- 2 cups heavy cream, divided
- ½ cup cup granulated sugar
- Pinch salt
- 1 tbsp instant espresso
- splash vanilla extract
- 6 large egg yolks
- 8 teaspoons turbinado sugar
- Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 300º F
- Line a 9×9 pan with a couple of dishtowels and set the 4 ramekins in the pan, making sure that the ramekins do not touch each other. Set aside.
- Fill a tea kettle with water and bring to boil over medium heat
- Combine 1 cup heavy cream, sugar and salt in a small saucepan. Bring the cream to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to make sure the sugar is dissolved. Pull the saucepan with the cream off the stove and whisk in the espresso powder, until completely dissolved. Add a splash of vanilla extract, and then whisk in the remaining cup of heavy cream.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until they are uniform.
- Whisk half of the cream into the eggs yolks and mix until combined. Repeat with the remaining cream.
- Place a fine mesh strainer over a large measuring cup (or bowl with a spout) and pour the cream mixture through the strainer to make sure the cream is smooth.
- At this point, your tea kettle should be whistling! (If it’s not, check on that now.)
- Fill each ramekin with the cream mixture, leaving about ½ inch of space at the top.
- Open the oven and pull out the rack. Place the 9×9 pan in the middle of the rack. Carefully pour the hot water from the tea kettle into the 9×9 pan to create a water bath for the ramekins. The hot water should reach two thirds up the sides of the ramekins. Slide the rack back into the oven.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, but set your timer for 20 minutes. The custard should be removed from the oven when it reaches 170 to 175ºF. If your dishes are very shallow, reduce the bake time by 5-10 minutes. Don’t be afraid to use your thermometer– the custards are going to be covered by the sugar!
- Using a pair of tongs, transfer the ramekins to a wire rack and let cool at room temperature for 2 hours. After two hours, put the ramekins in the 9×9 pan and cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
- When you’re ready to serve, sprinkle a thin layer of turbinado sugar (about a tablespoon) on the top of each custard. If you have a kitchen torch, light it up! If you don’t have a kitchen torch, place the custards on a cookie sheet. Arrange the racks in your oven to the top shelf and place the custards on the shelf — directly under the broiler. Broil for 2-3 minutes until the sugar has melted. If you use the broiler method, return the creme brulee to the fridge for 5-10 minutes before serving.