Espresso Crème Brûlée
Oh, I’m sorry… Did you not want two recipes for crème brûlée within one week of each other??? Oh, so you don’t like eating the same thing for dinner every night for two weeks straight either? Straaange.
Like I’ve said so many times before… When I find something that I like, I tend to obsess over it until I get sick of it, but it is difficult to imagine that I would evvvveeerr get sick of creme brulee. The blowtorch itself is just too much fun.
But you know what is even more fun than Classic Crème Brûlée? Espresso-infused Crème Brûlée. Okay, this is seriously my ideal dessert… If only I could add a chocolate chip cookie somewhere in the mix…
I made this Espresso Crème Brûlée for Thanksgiving dessert but unfortunately everyone was so stuffed from all the appetizers, drinks, and dinner we consumed beforehand that we never even got around to dessert! I was left with four little ramekins sitting in my fridge and waiting to be torched and eaten :(. I used the same custard base as I did for the classic, but I ditched the vanilla bean and added crushed up espresso beans instead… Gives you a nice little kick and you save money on the $10 vanilla bean!
Espresso Crème Brûlée recipe from America’s Test Kitchen:
4 cups heavy cream, chilled
2/3 cup granulated sugar
Pinch table salt
¼ cup espresso beans, coarsely crushed
12 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8-12 teaspoons turbinado sugar or Demerara sugar
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.
- Combine 2 cups cream, sugar, and salt in medium saucepan; add espresso beans to pan, submerged in cream, and bring mixture to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to ensure that sugar dissolves. Take pan off heat and let steep 15 minutes to infuse flavors.
- Meanwhile, place kitchen towel in bottom of large baking dish or roasting pan and arrange eight 4- to 5-ounce ramekins (or shallow fluted dishes) on towel. Bring kettle or large saucepan of water to boil over high heat.
- After cream has steeped, stir in remaining 2 cups cream to cool down mixture. Whisk yolks and vanilla in large bowl until broken up and combined. Whisk about 1 cup cream mixture into yolks until loosened and combined; repeat with another 1 cup cream. Add remaining cream and whisk until evenly colored and thoroughly combined. Strain through fine-mesh strainer into 2-quart measuring cup or pitcher (or clean medium bowl); discard solids in strainer. Pour or ladle mixture into ramekins, dividing it evenly among them.
- Carefully place baking dish with ramekins on oven rack; pour boiling water into dish, taking care not to splash water into ramekins, until water reaches two-thirds height of ramekins. Bake until centers of custards are just barely set and are no longer sloshy and digital instant-read thermometer inserted in centers registers 170 to 175 degrees, 30 to 35 minutes (25 to 30 minutes for shallow fluted dishes). Begin checking temperature about 5 minutes before recommended time
- Transfer ramekins to wire rack; cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Set ramekins on rimmed baking sheet, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours or up to 4 days.
- Uncover ramekins; if condensation has collected on custards, place paper towel on surface to soak up moisture. Sprinkle each with about 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar (1 1/2 teaspoons for shallow fluted dishes); tilt and tap ramekin for even coverage. Ignite torch and caramelize sugar. Refrigerate ramekins, uncovered, to re-chill, 30 to 45 minutes (but no longer); serve.