Espresso Creme Brulee

posted: 06/30/10


  • 1 1/4 cups/295 ml heavy whipping cream
  • 2/3 cups/155 ml whole milk
  • 1/2 cup/100 g granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup/10 g freeze-dried instant coffee
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons/20 g turbinado sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 200?F/100?C. In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, milk, 1/2 cup/100 g of sugar, and instant coffee. Using a spoon, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the cream mixture and whisk to blend.
  2. Whisk the yolks in a large bowl to blend. Whisk in 1/4 cup/60 ml of the cream mixture. Set the yolk mixture aside. Add the scraped vanilla bean to the remaining cream mixture in the saucepan.
  3. Bring the cream mixture to a near boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar and coffee dissolve. Remove from the heat and cool for 5 minutes. Gradually whisk the warm cream mixture into the yolk mixture to blend.
  4. Strain the custard through a fine-meshed strainer and into a 4-cup/1 liter measuring cup. Place four 6-ounce/175 ml custard cups or ovenproof coffee cups in a baking dish. Divide the custard among the custard cups in the baking dish. Fill the baking dish halfway with hot water.
  5. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake the custards uncovered for 2 hours, or until the centers move only slightly when the cups are gently shaken (the custards will become firm as they cool). Remove the custards from the baking dish and allow to cool. Place the custards in the refrigerator until cold.
  6. Sprinkle the sugar over the custards. Using a kitchen blow torch, wave the flame over the custards until the sugar caramelizes. Refrigerate the custards until the topping is cold and brittle, about 10 minutes. Serve.
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