Dark Coffee Cup Custard
Recommended Companion Coffee: French Roast
I love custards of all types, but this dark and deliciously creamy version
is in a league of its own. Typically, coffee custard is made with instant
coffee granules. Here, however, we make a much bolder statement using
regular ground coffee. The coffee flecks are clearly visible in the
finished custard – like real specks of vanilla bean in ice cream – an
authentic signature that sets this custard apart from more timid variations
(see note below.) Just right for a special breakfast or brunch, a dollop of
whipped cream makes a striking contrast to the custard’s rich brown hue.
Remember that the trick for making perfectly done custard is to bake it
“low and slow.” Don’t be tempted to increase the heat to cook it faster or
the custard may “break” and leave you with something akin to watery
1 tablespoon finely ground coffee
1/4 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar
2 cups light cream
1 cup heavy cream or whipping cream
8 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whipped cream, for garnish
1. Get out 6 custard cups or ramekins. Also get out a shallow casserole
large enough to hold the cups without crowding them. Preheat the oven to
2. Put the ground coffee and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a coffee grinder or
blender and pulverize them as finely as possible. Combine the ground coffee
mixture, light cream, and heavy cream in a small saucepan. Heat, stirring
occasionally, until the cream reaches a near boil. Remove from the heat.
3. Using a wooden spoon, stir the egg yolks, vanilla, and remaining 1/2 cup
sugar together in a large bowl. Adding about 1/4 cup at a time to start,
stir the hot cream into the yolks. Gradually stir in the remaining cream.
4. Divide the mixture evenly between the custard cups. Place the cups in
the shallow casserole, leaving some space between them. Add enough hot
water to the pan to come about halfway up the sides of the cups.
5. Put the casserole on the center oven rack and place a large piece of
tented foil over the cups, to cover loosely. Bake approximately 45 to 55
minutes. When done, the centers of the custards will be wobbly, but not
liquid-loose. Transfer the cups to a rack to cool.
6. Cover individually with plastic, then refrigerate the custards for at
least 4 hours – preferably overnight – before serving, garnished with
Makes 6 servings