5 large egg yolks100g granulated sugar720ml whipping cream½ teaspoon espresso powder¼ teaspoon salt1 and ½ teaspoons vanilla extract 50g granulated sugar for caramel topping
Preheat oven to 163°C. Whisk the egg yolks and ½ cup (100g) of granulated sugar together. Set aside. Heat the cream, espresso powder, and salt together in a medium saucepan over medium heat. As soon as it begins to simmer, remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla extract. Remove about ½ cup of warm heavy cream and, in a slow and steady stream, whisk into the egg yolks. Keep those egg yolks moving so they don’t scramble. Then, again in a slow and steady stream, pour and whisk the egg yolk mixture into the warm cream. Place ramekins in a large baking pan. Divide custard between each, filling to the top. Carefully fill the tray with hot water until it reaches ½ way up the ramekins. Carefully transfer the pan to the oven. Bake until the edges are set and centres are a little jiggly. The time depends on the depth of your ramekins. Begin checking them at 30 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and remove the ramekins from the pan while still hot. Place on a wire rack to cool for at least 1 hour. Place in the refrigerator, loosely covered, and chill for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days before topping. Using the remaining granulated sugar, sprinkle a thin layer all over the surface of the chilled custards. Caramelise the sugar with a kitchen torch and serve immediately. If you do not have a kitchen torch, heat a spoon (extremely hot) and slide it over the sugar for the same crunch. Top with some fresh berries.
INFO & TIPS
To get the perfect sugar coating, throw a tablespoon of sugar on to the custard and move it around until covered. Then dust the remaining loose sugar out. Ensure that the custards are well cooled before caramelising the sugar else the custard will heat up and begin separating.