We all know that coffee and sweets go together exceptionally well. If you are looking for a true match made in heaven, treat yourself to some Creme Brulee with your coffee. There are a variety of excellent Creme Brulee recipes that not only pair well with coffee but actually incorporate it as an ingredient. A delicious example of this is Espresso Creme Brulee from Cooking Light. What makes this dessert stand apart from all others is creating that burnt-sugar shell which can be done using a kitchen torch such as the one included in the Bonjour Creme Brulee Set which also comes with four oval ramekins which are oven, microwave and dishwasher safe.
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1 cup whole espresso coffee beans
3/4 cup nonfat dry milk
3 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash of salt
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar, divided
Combine 2% milk, espresso beans, dry milk, and 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat mixture over medium heat to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil), stirring occasionally. Remove milk mixture from heat. Cover and steep 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 300°.
Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Stir in vanilla.
Combine 1 tablespoon sugar, salt, and egg yolks in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
Gradually add milk mixture to egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Divide the mixture evenly among 4 (4-ounce) ramekins, custard cups, or shallow baking dishes. Place ramekins in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan, and add hot water to pan to a depth of 1/2 inch.
Bake at 300° for 25 minutes or until center barely moves when ramekin is touched. Remove ramekins from pan; cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
Sift 1 tablespoon sugar evenly over each custard. Holding a kitchen blow torch about 2 inches from the top of each custard, heat the sugar, moving the torch back and forth, until sugar is completely melted and caramelized (about 1 minute). Serve immediately or within 1 hour.
Note: If you don't have a kitchen blow torch, you can make the sugar topping on the stove-top. Place 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon water in a small, heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat 5 to 8 minutes or until golden. (Resist the urge to stir, since doing so may cause the sugar to crystallize.) Immediately pour the sugar mixture evenly over cold custards, spreading to form a thin layer.