The Musette: coffee crème caramel

I believe I may have mentioned on more than one occasion that my beloved believes no meal is complete without dessert. Although I’ll try as far as possible to make individual desserts, there are some, such as this one, that he’s happy to eat several days running. This is an old favourite and one I make on a regular basis.

It’s a classic crème caramel with a coffee twist! This Coffee Crème Caramel (or flan) is made with coffee flavoured cream and is a family favourite of ours! Perfectly cooked, unctious, super creamy custard with an irresistible coffee flavour throughout. If you love coffee, you’re going to adore this coffee-flavoured dessert.

Ingredients (serves 8)

    • 295g (1⅓ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
    • 160ml (⅔ cup) water
    • 375ml (1½ cup) full-fat milk
    • 375ml (1½ cup) single cream (half and half)
    • 60ml (¼ cup) espresso coffee
    • 2 tbsp coffee-flavoured liqueur
    • 4 medium organic eggs, plus 8 extra egg yolks
    • 150g (⅔ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
    • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 170ºC/150ºC fan/gas mark 3 (325ºF/300ºF fan).

2. To make the caramel place the sugar and water (first two ingredients) in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar has disolved. Then turn up to high and bring to the boil. Do not stir, cook for 10–12 minutes or until the mixture is dark golden. It should be almost but not quite burnt. Pour into a 20cm-round (2 pint) deep ceramic dish or 8 separate ramekins. Set aside for 5 minutes or so, until the caramel is set.

3. Place the milk, cream, coffee and liqueur in a saucepan over medium heat until it just comes to the boil. Remove from heat. Place the eggs, extra yolks, extra sugar and vanilla in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Gradually add the milk mixture, whisking to combine.

4. Strain the mixture and pour into the dish(es). Tap gently to eliminate any air bubbles. Place them in a water bath, a baking tray with boiling water half-way up the dishes. A piece of kitchen towel underneath will stop the dishes from sliding around and ensure the caramel cooks evenly.

5. Bake for 40 minutes or until set with barely a wobble in the centre. Remove from the dish and refrigerate for 4 hours or until cold before serving, preferably with thick, cold cream.

6. To unmold the dessert in its entirety, run a thin-bladed knife around edges of the dish, making sure the tip of knife stays flush against the side of the dish. Invert a large plate over dish, then quickly flip. Slowly lift off dish; crème caramel should slide out. If not, tap plate against countertop until it does.

7. It’ll happily keep in the fridge for a couple of days.

Sheree’s Handy Hints

1. You could make this non-dairy by using a plant based milk and cream, such as oat or cashew.

2. You can make this orange flavoured by replacing the milk and cream with freshly squeezed orange juice, eliminating the coffee and replacing the coffee flavoured liquer with Grand Marnier or Cointreau.

3. If you don’t have any coffee flavoured liquer use Baileys or something similar.

4. Baking the crème caramel in a water bath is key for achieving that barely set, dense and luscious consistency.