Recipe: Coffee Caramel Creams

I first made this recipe for a decadent desserts party that I attended. It was the perfect treat for such an occasion, but it was quite the process and time commitment to make. The results are very rich and flavourful. The caramel shards are a nice touch and they complement the smooth, sweet creams. While there is nothing simple about this recipe, I did use farm eggs, milk and cream and fair-trade organic coffee beans. This recipe is originally out of Food & Drink magazine, but the issue is 2003 and I can’t find it online.

Recipe: Coffee Caramel Pots de Creme

Coffee Caramel Creams

1 cup whole milk
3/4 table cream
1/2 cup coffee beans
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 egg yolks

Rinse a saucepan with cold water and don’t dry it. Pour in milk, cream and crushed coffee beans. I suggest crushing the beans in a mortar and pestle. If you choose to use a grinder or to order it ground, use extra-course grounds. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once boiling, remove from heat, cover, and let stand while making the caramel.

Add water and sugar to a small saucepan. Heat over low and stir until sugar dissolves. Then increase the heat to high, stop stirring, and cook until caramel coloured. Note: This is tricky. I often burn caramel, so watch it closely until it starts to turn and then remove from heat.

Immediately pour the caramel carefully into the coffee mixture. Place the saucepan back on the heat and stir until the caramel dissolves. Remove from heat.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks with an electric mixer until they are light and thick (about five minutes). Carefully whisk the hot coffee caramel mixture into the yolks. Strain through a very fine sieve into a bowl or large measuring cup, pressing the coffee grounds for flavour. However, be sure that all the grounds have been strained out.

Pour the mixture into six small ramekins. Place them in the bottom of a roasting pan without letting them touch. Pour boiling water into the bottom of the pan so that it comes halfway up the ramekins. Cover the roasting pan with its lid.

Place in oven preheated to 325 F. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cream is set at the edges and trembling in the centre. Allow the creams to cool at room temperature and then refrigerate for at least two hours.

Caramel-Coffee Shards

Vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp coffee beans

Oil a baking sheet and place a large bowl of cold water next to the stove. Then pour water in a small heavy-based saucepan. Add sugar and bring slowly to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. The sugar must be completely dissolved before the liquid reaches a boil. Once it is boiling do not stir. Continue to boil until the mixture reaches a rich caramel colour (again, watch carefully!). Then immediately remove from stove and dip the bottom of the pan in the cold water to stop the cooking. Time is of the essence as your caramel will begin to harden. Immediately pour in your coffee beans and mix.

Carefully pour the caramel onto the prepared baking sheet and allow to set. Once cool break it into shards. Arrange the shards on the creams shortly before serving.

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