This Coffee-Caramel Creme Brulee recipe is the ultimate treat for any coffee lover. The combination of caramel and coffee flavors in a classic French dessert is a match made in heaven. One bite of this smooth and creamy delight, and you’ll be transported to your favorite corner café indulging in a decadent dessert.
Not only does this recipe combine two of our favorite flavors, but it also incorporates high-quality ingredients such as fresh coffee beans, heavy whipping cream, and raw sugar. You won’t find any shortcuts here – just genuine ingredients that are sure to impress your guests.
But don’t let the complex name fool you – this recipe is easy to make with the right instructions. In fact, as a barista myself, I know that it’s all about having the right tools and techniques on hand. So whether you’re looking to impress your dinner guests or simply titillate your taste buds, this combination of coffee and caramel is the perfect way to do it.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
As a barista, I cannot recommend the coffee-caramel creme brulee recipe highly enough. This dessert is perfect for any coffee lover looking to indulge in a decadent treat.
The recipe combines the rich flavor of dark roast coffee beans with the smooth and silky texture of creme brulee. The addition of a homemade coffee caramel sauce takes this dessert to the next level, adding a touch of sweetness that perfectly complement the bitter notes of the espresso.
What’s more, this recipe is incredibly easy to make, making it perfect for even inexperienced bakers. With just a few basic ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen (think cream, sugar, and eggs), you can create a showstopping dessert that is sure to impress your guests.
Not only is this recipe delicious and simple to make, but it is also highly versatile. You can easily adjust it to suit your preferences by swapping out the type of coffee beans or by adjusting the sweetness level of the caramel sauce.
In sum, if you are looking for a unique and impressive dessert that will delight your guests and leave them wanting more, look no further than this coffee-caramel creme brulee recipe. Trust me; you’ll thank me later!
Below are all the ingredients you need to make this Coffee-Caramel Creme Brulee recipe that serves 6 people:
For the coffee caramel sauce:
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp Stonewall Kitchen Coffee Syrup or strong brewed coffee
- 1/4 cup raw sugar for topping
For the creme brulee:
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 2 cups dark roast coffee beans (French Roast #3/4), crushed with a mallet in a plastic bag
- 3 cups half-and-half
- Pinch of salt
Make sure to have all the ingredients ready before starting the recipe.
The Recipe How-To
Now, let’s dive into the actual recipe! Are you ready for me to spill the beans?
Before we start, make sure all ingredients are at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 325°F and place a large roasting pan on the middle rack to serve as a water bath in Step 6. Let’s begin with the coffee caramel sauce:
Coffee Caramel Sauce Preparation
- In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar.
- Stir until the sugar completely dissolves over medium heat.
- Turn the heat up to high, stop stirring and let it simmer.
- Within 7-9 minutes, it will turn golden brown to caramelize on its own (Do not burn!).
- Remove from heat and add 1 cup of heavy cream (+ coffee shot thinly ground coffee beans for extra flavor) stir until well combined.
- Put aside or refrigerate.
Creme Brulee Preparation
- In a heavy small pot, combine 2 cups of heavy cream (divided), 1/3 cup of Granulated Sugar (divided), and vanilla bean seeds from one bean or use 1 tsp vanilla extract.
- Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally until steam rises from the mixture (5-6 minutes).
- Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes.
- In a bowl, beat egg yolks (6) + remaining granulated sugar (1/3 cup) with an electric mixer at high speed until it thickens and turns pale.
- Slowly whisk vanilla-infused cream into egg mixture.
- Strain mixture through sieve into another measuring cup/pitcher
- In a pot or kettle, simmer half-and-half over low medium heat, stirring constantly until steam rises from the mixture.
- Gradually whisk hot half-and-half into the custard mixture.
- Stir in cooled coffee-caramel sauce (we recommend starting with at least one tablespoon for every custard). Pour custard evenly among eight ¾-cup oven-proof ramekins.
