Coffee Crème Caramel

Coffee Crème Caramel
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Chef Tom Bivins, New England Culinary Institute

Caramel Sauce Ingredients
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

Caramel Sauce Preparation
In a medium non-reactive saucepan and without stirring, bring all the caramel ingredients to a simmer over medium high heat, wiping he sides with a damp brush dipped in water to remove any sugar crystals that might cause sugar to turn grainy.

Continue to cook until syrup turns from clear to golden, swirling pan to insure even browning.  You are looking for large, slow bubbles to appear on the surface and appear honey caramel in color, total time about 12 minutes.

Remove pan immediately from heat, and working quickly but carefully, pour caramel into a china ramekin.

Allow caramel to cool and harden and then place on a folded dishtowel-lined baking pan.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Custard Ingredients
1/2 cup espresso coffee beans, lightly crushed
1 1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cup light cream
3 large eggs, plus 2 large yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Custard Preparation
Place the coffee beans, milk, and light cream together in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.

When mixture begins to scald, remove from heat and let the coffee beans and milk mixture steep for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, gently whisk the eggs, yolks, and sugar together.

Strain the milk to remove the coffee beans, and gently stir in vanilla and salt. 

Gently whisk the scalded milk into the egg mixture.

Strain mixture through fine sieve into a measuring cup or pouring dish with a spout.  Set aside.

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil.

Pour custard into caramel-lined ramekins set on dish towel.  Add the boiling water into baking pan until it reaches halfway up the ramekins.  Cover pan loosely with foil so steam escapes, and place in oven.

Bake for 35-to-45 minutes or until a knife inserted halfway between the edge and the center of ramekin comes out clean.

Remove from pan, place on wire rack, and cool to room temperature.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

To unmold, run a thin knife around the edges of the ramekin.  Cover the ramekin with a plate and invert.  Shake ramekin gently to remove the custard.

Serve immediately.

Makes 8 6-oz. ramekins.