As I pulled out my rarely-used kitchen torch, I reflected again on how I really enjoy food and fire in the kitchen. I chuckled a tad, too, because it always feels a little bad-ass to light stuff on fire, as with Barefoot Contessa’s coq au vin recipe, or to wield fire, as with crème brûlée. Part my chuckling was also related to seeing that the brand name on my torch is “Bonjour” and my first thought was, “say hello to my little friend!” Perhaps I’d been alone at home grading for too long that day.
This coffee crème brûlée recipe worked out perfectly well for me and I was so happy to have a “win.” It was super easy to prepare, with some egg yolks, whole milk, and (whipping) cream, along with sugar, instant espresso powder, and Kahlua. I made a half recipe, which necessitated a trip to the store for that pesky 1 teaspoon of coffee liqueur. I considered using just vanilla extract, but also understood that liqueur would amp up the flavor in a very necessary way. Luckily, I found a local liquor store that sells those little bottles they have on airplanes.
Cooked mine for the 25 minutes, shoved it in the fridge for a few hours, fired some sugar on top, and voilà! My husband said he’d have liked it a tad creamier, which is probably due to my using whipping and not heavy cream, but I liked the lighter texture.