Coffee Crème Brûlée
Crème brûlée requires very simple ingredients, so it’s all up to technique. If you trust your hand with a blow torch, then heat things up! Traditional crème brûlée is vanilla flavored, but you can add anything to the cream to give it a distinct taste. Tonight we used August’s father’s Guatemala Antigua coffee beans; as The Renaissance Roaster, he roasts a few varieties himself in small batches. If you’d like to know more about his delicious coffee and how you can get your own pound of beans, send us a message or comment below and we’ll have him get back to you!
1 quart of heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 cups of Renaissance Roaster whole coffee beans
10 egg yolks
2/3 cup of sugar, plus 5-10 tbs. for the crunchy top
1/2 of a vanilla bean, split and scraped
Add the coffee beans to the cream in a medium sauce pot, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. After it’s reached the boiling point, reduce heat to low and steep for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Five minutes before the coffee and cream steeping process is over, preheat the oven to 320 degrees F and whisk together the egg yolks and 2/3 cup of sugar by hand or with a machine. Whisk until they are thickened, increased in volume, and have turned a light pale yellow. Notice the texture and color in the video above.
The timing should be up for the coffee and cream, so pour this through a fine mesh strainer or a sieve into a bowl. Discard the coffee beans. Slowly add the strained cream to the egg yolk mixture, stirring in to fully incorporate. If you do this too quickly, the egg yolks may coagulate.
Pour the mixture into a large measuring cup and skim off bubbles or foam, if there are any. Using a measuring cup will make it easier to pour the mixture into ramekins for a bain-marie. Place the ramekins on baking sheet, fill them with the mixture, then put the baking sheet in the oven and add boiling water to the baking sheet, surrounding the ramekins but not submersing them. Bake for 30 minutes.
Once out of the oven the desserts must cool before being brûléed, so after they’ve come down to close to room temperature, transfer them to the refrigerator for 3 hours.
Using 5-10 tbs. of sugar, depending on desired crunchiness, evenly cover the top of each dessert. What you see here is about 1 1/2 tbs. of sugar on this ramekin. It’s wise to use super-fine sugar because regular sugar can give you darkened caramelized spots, but don’t worry if that happens anyway (we used regular sugar so you could see that it’s okay!).
With a kitchen blow torch from about 6″-8″ away so that you don’t set the thing on fire, make slow circles to melt the sugar. Once the top has been achieved, put back in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes to set it, although some people like to eat it slightly warm so that’s up to you if you don’t want to wait.