After a particularly rough unit last year, my friend and I made our regular post-exam trip back home. On the way, we talked about how exhausting the unit was, how hard the material was, how we seriously hoped we passed- and how we needed to start really treating ourselves. Med school is hard enough, and neither of us are about just “waiting for the stressful part to end so we can really start enjoying life“- because let’s be real, in medicine that could mean retirement.
So we’re driving back, thinking of treating ourselves, and we decide: we need dessert. we deserve dessert! We find a random restaurant, hope for the best…and man oh man- were we shocked at how damn delicious it was. We ordered a bunch of desserts & they were all really good- but among them was this little white bean creme brûlée (which truth be told, I’m not even a huge fan of creme brûlée- but coffee? Hell yes. Add that to anything and I will have every last drop of it.) After just one bite into the dessert, we agreed that this was probably the best dessert we’ve had- and not just at that restaurant.
Since then, we’ve added this restaurant as a traditional pit stop on our post-exam drives back home. But what’s the point of life when you have moderation in desserts? I knew I needed this dessert waaaaay more in my life. Seriously, this dessert was so good that I literally asked for a brûlée torch for my birthday for the sole reason that I could start trying to perfect my own creme brûlée recipe.
This recipe yields 4 ramekin filled creme brûlées, and within 24 hours, only 1 remained. My friend and I completely INDULGED in two of them & I gave one to my best friend who is just as coffee + dessert obsessed as myself…and now I have to pace myself so that I truly appreciate every last bite of the fourth one.
Also just using the torch to make sugars crystalize and turn that beautiful brown color? Seriously, why did it take me this long to get a brûlée torch?! I’m already debating buying more ramekins so that I can make these in mass amounts and have them ready to go for when the cravings hit! (I also think I would’ve gotten on the creme brulee train a long time ago if someone had told me how easy it was! Seriously, why did I assume this was a hard dessert?)
And I know this was my first creme brûlée recipe, but I can’t imagine that any flavor can beat coffee. Am I biased? Probably. But I’m more than willing to fire up that brûlée torch again so I’ll be looking for recommendations and inspirations to try out as soon as possible. I already have some ideas outside of creme brulee to try out, but I know this recipe has officially made it into my repeats of desserts to impress guests (and to treat myself because duh I deserve it). So fellow coffee lovers and dessert connoisseurs, try out this espresso creme brûlée & treat yo’ self.
Espresso Creme Brûlée
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- +4 tablespoons white sugar for top layer
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- In a small pan over medium heat, add the heavy cream and espresso powder. Whisk to dissolve espresso powder. Heat until it just starts to simmer. Then remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
- In a separate bowl, mix egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow.
- Gradually whisk in the heavy cream mixture into the sugar & yolk mix. Add in vanilla extract.
- Pour batter evenly amongst ramekins. Place ramekins in large oven-safe dish. Add water into the large dish so that water reaches half way up the ramekins dish.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until the custard looks set but still jiggles in the center. Carefully remove from the oven, with care to not spill water into ramekins or yourself.
- Allow the custards to cool. Refrigerate for atleast two hours.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle a thin sugar layer on top of custard. Using the torch, caramelize the sugar until the top is evenly browned.