Coffee Crème Caramel

>> Wednesday, August 3, 2011

While making this coffee crème caramel in my kitchen one afternoon, I overheard some screechy conversation and realised that I had some visitors out on the balcony.

They were pretty loud. And I gathered they might've been having a bit of a disagreement out there.

Maybe I could ameliorate this awkward situation by offering them some food? Afterall, I've been told that good food sometimes has the effect of lessening the severity of arguments! (And I'm guessing bad food would have the opposite effect.)

So what do birds eat? Seeds right?

I immediately went to the health food section of my pantry and brought some chia seeds out. Surely they will love this superfood as much as I do!

Ugh not really. They just looked at me as if I was sprinkling invisible food onto the ground. What are you, crazy? We want real food, they seem to be saying to me.

Okay, then how about my favourite snack - dried dates?

Yay, think we've got a winner here!

After these visitors filled themselves up, they flew away amicably as if they had no recollection of their previous tiff!

(They also showed me their appreciation by coming in to the apartment and leaving some poop on my carpet as I found out later on....)

Little did I know that I'd later run into this couple again days later...

This time, it was another nail-biting story which will have you at the edge of your seat. Ok, not really. But I can't wait to share about it in my next post because this post is getting a little bit too long and I'd like to talk about the delicious crème caramel now.

But here is a preview:

Who's going to win that piece of bread and who is going home hungry? Oh, the suspense!

Hint: Think David and Goliath!

Anyways, so I made this coffee crème caramel because:

1. I love eating it and it's been years since I last made it.

2. I was recently given a bag of freshly ground coffee which I have no use of (being a Nespresso person). So, why not cook with it? (You might be seeing a lot of caffeinated recipes coming up!)

3. I wanted to try steaming crème caramels (instead of baking them) because I know steaming is faster (well, you save the time pre-heating the oven + an extra 10 minutes cooking time!)

The result is a silky smooth crème caramel with a slightly bitter caramel sauce! Perfecto!

I couldn't wait until it chills in the fridge and ate them while they're still slightly warm and velvety soft! So addictive and delicious! Despite it was already late in the afternoon and the smallest amount of caffeine keeps me up all night, I 'uncontrollably' gobbled down more servings than I really should in one go.

Yes, totally worth it!

I hope you'll give this recipe a go. Chances are, you have all the ingredients right now in your kitchen.

And best of all, you don't even need an oven for this! 

Coffee Crème Caramel
Inspired by Cooking with Dog
Makes 4

You will need 4 pudding moulds/ramekins.
  • Unsalted Butter (to rub the sides of your ramekins) 
  • 4 tbsp Caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp Water
  • 1½~2 tbsp Hot water
  • 2 Eggs
  • 200ml Milk
  • 50ml strong espresso coffee
  • 3 tbsp Caster sugar
1. Place water in a heavy saucepan. Add 4 tbsp sugar, pouring into the centre of the water so it doesn't touch the edges. Cook over a medium heat for around 5-7 minutes. Do not stir. The caramel will slowly colour from blonde to brunette, to a dark, rich colour. Take off the heat immediately and add the 1-2 tbsp of hot water into the caramel (I added the water using a long ladle to prevent being burned by the sizzling hot caramel! Be careful here as it's extremely hot and bubbly!)

Pour into each of the 4 ramekins/pudding moulds.

2. Whisk eggs gently in a large bowl until mixture is slightly frothy. (We don't want too much froth here.)

3. Put milk and coffee into a saucepan and add the 3tbsp of sugar and cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir into egg mixture (do not over mix).

4. Pour this mixture through a sieve into a jug to pour into each of the 4 ramekins/moulds.

5. Cover the ramekins with aluminium foil. Place them in a large flat pan (I used a 29cm fry pan) with a piece of folded towel/cloth at the bottom (to prevent overheating the moulds). Fill half way up the sides of the ramekins with boiling water and cook for 18-20 minutes with the lid covering the pan. Cook on low heat (small boils - we don't want rapid boil as the custard will be overcooked and eggy!)

