Coffee crème caramel
A twist on one of my favourite desserts. Mercedes made this with instant coffee, which may not sound very gourmet, but trust me, it works even better than using real espresso.
150g/5oz caster sugar
375g/12oz tin sweetened condensed milk
450ml/15fl oz milk
1 tsp coffee powder
Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas3. First, make the caramel: pour the sugar into a small heavy-based pan and place over a medium heat with 2 tbsp of water; stir to dissolve the sugar. Once dissolved, stop stirring and continue heating until you have a dark caramel. Remove from the heat and pour carefully into a non-metallic 23cm ovenproof dish (hold the dish with a tea towel while you pour in the hot caramel). Put the dish in a deep roasting tin.
Whisk together the condensed milk, eggs, milk and coffee powder. Strain this mixture into the ovenproof dish containing the caramel. Pour hot water into the roasting tin to reach halfway up the dish (this turns it into a bain-marie), cover the tin with foil and bake for 1 hour. Test if it's ready by lifting the foil and jiggling the dish – the custard will look set but wobble like a jelly. Remove the dish from the tin, cool and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
To serve, run a small knife around the edge of the dish then put a serving plate on top. Carefully turn both the dish and serving plate over, holding them firmly together, then lift off the dish. Serve with walnuts scattered over the top.
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