happy New Year!

12/30/2008 · 4:59 h by Heather

You’re already sweet.

12/30/2008 · 16:53 h by Maria Jose

Holaaaaaa!!!! acabo de descubrir tu blog y me encanta, al principio me ha hecho gracia el titulo que has elegido jajaja y luego mirando a fondo he visto que tus recetas son muy buenas y las fotos lo mismo…besos

12/31/2008 · 23:54 h by Bren

i looooove turon but it’s so hard to find. i can only get it in Miami and in New Jersey. Llema is my favorite!! And your natilla looks amazing. Que paces un ano neuvo muy bonito!

01/01/2009 · 6:39 h by giz

Boy oh boy – you weren’t kidding when you said you were going to do more baking. It looks to me like you’re a natural.

Happy New Year dear Nuria.

01/02/2009 · 0:14 h by Pinoy Contests

Happy New Year! Great blog! Here’s a fun cooking contest you might be interested in joining:

01/03/2009 · 19:26 h by Maria

These desserts sound amazing, I hope you and your family enjoyed them in good health. May you have a wonderful, happy and healthy New Year Nuria!

01/05/2009 · 14:42 h by Sam Sotiropoulos

Happy New Year Nuria!

I simply love Turron! I hope you can share a recipe for them with us as I would love to make them instead of buying them ready-made.

Be Well,


01/06/2009 · 16:18 h by katiez

Happy King’s Day, Nuria!

01/06/2009 · 18:40 h by JennDZ - The Leftover Queen

Happy New Year sweet Nuria! Hope all is well with you and your beautiful family!

01/07/2009 · 0:04 h by bee

have a fantastic, delicious 2009, dear nuria.

01/07/2009 · 21:44 h by Dragon

You are a lucky girl! I hope you had a great Christmas and a New Year.

01/07/2009 · 22:31 h by Nathan

Hola Nuria, just passed by your blog again, I’ll be waiting patiently for a post :)

I LOVE NATILLA AND CREMA CATALANA my grandmother use to make them often. My grandmother uses cinnamon, and lemon for Natillas and Crema Catalanas, she does them both the same except that for Crema Catalanas we add a sugar crust on top like you did to.

Is “Star Anise” popular in Spain? I use it in Chinese cooking mostly and in MExican cuisine it is used to make Tea, “Pa’quitar los gasses jaja”

01/08/2009 · 10:32 h by Núria

Thank you all so much for your good wishes… YOu are GREAT!!!!! Love you all♥

Joan, nowadays turron can be made out of nearly anything!!!! Chocolate ones are my faves!!!!

Hola Maria José! Bienvenida a mi blog :D. Encantada de que te guste y espero que encuentres recetas de tu agrado. Voy a pasarme por el tuyo en seguida! Siento haber tardado tanto en responder. Besos!

Hi Pinoy Contests! Welcome to my blog :D. Will check your place in short, meanwhile… enjoy my recipes ;D

Nathan, Star anise is easily found here in Spain, but, so far I only use it for natillas, crema pastelera and infusions… will love to know more about it :D. Perfect para dolor de barriga… je, je.

10/26/2009 · 12:21 h by pierre

thanks Nuria for your message on my blog ; indeed I know and love crema catalena which I use to have when I go to Perpignan the capital of French catalunya!!
See you soon !!

Leave a comment

Subscribe Contact me Scroll to Top