This dish is a Vietnamese take on the classic French creme caramel. The coffee gives it a wonderful aroma. Try and use Vietnamese coffee if you can.
- 175 g (6 oz) caster (superfine) sugar, plus extra to serve
- 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) freshly brewed espresso
- 2 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) full-cream (whole) milk
- 340 ml (11½ fl oz/3 cups) pouring cream
- 2 tsp coffee beans, lightly crushed
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Setting time: 2 hours
1. Combine 100 g (3½ oz) of the sugar and 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) water in a saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to medium and boil, without stirring, for 10–15 minutes until the mixture turns golden and caramelises. Pour in the coffee, stir and simmer for 5 minutes. Carefully pour the coffee caramel into the base of eight 150 ml (5 fl oz) ramekins.
2. Preheat the oven to 120°C (240°F).
3 .Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and the remaining sugar in a bowl.
4. Combine the milk, cream and crushed coffee beans in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer (do not let the mixture boil). Strain the mixture into a jug. Whisking the egg mixture continuously, slowly pour in the milk mixture. Divide the custard among the ramekins.
5. Place the ramekins in a baking dish and pour in enough hot water to come half way up the side of the ramekins. Bake for 40 minutes or until just set (the custards should be firm with just a little wobble).
6. Remove the ramekins from the dish and set aside in the fridge for at least 2 hours or, preferably, overnight.
7. To serve, run a knife around the edge of each ramekin and invert onto serving plates.
Recipe from Street Food Vietnam by Jerry Mai, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99