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Coffee creme caramel

September 10, 2008

It’s always good to catch up with friends over a leisurely meal at home. One of the secrets of easy entertaining is to keep things simple. If you want to avoid kitchen meltdown, don’t plan an overly ambitious menu. Have a couple of make-ahead dishes so you can join in the conversation, too, and spend more time with your guests.

Crème caramel is a dessert that can be made the night before because it needs time in the refrigerator for the caramel to soften and the custard to consolidate.

This simple dessert can be dressed up with fresh fruit just prior to serving, if desired.

You will need six 125ml moulds for this dessert.

Coffee Crème Caramel

120g caster sugar
1 tablespoon water
300ml milk
50ml cream
60ml strong espresso coffee
3 eggs
60g caster sugar

Preheat oven to 160C.

Put the first measure of sugar in a heavy-based saucepan with the water and place over a medium heat. Cooking, stirring for 2 minutes until the sugar dissolves then bring to the boil. Don’t stir any further. Swirl the mix around in the pan until the sugar turns a deep golden caramel colour – about 3-4 minutes. Occasionally brush down the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush to stop the sugar forming there.

Pour some of the syrup into each mould and set aside for 5 minutes to set.

Heat the milk and cream in a saucepan until it is simmering but not boiling. Add the coffee and remove from the heat.

Whisk the eggs and sugar together lightly until just combined. Add a little of the hot milk mixture and whisk lightly, then add a little more of the liquid. When combined, stir in the remaining milk. Don’t start by adding it all at once or the eggs may start to scramble.

Pour the custard mix into the moulds and place them in a roasting dish. Pour in boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the moulds. Bake till the custard sets – about 40 minutes.

Cool then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The caramel will dissolve a bit and the custards will set firmly.

At serving time, run a sharp knife around the edge of the mould and turn out carefully onto serving plates. If the desserts aren’t co-operative, dip the bottom of the moulds briefly in hot water.

Serve alone or with a garnish of seasonal fruit.

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| ©2000-2013 Pat Churchill