Bonus Holiday Recipe: Crème Caramel al Caffè
Spiking the custard with espresso makes this spoon dessert even more luxurious
Crème caramel, or “crema rovesciata” (upside-down cream) in Italian, has been one of my favorite desserts since I was a child; my mother would make it for the holidays or for dinner parties, and there was just something about it—the cold, silky cream, the bitter, glassy caramel sauce, that delighted me.
Over the years I’ve played around with the original egg-and-vanilla flavor of the custard. For this version, which is in the dessert chapter of my new book, Williams-Sonoma Everyday Italian, I spiked the custard with freshly brewed espresso, a touch of genius, if I may say so! The coffee deepens the flavor of the custard and tones down its “egginess.” You need a good, strong espresso here to stand up to that bitter caramel sauce, so I used Mr. Espresso Neapolitan coffee, a medium-dark roast that itself has notes of caramel. It was just right.
Crème caramel can be a bit tricky to make. First, there’s the caramel itself, a