Espresso Crème Brûlée

I grew up eating Flan. My first embrace was heavenly as the nice lady upstairs, Mrs. Noa said in her best broken Spanglish, that I was too skinny and only Flan would help. Dr. Mom Noa had a convert! But I digress. Crème Brûlée is NOT Flan! Flan is lovely, wiggly and oh so sweet. The crispy caramel tile top on this dish is its distinction. It is gooey and lovely inside. Made this for for my 48th anniversary – with the espresso kick… yum! And I got to use my torch! Make ahead and do the tiling before your serve your first course.






6 egg yolks, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups whipping cream (35% fat)
6 Tbsp brewed expresso (or instant expresso if you must)
4 tbsp sugar, for caramelizing the top


  1. Preheat oven to 325F .
    In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with sugar and vanilla until thick, creamy and pale yellow colored.
  2. Place the cream into a saucepan and heat until just begins to boil at the edges. Add in espresso and stir well. Pour little at a time over egg yolks mixture while stirring continuously.
  3. Place 6 5oz. ramekins sprayed with cooking spray into a larger pan. For easier pouring transfer the mixture into a pitcher. Pour the mixture evenly into the ramekins. Place on the even rack and pour hot water into the pan until  halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  4. Bake for about 40-45 minutes until set and trembling into the center.
  5. Remove the ramekins from the hot water and let cool at room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  6. Before serving sprinkle 1 tbsp (15g) sugar on top of each ramekin. Use a torch to melt the sugar and create a crispy crust.
  7. Let it set for about 5 minutes before serving.