Ground coffee beans bring unexpected depth to this classic dessert, as well as distributing flecks throughout the custard. The crunchy caramel topping, achieved with raw sugar, matches the bold coffee flavor.
Coffee Crème Brûlée
2 1/2 cups (20 fl. oz./625 ml.) heavy cream
1/3 cup (2 1/2 g./75 oz.) coarsely ground dark-roast coffee beans
1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) granulated sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
8 large egg yolks
3 Tbs. turbinado sugar
In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream, coffee, granulated sugar and salt just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, cover and steep for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Place six 3/4-cup (6-fl. oz./180-ml.) ramekins in a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm.) baking dish.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks to combine. Slowly add the warm cream to the yolks while whisking constantly. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a large liquid measuring cup; discard the coffee grounds.
Pour the custard into the ramekins, dividing it evenly. Transfer the dish to the oven and pour hot water into the dish to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the custards jiggle slightly in the centers when the ramekins are gently shaken, 30-35 minutes. Carefully remove the baking dish from the oven and let the custards cool in the water bath for 30 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the baking dish, wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 30 days.
Unwrap the custards and gently blot the tops with a paper towel to soak up any moisture on the surface. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the tops of the custards, dividing it evenly and tilting and tapping each ramekin to distribute the sugar evenly on the surface. Using a handheld kitchen torch, caramelize the sugar by moving the torch in a figure-eight motion until the sugar is evenly browned and melted. Alternatively, preheat the broiler, place the ramekins on a baking sheet, and broil 3-4 inches (7.5-10 cm.) below the heating element until the sugar bubbles and caramelizes, 1-2 minutes. Serve. Serves 6.
Find more mouthwatering ways to end a meal in our cookbook Dessert of the Day, by Kim Laidlaw.