Cuajada with Caramel Sauce- Spanish and South American Créme Brulée
Cuajada is a compact, almost curd lik product, like curd “grains” coagulate tightly to make a cheese. It is popular in the north-eastern regions of Spain (Basque Country, Navarre, Castilla y León, La Rioja), but you can find it in almost all South and Central American countries as well (Columbia, Nicaragua, El Savador, Mexico, Honduras, Brazil and Costa Rica).
Raw warmed milk is mixed with cuajada powder or rennet or with other plant extracts and left to curdle. It was traditionally made in a clay recipient or a wooden one called a kaiku and heated with a red-hot poker, giving it a distinct faintly burned taste. Cuajada means ‘curdled’ in Spanish.
A similar product named Coalhada is found mostly in northeast Brazil, especially in rural areas. It is made from curdled milk (specifically boiled) and yoghurt. Recipes vary but usually contain sugar and/or fruit juices.
I’ve got this recipe of this traditional pudding from Adi, a Spanish friend, after having enjoyed it her house.
If you not living in Spain it’s probably not so easy to find the “cuajada powder” ingredient, you can try your luck in Spanish specialty shops; but you can make an easy substitution using half tablet “Rennet” (to find in drugstores) of a few drops rennet.
- 175 g philadelphia cheese
- 200 ml heavy cream
- 500 ml milk
- 100 g sugar
- 12 g cuajada powder ( 1 envelope cuajada or 1/2 tablet rennet or 5 drops rennet)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- Mix all the ingredient for the cream in a pan and wish until the cuajada looks dissolved.
- Heat it until it begins to thicken.
- In the meantime spread 3 tablespoon of sugar in your baking mold and place it under grill until it changes the color to medium brown.
- Take out mold oven and wait until the mold is still warm but not hot.
- Poor in the cream.
- Let cool down and turn on a plate.
Note: you can add some grated citrus peel, cardamom, cinnamon or, or — to add different flavor. You can also top the warm cream in the mold with crumbled cookies; after inverting the curd they will stay at the bottom of it.