Decadent Coffee Creme Brûlée

creme brûlée

Has there ever been a dish that you loved but you just didn’t believe you could make it yourself? Creme brûlée was that dish for me. There are some tips and tricks to get this done. Come make some Decadent Coffee Creme Brûlée with me. You won’t be sorry.

Creme brûlée is one of those decadent desserts I was hesitant to make. Of course, once I finally had the gumption to do it, I tried to follow the recipe exactly. And what was the result?

Even though I followed the recipe exactly, my brûlée did not look like the one in the picture. It just wouldn’t set up. So, I put it back in the oven to cook a little longer. I don’t know how many times I ended up putting it back in but it was more than once. When it was finally done, it was delicious. Minus the little timing mishap, it was all okay. I learned two important lessons that night

1) the whole fantasy of the dessert timer going off exactly as everyone is done with their main course is just that, a fantasy for t.v. and movies. That doesn’t happen in real life.

2) directions are meant as a guide. We live in different places with different altitudes and have different stoves/ovens etc. Which means sometimes you have to wing it.

3) Food is nothing to be afraid of. Eventually, It’ll all work out.

creme Brûlée and coffee

Creme Brulee is one of my husband’s favorite desserts so it’s a little nerve wrecking to make it. Especially, since we’ve had it at several fancy restaurants. Whatever the reason, I didn’t want to mess it up (I hate failing).

Of course, I should have made it the day before but I didn’t make it before this big dinner with our friends. So, I was disappointed our friends had to wait for dessert (actually now that I think about it, the whole dinner might have been late).

Now that I’ve made it a couple of times I’m ready to take it up a notch. This Decadent Coffee Creme Brûlée is the ultimate test because now I’m combining hubby’s fav dessert with one of his favorite drinks. But I love mash-ups. Just the idea of creme brûlée, a classic French dessert, mixed with frenzy of coffee. The sustenance of most people’s daily existence. So popular it’s one of the beverages in the book The World In 6 Glasses, where Brian Hedweck lays out how coffee changed the world.

Millions of people think that they can not live without it. In a national coffee survey approximately 53.9% of people would give up their cell phone before giving up coffee(see coffee survey). Really? I don’t believe it but maybe this combo of coffee and creme would make me give up mine. What do you think?

Coffee Creme Brûlée

Makes 6 servings

  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons Instant Espresso Coffee
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar

Tools: 4 – 6 ramekins or oven safe bowls, baking pan, wire rack, pot & bowls ( no torch needed)

*Note: I’m using ramekins that are 6 inches in diameter and a bit deeper. Most creme brûlée ramekins are wider and flatter. This will change the cooking time.


In a pot over medium high heat, mix cream, coffee and vanilla until coffee dissolves. About 2 minutes.

Remove pot from heat and let it come to room temperature. Approximately 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a large pot over high heat boil 1 1/2 cups of water.

In a large bowl, whisk yolks with 1 cup of granulated sugar (the finer the better) until thick and pale yellow.

If any foam has developed on the top of the heavy cream mixture skim it off.

Using a spatula, stir in cooled cream (try not to create bubbles or froth) until fully mixed. This helps to give you a nice smooth top to the custard mixture.

Evenly divide custard mixture into 4 – 6 ramekins.

Place ramekins in pan and gently pour hot water into baking pan – at least half way up the side of the ramekins.

Creme Brûlée

Bake custard mixture until set on the outside and a little jiggly in the middle – about 45 minutes to 55 minutes.

Allow custard to cool down in water bath.

Once completely cooled, cover with plastic wrap and put in fridge. The mixture will continue to firm in the fridge.

Once ready to serve, preheat broiler.

Remove custard from fridge and blot away any moisture with a paper towel.

Evenly sprinkle 1/2 a tablespoon of sugar on the top of each custard and place in oven on broil.

After about 2 minutes sugar should begin to boil and turn a deep brown.This process can take up to 5 minutes if the rack is in the middle of the oven.

Remove from oven and place back on wire rack.

Wait for sugar to harden then serve.

Want to jazz it up a bit?

Serve with a little bit of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

How do you like your creme brûlée? I’m thinking maybe chocolate next time!

P.S. If you are wondering what to do with all those egg whites, try this Belgian Waffle recipe or the French Chocolate Cake recipe.

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