- Place ramekins in roasting pan filled halfway with warm water bath (bain marie), creating steam for even cooking underneath Step Five on Middle Rack.
- Using a baking sheet or platter surface carefully transfer roasting pan to oven using oven mitts; bake till edges are set but center has slight jiggle in (40-45 min).
- Carefully remove one ramekin using tongs; if not set securely Wearing OvenMitts return them back in oven (5 min increments/in touch jiggly center).
- Using tongs remove ramekins once finished baking; allowed to cool at room temperature before moving to chill (*
Substitutions and Variations
The beauty of this Coffee-Caramel Creme Brulee Recipe lies in its versatility. With a few tweaks, you can create exciting new variations of this dessert that will amaze and delight your taste buds. So let’s dive in!
Coffee Beans: Instead of using dark roast coffee beans, you can experiment with other types of coffee such as French roast or a flavored version like caramel coffee.
Sugar: You can use raw sugar instead of granulated sugar for adding a natural flavor to the dessert.
Half-and-half: If you don’t have half-and-half on hand, cream, coffee creamer or milk can be used as substitutes.
Egg yolks: If you’re looking for a lower-fat version, try using fewer egg yolks in the recipe.
Caramel sauce: To cut down the sweetness of the creme brulee, you can use salted caramel sauce instead of caramel sauce or drizzle your dish with some maple syrup.
Whipped Cream: Add whipped cream and some crushed coffee beans on top to give an elegant look to the dessert.
Latte Recipe: Make a delicious coffee latte with this creme brulee recipe by pouring the mixture into a mug and topping it with brown sugar syrup and milk.
In conclusion, have fun experimenting with these substitutions and variations. They’ll help you create your own signature dish, which is unique and special in its own way.
Serving and Pairing
You’ll want to have this Coffee-Caramel Creme Brulee with something to balance out its rich decadence. I find that fresh ripe berries like blueberries and strawberries complement the dish well since their sweetness can cut through the creamy and caramel flavors.
For drinks, instead of coffee (since we’re already pretty caffeinated), a glass of chilled milk or even a light-bodied red wine such as Pinot Noir can make for an excellent pairing. Alternatively, you can try serving it with a latte made from the same coffee beans used in the recipe for a true taste experience.
When serving, I suggest garnishing each brulee with some raw sugar and using a kitchen torch to create a crispy burnt top layer that your guests will love. Don’t worry if you don’t have one though, you can also use your oven’s broiler for this step. Just make sure you keep an eye on it since it can burn quickly.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
When it comes to creme brulee, you may be surprised to know that it can actually be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge. This makes it a great option for anyone who wants to have a dessert already prepared for a dinner party or gathering.
To make ahead, let the creme brulee cool at room temperature before covering it tightly with plastic wrap and popping it in the fridge. It should stay fresh for up to three days. When ready to serve, uncover the dish and add a thin layer of sugar on top before broiling for that signature crispy, caramelized top.
If you find yourself with leftover creme brulee, it can be stored in the fridge for up to three days as well. However, be aware that the crunchy sugar coating may not last as long and could become soft over time.
For reheating, I recommend using a low heat setting because high heat can cause the custard to curdle or separate. A bain-marie method works best by placing the dishes in a rimmed baking sheet filled with water halfway up the side of the dishes. Cover each dish with aluminum foil then bake in a preheated oven at 325°F (165°C) until heated through, about 15-20 minutes. Finally, remove the foil and sprinkle sugar on top before torching or broiling briefly until golden brown.
Creme brulee is one of those desserts that can be enjoyed hot or cold, so feel free to experiment with different temperatures when serving or reheating it. Whether you decide to make ahead or enjoy fresh from the oven, this coffee-caramel creme brulee recipe is sure to delight your taste buds and leave your guests asking for seconds.