6. Check to see if the custard has set and then rest for ~15 mins before putting into the fridge to chill. Run a knife around the edges of the ramekins before turning out onto a dish.

Bible verse of the day...

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 

-Philippians 4:8

Have a blessed week ahead! :)


Anonymous,  August 3, 2011 at 12:22 AM  

So the birds told their friends about the good food at your apt and brought a friend over for dinner?

Duong August 3, 2011 at 12:36 AM  

Salivating. I am going to make some as soon as I can find some pudding moulds.

Anonymous,  August 3, 2011 at 1:11 AM  

I just discovered your blog and wanted to let you know how much I enjoy it. Your recipe sounds and looks so good.

Juliana August 3, 2011 at 4:27 AM  

Wow, your coffee creme caramel look so delicate and so creamy...beautifully done Vivienne.
I love the pictures of the so cute!
Hope you are having a fantastic week :-)

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart August 3, 2011 at 6:26 AM  

I can hardly believe my eyes as I imagine having such beautiful and colorful birds popping by to visit you!

The coffee cream caramel looks divine and I am sure I would have eaten more that I should have at one time.

Anh August 3, 2011 at 7:22 AM  

I love the first photo and how the sunlight shines in there. And of cours, I always love creme caramel :)

Tina @ bitemeshowme August 3, 2011 at 7:41 AM  

These look absolutely gorgeous! Your photos are beautiful. And it's definitely a dessert I need to try out myself. Fantastic job :D

Maris (In Good taste) August 3, 2011 at 8:59 AM  

Looks perfect! Very delicious and altho I am not really a bird lover, these guys are so cute!

renee@sweetsugarbean August 3, 2011 at 9:27 AM  

I can't wait to find out who wins the battle of the bread! Your creme caramel looks absolutely divine - one of my absolute favourite desserts on the planet.

PFx August 3, 2011 at 9:40 AM  

Hi Viv,
I got reminded of those birds yesterday. Being in Melbourne really brings a lot of flasbacks of living in oz. Chia seeds? Aren't they pretty pricey? What a luxurious treat!

Coffee creme caramel! So maturely luscious, like a fine aged port. Steaming would definitely save a lot of energy bills. Great idea!

Anonymous,  August 3, 2011 at 10:22 AM  

This looks divine! And not so bad for the waistline =) We don't have ramekins but I don't see why a large bowl won't suffice - as long as I don't treat it as a single serving! Thanks, Viv.

chow and chatter August 3, 2011 at 12:59 PM  

wow this creme caramel looks amazing your a true talent and I remember those cool little birds in Australia they came on the balcony while we were staying in NSW will add a clip for you on chow and chatter facebook wall to make u smile

Nami | Just One Cookbook August 3, 2011 at 2:01 PM  

I came here from Rebecca's facebook post. Your purin looks sooo good! I love the coffee flavor! I've looked around your website and I really enjoyed it. I'll be your new follower! ;-)

Jessica's Dinner Party August 3, 2011 at 4:40 PM  

Oh the birds are so beautiful! I can't believe they're "wild."

Cafe creme looks delish! as always your food is so tempting!

Unknown August 3, 2011 at 9:35 PM  

Just beautiful. These are on my to-do list of things I would love to make. Thank you for the step by step as that always helps. Going to book mark!

Shu Han August 3, 2011 at 11:17 PM  

I really like the idea of steaming these puddings! so much less work and i can imagine from uour photos, just as silkily smooth and soft! a bit like chinese steamed egg, but sweet instead huh! yum! those birds are so beautiful btw! never seen such colours!

Zoe August 4, 2011 at 9:45 AM  

I'm always a big fan of your post. All your cooking, pictures and stories are so beautiful. The birds and the delicious creme caramel is "screaming" to me that Spring is arriving...

