Coffee Crème Brûlée, two of my favorite things mixed into one easy dessert! Lightly crushed dark roast coffee beans and a bit of instant espresso powder give the custard it’s subtle coffee flavor. Rich creamy custard with the crunch of caramelized sugar go so well together! This is such a simple recipe that is sure to impress for any occasion!
One of the best things about the recipe is the short ingredient list. Only six ingredients that you will most likely already have or can easily find at most grocery stores. The equipment needed for this recipe is also very simple. No stand mixers needed here! The only real specialized equipment needed for this recipe are the ramekins and a kitchen torch.
Tips for Making Coffee Crème Brûlée
- Quality ingredients leads to a better dessert – In a recipe like this with so few ingredients, quality is key. Obviously the coffee beans, espresso powder, and vanilla you use greatly impacts the flavor. But the eggs and the cream are two ingredients often overlooked. If you can, find some good quality eggs and cream!
- Please don’t burn the cream!!! – The recipe calls for heating the heavy cream to a simmer instead of a boil. I like to do this gently over medium heat so I don’t end up burning the cream and ruining the whole dessert.
- Use a set of matching ramekins to ensure even cooking!
- Water bath – Cooking your Coffee Crème Brûlées in a water bath is essential to baking evenly and gently.
- Choosing the right sugar – I’ve found that regular white granulated sugar works best for the caramelized top of a crème brûlée. The small even granules caramelize quickly while the white color makes it easy to tell when it’s ready. Using a sugar with color like turbinado sugar makes it hard to tell when to stop torching because the sugar is already brown.
- Knowing when it’s done – You should look for the crème brûlée to be just set but with a slight jiggle in the center. Crème brûlée should not be baked until it is firm. As the custard cools in the fridge it will firm up to the desired texture.
These are the perfect dessert for a dinner party or get together! Since each coffee crème brûlée is baked in their own ramekins each serving is already portioned out. Just bake them the night before the party and keep them in the fridge overnight until serving. Put on a show for everyone as you finish the desserts with their signature caramelized sugar top and enjoy!
Other Dessert Recipes to Try
Coffee Crème Brûlée
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste sub 1 whole vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 1/4 cup dark roast coffee beans, crushed with mallet
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 6 large egg yolks
- hot water, as needed
- 1 tsp granulated sugar, per ramekin
- Combine the heavy cream, vanilla bean, dark roast coffee beans, instant espresso powder and 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat it to a simmer over medium heat while occasionally stirring. Remove from heat and let sit for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the egg yolks and the other 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Add one cup of the hot cream mixture to the egg yolks while whisking to temper the eggs. Next pour the rest of the cream to the tempered eggs while constantly whisking.
- Once the egg yolks are incorporated into the cream mixture completely, pour it through a fine mesh sieve to strain out the vanilla bean, coffee beans, and any clumps that may have formed.
- Place 10-12 ramekins evenly spaced in a roasting pan. Split the custard among the ramekins evenly, making sure not to overfill them. Fill the roasting pan with enough hot water to come up to half the height of the ramekins.
- Bake in preheated oven on the middle rack until they are set with a slight jiggle in the center, about 50-60 minutes depending on the depth of your creme brulees.
- Transfer custards out of the water bath and cool in the refrigerator uncovered until completely chilled, 3 hours to overnight.
- Sprinkle each creme brulee with 1 tsp of sugar, be sure to spread the sugar evenly. Melt and caramelize the sugar with a kitchen torch until a deep amber color. Let the caramelized sugar set for a few minutes before serving.