Tips for Perfect Results
To truly master the art of making Coffee-Caramel Creme Brulee, there are a few tips and tricks that I have learned as a barista that can help you achieve perfect results every time. Here are some useful tips to keep in mind:
Firstly, be sure to use good quality coffee beans for the best flavor. A dark roast coffee such as French roast 3/4 would be ideal. You can also opt for a flavored roast such as caramel coffee to enhance your dessert’s flavor experience.
When simmering the heavy cream and coffee beans in a small saucepan, make sure that the heat is medium-low, so that it doesn’t boil and overcook the cream. Gently stir it occasionally with a spatula to ensure the flavors blend well together.
Next, when adding the egg yolks to the sugar mixture, do not overmix. A nice blend until smooth should suffice; otherwise, they may curdle and ruin the smooth consistency.
Another tip is to add a pinch of salt to balance out the sweetness and enhance your dessert’s overall flavor.
When baking your dish in a water bath, make sure the water does not go above the halfway point of your ramekins or your dessert’s consistency will become watery.
I recommend using a kitchen torch to caramelize raw sugar on top of each brulee cup. Torch gently until they turn into golden brown; but watch-out and don’t let it turn too dark or even burn because it produces an unpleasant burnt taste.
Lastly, Make sure you let your dessert cool completely before serving, especially when torched with high temperature. Finally add dollop whipped cream on top and serve immediately.
With these simple tips, you should be able to create an exquisite Coffee Caramel Creme Brulee from scratch without any fuss. Ensure you keep them for reference during preparation to produce a decadent creamy caramel crème brûlée that blows your mind away!
In conclusion, this coffee-caramel creme brulee recipe is the ultimate dessert for coffee lovers. With its rich and creamy texture and the irresistible taste of coffee caramel, this dessert is sure to impress even the most discerning palates.
By following these easy steps and using high-quality ingredients like dark roast coffee beans and raw sugar, you too can create an indulgent treat that will leave your guests wanting more. Whether you enjoy it on its own or pair it with a piping hot cup of coffee, this recipe will surely become a favorite in your household.
So go ahead and give it a try! Get creative with different variations and substitutions, experiment with serving and pairing options, and enjoy every bite of this delectable caramel creme brulee with a rich coffee twist. Trust us, your taste buds will thank you!
Coffee-Caramel Creme Brulee Recipe
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
- 1/4 cup dark-roast coffee beans, crushed with a mallet in plastic bag (French Roast, about 3/4 oz)
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 8 large egg yolks
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 teaspoons raw sugar (turbinado sugar)
- Bring 1 cup cream and coffee beans to a simmer in a heavy small saucepan. Remove from heat; cover and let steep at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Stir 2/3 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a heavy medium saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, brushing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush. Boil without stirring until syrup is deep amber, swirling pan occasionally, about 11 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Add remaining 1 cup whipping cream (mixture will bubble up). Stir over low heat until caramel is smooth. Stir in half and half. Strain coffee-infused cream into caramel cream; discard coffee beans in strainer.
- Whisk yolks, salt, and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in cream mixture. Strain custard into large measuring cup.
- Arrange 8 (2/3 - 3/4 cup) ramekins or custard cups in roasting pan. Divide custard among ramekins. Add enough warm water to roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cups.
- Bake custards until just set in center, 65-70 minutes. Transfer custards from water bath directly to refrigerator. Chill uncovered until cold, at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.
- Sprinkle top of each custard with 1 teaspoons raw sugar. Using kitchen torch, melt sugar on each custard until deep amber. (Alternate method - preheat broiler. Arrange custard cups on small rimmed baking sheet; broil until sugar topping melts and browns, about 2 minutes.) Refrigerate custards until sugar topping hardens, at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour (do not chill longer than 1 hour or topping will start to soften). Serve custards cold.
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John has been working in the coffee industry for over five years, having started out as a barista in the bustling city of Los Angeles. He fell in love with the craft and set out to expand his knowledge and understanding of coffee. He has traveled all over the world, visiting coffee farms and learning from the best in the industry. His mission is to share his love of coffee and its unique flavors with others, and The Drive Coffee Bar is his way of doing that.