Espresso Hazelnut Crème Brûlée

I don't mean to brag, but this is the best Crème Brûlée ever, so suck it France! Crème Brûlée is one of the most elegant desserts you can make. Maybe it's the simplicity of its ingredients or the crunch of the burnt sugar that gives way to the creaminess inside. Or it could be that infusing flavors into this classic dessert is like painting on a blank canvas. That, or it might just be that the French know their way around desserts, but that seems unlikely.

eggs and cream

Quick shoutout to Oregon hazelnuts!! What what!! That is all. Carry on.

Blended Hazelnuts

Espresso Hazelnut Crème Brûlée

Yields four 5oz. servings
  • 2 cups Heavy Cream
  • 6 Egg Yolks
  • 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar 
    • Plus extra for the topping
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Instant Espresso 
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/3 cup Hazelnuts coarsely blended
  1. Preheat the oven to 300° and move the baking rack to the second lowest. 
  2. Boil about 7 cups of water. 
  3. Heat 1 cup of the cream, sugar, salt, and instant espresso in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Stir constantly to avoid burning. You don't want to burn the cream, that comes later.
  4. In a mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks with the vanilla extract until the texture becomes consistent.  
  5. Pour the cream mixture into the yolks. Be sure to do this slowly and temper the egg yolks to avoid coagulating the proteins in the yolks. 
  6. Line a deep baking dish with a dish towel. Place the empty ramekins in the dish, make sure they're not touching.  
  7. Strain the mixture with a fine mesh strainer and pour into the ramekins. Place into the oven. Pour the boiling water into the large dish. Try to avoid getting water into the desserts. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool. Place in fridge for at least 2 hours to set.
  9. Once you're ready to serve, evenly pour about a tablespoon of sugar on each one. Using a torch, burn the sugar just until it's bubbly. Sprinkle the hazelnuts onto the bubbling sugar. Enjoy with a spoon!  
Espresso Hazelnut Crème Brûlée
before burning

Espresso Hazelnut Crème Brûlée
getting burnt

Yes, Katy Weaver took all these wonderful photos!

Espresso Hazelnut Crème Brûlée
finished product!