I love a good Creme Brulee and have made Classic Creme Brulee a few times now. So I was looking for something a bit different in terms of flavourings, and came across this recipe by Gordon Ramsay on Nigella.com which was sourced originally from his book Just Desserts.
I’m never one to say no to anything coffee flavoured, especially when it’s the real deal, i.e. espresso shots rather than instant coffee powder. A simple dessert to make – basically a cooked custard – but one that always seems to win rave reviews. And let’s face it, there’s something ridiculously satisfying about cracking through that toffee layer on top!
One slight adjustment to the recipe; I like making my Creme Brulees in a water bath – it ensures a gentler cook and it’s always worked well for me. Gordon Ramsay puts his puddings directly into the oven on an oven tray. So feel free to do that if you want; I’ve changed the recipe to include the water bath instructions. And with regards to the demerara sugar on top – the darker sugar does caramelize to a slightly smoky, burned flavour – I think it actually works well with the pudding. But if you prefer a sweeter caramel crunch, I’d go with caster sugar instead.
ESPRESSO CRÈME BRULEE
For the brulee:
- 350 ml double cream
- 125 ml full fat milk
- 50 ml espresso coffee (double shot)
- 1 tbsp Tia Maria optional – I used Kahlua
- 6 large egg yolks
- 75 grams caster sugar
- 2 tbsp demerara sugar, to caramelize
- Preheat the oven to 140°C (280°F). Stand 6 oven-proof coffee cups or ramekins in a roasting tray. Fill your hot water jug and put on to boil.
- Put the cream and milk in a heavy-based saucepan and heat slowly to scalding point, then take off the heat. Stir in the espresso coffee and liqueur, if using.
- Beat the egg yolks in a large heatproof bowl until pale and creamy. Pour the hot steaming coffee cream on to the egg yolks, a third at a time, whisking well. Then whisk in the caster sugar. Strain this liquid through the fine-mesh sieve into a jug.
- Pour the mixture into the coffee cups, dividing it equally. Put roasting pan into the oven and carefully pour the boiled water into the pan, until the water reaches half way up the sides of the dishes. Bake for about 45 minutes until custards are very lightly set on top. They’re done when the sides are firm, but the centre is still slightly wobbly.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Pop them into the fridge – they’ll firm up while they’re chilling.
- When ready to serve, take them out of the fridge and sprinkle a teaspoon of demerara sugar evenly over the surface of each custard and caramelize with a blow-torch. Serve within 15 minutes.
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