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Espresso Creme Brulee Recipe

This Espresso Creme Brulee tastes like a perfect tiramisu. Delicious and decadent custard with notes of espresso and a crispy sugar crust.

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My hubby asked me to quote him saying, “this is my new favorite!” This Espresso Creme Brulee was an experiment for me that turned out awesome! It tastes like a perfect tiramisu. To make espresso creme brulee without a torch, garnish the top with shavings of bittersweet chocolate.

Ingredients for Espresso Creme Brulee:

2 cups heavy cream + 1 Tbsp for espresso
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar (plus extra for caramelizing)
1 shot of fresh brewed espresso (about 1/4 cup)    [if you try strong brewed
or instant coffee instead, let me know how it turns out.
]
Bittersweet Chocolate shavings for garnish (optional)

What you will need:

-Ovenproof ramekins or custard cups
-A handheld torch. Your husband (or wife) may have one in the garage. I bought one at Home Depot. It doesn’t have to be specifically for creme brulee.
If you don’t have a torch, you can shave bittersweet chocolate over the top.

How to make Creme Brulee:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 300˚ F

2. Brew your espresso and add 1 Tbsp of the heavy cream. Stir and set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, stir 3 eggs and 1/2 cup sugar until blended.

4. Heat the rest of the heavy cream in a sauce pan, almost to a simmer.

5. Slowly stir in the hot cream (if you add the hot cream too fast, you will end up with scrambled eggs).

6. Stir in the espresso.

7. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a large measuring cup with a pouring lip.

8. Divide the mixture into 8 (4 oz) cups and place in a large casserole baking dish.

9. Fill the baking dish with boiling water about halfway up the sides of the cups. Bake at 300˚ F for 35-40 minutes. The centers of the creme brulee’s should barely move when you wiggle the pan.

10. Cool to room temperature.

11. Cover and refrigerate creme brulee until ready to serve.

Once the brulees are at least to room temperature, you can caramelize the top.

To caramelize the top: put 1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar on each custard, swirl to spread evenly. Move in a circular pattern until the whole surface is caramelized to a deep amber color.
Note: if you are making the creme brulees in advance, make this sugar topping the same day you are serving them.

Espresso Crème Brulée

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $6-$7
Servings: 8 cups

Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups heavy cream + 1 tbsp for espresso
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar plus extra for caramelizing
  • 1 shot of fresh brewed espresso about 1/4 cup
  • Bittersweet Chocolate shavings for garnish optional

What you will need:

  • Ovenproof ramekins or custard cups
  • A handheld torch.

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 300°F

  1. Brew your espresso and add 1 Tbsp of the heavy cream. Stir and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir 3 eggs and 1/2 cup sugar until blended.
  3. Heat the rest of the heavy cream in a sauce pan, almost to a simmer.
  4. Slowly stir in the hot cream.
  5. Stir in the espresso.
  6. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a large measuring cup with a pouring lip.
  7. Divide the mixture into 8 (4 oz) cups and place in a large casserole baking dish.
  8. Fill the baking dish with boiling water about halfway up the sides of the cups. Bake at 300°F for 35-40 minutes. The centers of the creme brulee's should barely move when you wiggle the pan.
  9. Cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate creme brulee until ready to serve.
  10. Once the brulees are at least to room temperature, you can caramelize the top.

To caramelize the top:

  1. put 1 to 2 tsp of sugar on each custard, swirl to spread evenly. Move in a circular pattern until the whole surface is caramelized to a deep amber color.

Recipe Notes

If you are making the creme brulees in advance, make this sugar topping the same day you are serving them.

