Although it is often asked whether this is an authentic Dalmatian dish or if it appeared partially inspired by the popular French dessert crème brûlée or the Spanish crema Catalana, nobody can ignore the dessert rožata, which has managed to survive historical turmoil since the Middle Ages to this very day, not only in Dalmatia but also throughout the rest of Croatia.
Rozata, rožata or rožada has many fans throughout the country and is prepared in snack bars and high-quality restaurants, as well as in many homes as a sweet end to a rich lunch. Just as many other sweets which have survived the centuries by being passed from generation to generation, rožata is also prepared from simple and modest ingredients.
Namely, the basic elements of this creamy and refreshing dessert are milk, eggs and sugar, and for the unique aroma a liqueur made from roses known as Rosalin or Rozulin, to which this dessert owes its name, is used. Since this is a cold and firm crème, rožata is particularly popular in the summer as refreshment from the heat, and it is often served as a representative dessert of Dalmatian cuisine to foreigners. As such rožata was served at an official dinner during the visit of ex-American President George W. Bush to Zagreb in 2008.
For its preparation it is necessary to boil sugar in milk and let it cool, mix the eggs and add them to the milk together with lemon peel and vanilla sugar. A few spoons of sugar are then slowly caramelised then carefully poured around to line the walls of the bowl in which the rožata will be baked. When the caramel has cooled the mixture is poured into the bowl and baked at a low temperature. After baking, the pot with the rožata should be left to cool in the fridge, and before serving place a shallow plate over the pot, hold tightly and quickly turn it over to reveal the rožata which is then poured over with Rozulin.