Recipe: Creme Catalan with Cinnamon Churros

This delicious recipe was created by Dave Campbell (Hungry Duck and Wharf Rd Restaurant & Bar, NSW). It is featured in the book titled “The Great Australian Baking Book”.




Crème Catalan

  • 1 organic vanilla bean
  • 500 ml good-quality milk
  • (we use South Coast Dairy
  • or The Pines from Kiama)
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 free-range egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp maize cornflour
  • 350 g caster sugar


  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 250 ml water
  • 150 g plain flour
  • . tsp salt
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 1 litre vegetable oil
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp finely ground cinnamon


For the Crème Catalan, split vanilla bean and scrape seeds out. Put both seeds and pod in a saucepan. Add milk, cinnamon and lemon zest to the pot and heat gently until just below boiling point.

In a bowl, place egg yolks, cornflour and 250 grams sugar. Use a whisk to stir these together.

Pour the hot milk onto the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Return the mixture to the pan and use a wooden spoon to stir until the custard thickens. Have a taste and make sure that the cornflour has been cooked.

Remove from heat and strain into your favourite moulds. (We use a fairly flat dish so you get more of the beautiful caramel.) Place in the fridge for about 1 hour to set. When you’re ready to serve, sprinkle the surface of each custard generously with remaining caster sugar and use a gas blowtorch to caramelise the sugar, or place under a hot grill for 2–4 minutes.

For the churros, dice butter and place in a saucepan with water. Heat until butter melts, then remove from the heat and stir in flour and salt to create a smooth batter.

Place mixture in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool a little (not too cold).

Place the cooled dough in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment. On low speed, slowly add eggs, allowing each egg to be fully combined before adding the next. Let the batter rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before transferring it to a piping bag with a large star nozzle.

Heat oil in a saucepan to 170°C. Pipe lengths (approximately 15 cm) of batter directly into the hot oil, about four at a time. Cook until golden-brown, about 4 minutes per batch. Remove from oil and place on paper towel.

Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over churros. Serve while hot, dipping them into the Crème Catalan as you eat.

You can find this recipe and many more in the THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN BAKING BOOK Edited by Helen Greenwood, Tim Harper, Ruth Hobday (Echo Publishing $49.99).


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