Monet August 4, 2011 at 1:35 PM  

What a delightful post! From the birds, to the dessert, to your writing. Thank you for sharing with me. I'm about ready to curl up in bed, and now I'll have sweet dreams. I hope you have a great end to your week. I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog tonight!

Aizi August 4, 2011 at 4:11 PM  

beautiful! i had a hunch they looked a bit Japanese (the first foto so reminded me of the 'purin' of when i was a kid)... and you were inspired by Cooking with Dog too ;-)
looking forward to what the birds do next too...

OohLookBel August 4, 2011 at 10:04 PM  

Yum, I love coffee desserts, and your creme caramel looks fantastic. Lorikeets are so screechy, aren't they? Colourful but screechy!

sugarpuffi August 5, 2011 at 11:48 AM  

steaming creme caramel? you always think of wacky stuff to do :P

and even birds dont eat the healthy things haha!

QembarDelites August 5, 2011 at 3:57 PM  

Such cute birds and so colorful....would love to try those caramel some day, procastinating here:P

Sashquatch August 7, 2011 at 4:47 AM  

Ive alwayyyss wanted to make one of these and this looks like such a wonderfully simple recipe! Lovely :)

chopinandmysaucepan August 7, 2011 at 10:38 AM  

I'm not a coffee drinker, I don't have a sweet tooth but this is definitely something I would eat :)

Heidi @ Food Doodles August 7, 2011 at 2:13 PM  

That coffee creme caramel looks fantastic! I love desserts like this :D And what pretty birds!

hanushi August 7, 2011 at 8:19 PM  

You have such pretty visitors! And boy, they are picky eaters too, huh. :)

Yi @ Yi Reservation August 8, 2011 at 12:54 AM  

Your coffee crème caramel looks so good. So is your little visitors. I wish I can find pretty birds like them around where I live (maybe in a zoo only).

Joanne August 8, 2011 at 11:38 AM  

Those birds are so funny!

I love this creme put that coffee to fabulous use.

Vivian - vxdollface August 8, 2011 at 5:13 PM  

Once again you've inspired me to make another one of your recipes xD I'm more of a coffee beans kinda gal and I've got a pack of Toby Estate ground coffee which would be perfect to use!

Vivian - vxdollface August 8, 2011 at 5:14 PM  

Oh and I love Chia seeds too :) shame the birds didn't lol

Lori August 9, 2011 at 11:33 AM  

I am in suspense for the rest of the bird story! Ha, ha! That is too funny and those birds are gorgeous. Not to take anything away from your creme caramel because that is gorgeous too. I've not made this type of dessert at home before so I'm glad to have your recipe.

Dolly August 9, 2011 at 8:50 PM  

yummm... ive been meaning to makes these. My bf loves CC.. with added coffee omg, thats got to be addictive!

Karen August 11, 2011 at 2:51 AM  

Beautiful photos! Those birds are too cute...and so sassy. I would love to savor one of your coffee creme caramel desserts right now, they look perfectly silky and smooth. :-)

Jean August 11, 2011 at 11:52 PM  

that view you have at your window is insanely beautiful! and you're so fortunate to have such pretty birds...the wild birds over at where I am...just boring black and brown.

Love your custard, looks so rich and smooth and creamy!

Priyanka August 14, 2011 at 11:00 AM  

Wow, it looks perfect. M so tempted

Rosita Vargas August 29, 2011 at 10:47 AM  

Exquisite cream very tempting, looks absolutely beautiful, hugs ..

Anonymous,  April 26, 2012 at 10:04 PM  


Just stumbled across your blog while trying to find a way to steam creme caramels. Enjoyed your blog, you take beautiful pictures :)

Read your 'about me' and discovered we have a bit in common - both from australia (although you blog name is misleading!), and I am a massive fan of Taiwan (hubby was born there, so have been there plenty of times).

Will give the recipe a try very soon!

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