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natashaskitchen

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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  • Tatyana
    December 17, 2018

    Could I just use the yolks only and not the whole egg?? I make pavlovas often and looking for recipes to use up the yolks! Reply

    • Natasha
      December 18, 2018

      Hi Tatyana, we have always loved putting in the whole egg into our creme brulee. If you are looking for another recipe to try, our eclair recipe calls for 4 yolks 🙂 I hope you love both recipes! Reply

  • Magda
    November 14, 2017

    Can you use the basic recipe for Crème brulee and add different flavors to it, like coffee, pumpkin, choc and raspberry ? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 15, 2017

      Hi Magda, yes and we have examples of basic creme brûlée, coffee and pumpkin already on our blog to make it easy for you 🙂 Haven’t tried raspberries but it sounds good! Reply

  • Elena
    January 22, 2015

    Mine didn’t stiffen up.. But it still tasted delicious! (: I made some with coffee (btw i tried instant coffee, it tasted great, but i had good quality coffee) and some plain..
    Do you think it need more time in the oven, is that the problem? I did thrirty some minutes.. I just thought they’d get firmer as they cool..but they didn’t do a whole lot..Do yours come out of the oven hardened up or do they get firm as they cool?
    Thanks. I’ll be trying again. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 22, 2015

      They do stiffen up completely after they cool and are fully set with refrigeration. Did you make 8 of them in 4 oz ramekins the same way? Also, did you make sure to add hot water to the pans before baking? Reply

      • Elena
        January 24, 2015

        Yes, I added water.. no, I made them in 5 7oz ramekins.. I think i will try again and leave them in the oven longer, also, as i searched more recipes, i see that most people use only egg yolk.. I think i will try that next time Reply

  • Alena
    January 15, 2015

    where do you get your torch Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 15, 2015

      Ours is from Home Depot; it’s not officially a creme brûlée torch but it sure gets the job done 🙂 Reply

  • Tavita
    November 10, 2013

    Nice recipe…how do you make the one shot of fresh brewed expresso? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 10, 2013

      You need an espresso machine if you want to make a shot. You can use 1/4 cup of very strong coffee. Reply

  • Anna
    September 19, 2013

    I’ve been wanting to make this for such a long time but couldn’t find the perfect recipe until I found this! Thank you so much!
    Quick question- if I want to make just a regular creme brulee, do I just omit the espresso part and follow the rest of the recipe as is? Reply

  • Katrina T
    February 7, 2013

    We have a propane torch at home, is that safe to use? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 7, 2013

      That should work just fine, probably much faster :). Reply

  • Olga
    February 1, 2013

    Hi Natasha! How do you use a broiler? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 1, 2013

      The broiler function is at the top of your oven. Place a rack up as high as it goes, which will be just below the heating element.
      You will be exposing sugar to that heat, and sugar is pretty flammable – so be sure it doesn’t catch on fire.
      Leave the oven door slightly ajar while broiling for few minutes. You need air to circulate in your oven during the broiling process. Hope this helps Reply

  • inessa
    November 13, 2012

    Natasha!your website wonderfull,?what kind of cooking pans are you using (which brand you think the best)sorry,if grammer is not correct. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 13, 2012

      They are oven-safe ramekins. You can also use little glass ones as long as they are oven safe. I purchased mine on sale at Pier1 imports 🙂 Reply

  • Sarah Z.
    June 22, 2012

    Hi Natasha,

    Where did you get your torch? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 22, 2012

      It was either lowes or home depot. It’s bit meant for cooking but it’s heavy duty 🙂 Reply

  • Sherry
    June 15, 2011

    Hi!
    what kind of cups do you use for this recipe? are they ceramic oven proof ones or some other kind?
    Thanks
    Sherry.. Reply

    • Natasha
      June 15, 2011

      I use ceramic oven proof ones, but I’ve also used glass (oven proof pyrex) ramekins and they work great. Reply

  • Antonina Lovyn
    May 29, 2011

    This is a great recipe. Thank you. =) Reply

  • Joe in N. Calif
    October 26, 2010

    No torch needed, just pop it under a broiler for a few seconds Reply

    • Natasha
      October 26, 2010

      Thanks Joe! I should test that. As much as I like my torch, it would sure be handy to use the oven for a large batch. Reply

      • Joe in N. Calif
        October 27, 2010

        That is one of the “old school” methods. Broiler, salamander, and, if you go back far enough, heat your fireplace shovel to red hot and hold it over the dish.

        You might like this site: http://digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/cookbooks/

        You might be surprised at how modern some of the recipes from the 1800s sound. Reply

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