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Coffee and Chicory Crème Brûlée

Crème Brûlée just rules.  Whether or not you agree with that statement might determine whether or not you join me in reading about, then making this heavenly version of the classic dessert.  

Think of a great cup of coffee combined with the textural pleasures of a great crème brûlée.  It's like café au lait in pudding form with a sweet bonus.  But not just any old coffee.  Staying true to my love of all things creole, I use the coffee and chicory blend from the original French Quarter coffee stand, Café du Monde.  The flavor profile of that particular grind is something special.  It has a deep chocolate coffee taste with an herbal essence from the chicory.  A little "tap tap" on the magic shell of sugar made solid by the torch gives way to a creamy wonderment that offers new revelations with each bite.  And believe me, you'll have to slow yourself down so as not to gobble the whole ramekin before you realize you haven't breathed in over a minute and the room is spinning and you've got kaleidescope eyes and.... well--- it's darn good.    

Printable Recipe

Coffee and Chicory Crème Brûlée
serves 6

2 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 Tablespoons ground coffee and chicory
6 extra large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 3 Tablespoons, divided for the brûlée
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt

Place an oven rack in the lower third of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 300º F.  Place six (4-ounce) ramekins in a roasting pan; set aside.  Bring a kettle of water to a boil.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the heavy cream and ground coffee and chicory.  Heat the mixture over medium heat until small bubbles appear around the edges.  Remove from the heat and allow to steep for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the yolks, sugar, vanilla, and salt.  Whisking constantly, pour the warm cream mixture into the yolk mixture.  Strain the mixture through a double thickness of cheese cloth set in a fine-mesh sieve.  Evenly pour the mixture into the ramekins.  Pour enough hot water in the roasting pan to come half way up the side of the ramekins.

Bake until the custards are set, about 40-45 minutes.  Carefully remove the ramekins from the water and cool to room temperature on a wire rack.  Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar on top of each custard.  Using a hand-held kitchen torch, heat the sugar until melted and caramelized, being careful not to heat the custard too much.  Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.  Enjoy!

Source: The Galley Gourmet


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