Espresso Creme Caramel

posted: 06/30/10


For the caramel:

  • 1 cup/200 g granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup/60 ml water

For the cr?me custard:

  • 1 1/3 cups/300 ml whipping cream
  • 1 1/3 cups/300 ml whole milk
  • 1/2 cup/100 g granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons/about 5 g espresso coffee powder
  • 3 large whole eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon/about 4 ml vanilla extract
  • Fresh raspberries, for garnish


To make the caramel:

  1. Position the oven rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 275?F/135?C. Set six 6-ounce/175-ml ramekins in a roasting pan. Combine the sugar and water in a heavy based medium sized saucepan. Gently stir over a medium to high heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.
  2. Boil without stirring until the syrup turns a deep golden brown color, occasionally brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent the sugar crystals from forming, and swirling the pan, about 4 minutes. Once the sugar has dissolved and turns into a liquid, it will begin to color gradually.
  3. When the sugar becomes golden brown remove the saucepan from the heat. Immediately pour the caramel evenly into the bottom of the six ramekins, dividing equally. Set aside. The caramel will harden as it cools.

To make the cr?me custard:

  1. Meanwhile, combine the cream, milk, sugar and espresso powder in another heavy based medium sized saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar and espresso powder dissolve, then remove from the heat and cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
  2. Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla in a large bowl to blend. Once the milk mixture has cooled slightly, gradually whisk it into the egg mixture. Strain the custard mixture through a sieve and into a 4-cup/1 liter measuring cup.
  3. Pour the custard mixture over the caramel in the ramekins, dividing equally. Transfer the roasting pan to the oven. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up sides of the ramekins.
  4. Bake until the outer 1-inch/2.5-cm perimeters of the custards are softly set but the centers are still loose, about 1 hour (the custard will firm up after it is refrigerated).
  5. To test whether the cr?me caramels are ready, push a small knife into the center of one of the dishes, and if the caramel rises out of the hole made by the knife, then they are ready.
  6. Remove the roasting pan from the oven then remove the cr?me caramels from the roasting pan. Refrigerate the cr?me caramels until cold, at least 2 hours. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Refrigerating the cr?me caramels overnight allows time for the caramel to dissolve and form a thin sauce when the custards are inverted.

To serve the cr?me caramels:

  1. When ready to serve the cr?me caramels, run a small sharp knife around the sides of the ramekins to loosen the custards from the ramekins. Working with one cr?me caramel at a time, place a plate atop the cr?me caramel; invert the cr?me caramel onto the plate.
  2. Shake gently to release the cr?me caramel from the dish (you will hear it being released and fall onto the plate). Carefully remove the dish, allowing the caramel syrup to run over the cr?me caramel. Garnish with the fresh raspberries and serve.
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