Cafe Creme Brulee
A drinkable coffee-flavored version of the creamy burnt-caramel classic (brûlé is French for “burned”). Sip this with someone special—guilty pleasures should be shared.
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
One Pot MealYes
Mealbrunch, dinner, lunch
Taste and Texturecreamy, sweet
Type of Dishcoffe
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp. (1 oz.) plus 1 cup (8 oz.) water
- ½ tsp.salt
- 2 Tbsp. instant espresso powder
- 1 cup (8 oz.) whipping cream or half & half
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Additional sugar (optional)
- Whipped cream for garnish (optional)
- 2 orange twists
In a small, heavy saucepan, combine sugar, 2 Tbsp. water, and salt; stir to combine. Cook without stirring over medium heat until mixture turns a deep golden brown. Immediately remove from heat. Stirring constantly with a long-handled wooden spoon, very gradually add remaining 1 cup water, being careful of spatters. Mixture will clump and harden. Return pan to medium heat and stir constantly until mixture is smooth. Add espresso powder, stirring to dissolve. Add cream; cook over low heat, stirring often, until mixture begins to simmer. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Taste and sweeten with sugar, if desired. Pour into warm mugs. If desired, garnish with a dollop of whipped cream, topped with an orange twist. Or simply drop the orange twist into the coffee sans whipped cream.
Iced Café Crème Brûlée: After sweetening the finished drink, refrigerate until very cold, about 3 hours. Serve in tall, ice-filled glasses; top with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.
Café Crème Brûlée Frappe: (Serves 4) Increase espresso powder to ¼ cup. Refrigerate mixture until chilled. Combine mixture with 6 scoops of slightly softened coffee, vanilla, or chocolate ice cream in a blender. Cover and process at medium speed until smooth. Pour into tall glasses; top with whipped cream, if desired. Serve with straws and iced-tea spoons.
2002 Sharon Tyler Herbst