From Chef Jacques of Chez Francois in Great Falls, Virginia.

Serves 6


2 cups brewed espresso coffee
10 egg yolks
2 tablespoons evaporated cane juice or sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup milk
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.

Place the freshly-brewed espresso in a small saucepan, place over high heat, and reduce by ½ to concentrate the flavor. Chill.

Beat the eggs in a medium glass or stainless steel bowl and thoroughly whisk in the evaporated cane juice. Add the remaining ingredients, mixing completely.

Divide the custard among six 6-ounce oven-proof ramekins.

Set the prepared ramekins into a shallow baking dish or pan, at least 1 inch deep. Pour hot tap water into the baking dish to a level halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Carefully place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake until the custards are set, about 35 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into one of the custards. Custards are set if toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and lift the ramekins out of the water bath and cool.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons evaporated cane juice or sugar over each and place under a preheated broiler to melt and lightly brown the sugar.

HINT: The evaporated cane juice does not caramelize quite as well as white sugar.

Reprinted with permission from Chef Jacques of If you are in Northern Virginia make sure to visit Chez Francios, best French restaurant in the area, and maybe even, the entire U.S.

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