Coffee Creme Brulee

This coffee creme brulee is a silky smooth espresso flavoured set custard with a crunchy crackly caramelised sugar top! Indulgence at its best!

coffee creme brulee - the cupcake confession-2

There is something sensually extravagant about a creme brulee, which literally means burnt cream in French. However, it is deceptively easy to prepare and in fact, only takes about 15 minutes at most including prep and cooking time! How amazing is that?


Besides, it makes for an excellent treat when you’re entertaining guests for dinner as these dainty custard pots can be made a day ahead of time. In fact, I would highly recommended that you make these coffee creme brulees ahead of time. The custard once out of the oven, needs a good 24 hour period to set in the refrigerator. If you try to rush this process, the espresso infused custard won’t set and when you try to add the layer of caster sugar to torch it, it’ll all get messy.

The ideal creme brulee has a distinct layer of hardened caramelised sugar. The hard cracking sound is it’s signature identity. Beneath this crunchy caramelised sugar lies absolute decadence. The silky smooth custard, which is just set is smooth and melts in your mouth sending sensations that transport you to a different universe – foodgasm at its best!

coffee creme brulee - the cupcake confession-1

You do need a fair share of egg yolks to bring this creme brulee dream to life. Before you ask, I’m working on an eggless version so if you’re a pure vegetarian, you can still enjoy this delightfully sinful treat! Another thing that makes this coffee creme brulee a must have on your baking list is the fact that it completely eliminates the need to have a water bath. Usually, these custards are baked at a high temperature so you need a water bath to ensure that the custard doesn’t get a temperature shock. Eventually what happens is, the water bath gradually brings the custard up to temperature preventing it from becoming a scrambled mess.

I’ve turned this principle on its head. Instead of cranking up the temperature, I’ve lowered the temperature considerably and cooked these custards for a slightly longer duration.

I really hope you give this coffee creme brulee a go, they’re absolutely luxurious and you’ll be in love with these! I guarantee that!

Coffee Creme Brulee

Yield: Makes 4 creme brulees


  1. 500 mls cream (I've used 25%, for a richer custard, use heavy / double cream)
  2. 6 egg yolks
  3. 150 grams sugar
  4. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  5. 110 mls strong freshly brewed espresso (or 2 tablespoons instant coffee powder)


  1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, add the cream and on low heat let it come up to temperature until it scalds. (You will see bubbles starting to appear around the edges of the saucepan)
  2. Make sure you do not bring the cream to a boil
  3. While the cream is heating up, begin by whisking egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract together for about 2 - 3 minutes until it changes colour to a slightly paler yellow.
  4. Once the cream is scalding, take it off the heat.
  5. Pour a small amount into the whisked egg yolk mix and whisk rigorously.
  6. This helps temper the eggs to ensure they don't scramble.
  7. Then pour the rest of the cream and whisk well.
  8. Add the brewed espresso or instant coffee powder and mix well until well combined.
  9. There will be a good bit of foam on the top now, which you must discard with a metal spoon.
  10. Pour the custard liquid into ramekins
  11. If there are any bubbles on the surface, use your spoon to scrape the foam off.
  12. Place them in a tray and bake at 100 degrees Celsius for 55 minutes.
  13. To test that they're done, slightly shake the tray - you will notice that the sides of the custard inside the ramekins remain firm but the centre is jiggly.
  14. Take it out, let it sit at room temperature until it cools down, approximately 20 - 25 minutes.
  15. Then refrigerate for 24 hours (or at least 4 - 5 hours)
  16. Once the custard is set, sprinkle a thin but even layer of caster sugar on the surface.
  17. Shuffle the ramekin around to ensure that every area of the surface is well coated with caster sugar
  18. Use a kitchen torch to caramelise the sugar. You can also use a kitchen lighter if you don't have a kitchen torch.
  19. Let the creme brulee sit for 4 - 5 minutes to ensure that the caramel hardens as it cools.
  20. Serve.

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