CoffeeDog Craft Liqueur Crème Brûlée and a Valentine’s Day Giveaway

CoffeeDog Creme Brulee

My first article about CoffeeDog generated so much interest that the good folks at Bulldog Brewery LA asked if I wanted to do another Giveaway, this one to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Call it a #Giveaway or a contest, I’m always up for giving someone a gift. So the good news is you all have another chance to win this very cool do it yourself craft liqueur kit.

We have a winner!

Congratulazioni to Anna and Liz of 2 Sisters Recipes!

Your Coffee and Vanilla Liqueur Kit from Bulldog Brewery LA is on its way!

The Contest is now closed.

Your comments are still welcome.

CoffeeDog Box

The CoffeeDog kit has what you need to make your own stash of superb coffee and vanilla liqueur. All you have to do is supply the spirits. For more on CoffeeDog and the folks who make it, see my earlier post or visit the company’s website.

The liqueur itself has the deep, rich taste of coffee and the delightful perfume of vanilla. Drink it straight, or add it to cocktails or desserts. If you enjoy Borghetti Sport, Kahlúa, or Tia Maria, then CoffeeDog is for you. For a special Valentine’s Day dessert, try my CoffeeDog Crème brûlée. Creamy and rich, with a hint of cinnamon and a topping of burnt sugar that surrenders to the tip of your spoon, it’s romance in a ramekin.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all. To enter to win a CoffeeDog kit, leave a comment telling me your favorite Valentine’s Day dessert. The contest will close at 11:59 pm on February 15, 2016. Entrants must have a United States shipping address and be over 18 years of age. Click here for full contest details.

Buona fortuna!

CoffeeDog Creme Brulee

CoffeeDog Crème Brûlée

serves 6

Dessert and after dinner coffee all in one dish. What could be better? This coffee infused take on the dessert classic is easy to do, and the best news is the custards can be made up to 2 days ahead. Don’t cheat on the caramelized topping though. That step really needs to be done just a few minutes prior to serving; the sugar will melt if caramelized too far ahead. To caramelize the sugar you can use either a blowtorch, which will yield the best, most professional looking results, or the broiler. Sometimes the broiler will heat unevenly, but even if the caramelization is not perfect, neither your guests nor your Valentine will mind.

6 large egg yolks
½ cup granulated sugar
3 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder – see Cook’s Note
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons CoffeeDog liqueur

½ cup granulated sugar

Adjust the oven rack to the center position, and preheat the oven to 300 °F. Place six 6-ounce heat-proof ramekins in a roasting pan, and set a kettle of water on to boil.

Combine the heavy cream, granulated sugar, espresso powder, and cinnamon in a heavy saucepan. Use a silicone spatula to mash the espresso powder against the side of the pan to be sure it dissolves completely. Heat over a moderate flame until small bubbles form around the edge of the saucepan, a procedure known as “scalding.”

While the cream mixture is heating, whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Slowly pour the heated cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking all the while. Take care not to create a lot of bubbles and foam which will persist through the baking and create an unpleasant, almost sponge-like surface on the custard.

Set a fine mesh sieve over a measuring cup large enough to hold the custard base. Pour the custard mixture through the strainer. Discard any solids that may have collected in the sieve. Skim off and discard any remaining froth from the top of the custard base. Add the vanilla extract and CoffeeDog liqueur, and combine well.

Pour the custard into the ramekins (previously placed in a roasting pan.) Transfer the roasting pan to the center rack of the preheated oven. Add boiling water to the roasting pan to reach halfway up the sides of ramekins, and cover the roasting pan loosely with heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Bake the custards until they are just set but still slightly jiggly in the center, about 40 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer registers 170 to 175 degrees F. when inserted into the center of the custard.

Remove the ramekins from pan and place on a rack. Allow the custards to cool completely before covering. If covered while still warm, condensation will form on the plastic wrap and fall back onto the custards. Once cool, cover the ramekins tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 hours or up to 2 days.

Before caramelizing, blot the top of the custards to remove any condensation that may have accumulated. (The sugar will absorb any moisture, hindering caramelization.) Sprinkle half of the remaining ½ cup of granulated sugar over the custards in an even layer. Wipe the edges of the ramekins clean. Hold a blowtorch 6 to 8 inches from the surface of the sugar and caramelize the sugar, moving the blowtorch back and forth until the sugar begins to bubble and color. Do not hold the blowtorch in one spot too long or you risk melting the custard. Repeat with the remaining half of the sugar. Be careful with the blowtorch. Get the kids and pets out of the kitchen and pay attention!

CoffeeDog Creme Brulee

This step may also be done under a very hot broiler. Adjust the rack so that the tops of the custard are a few inches from the broiler. Watch carefully. You may have to rotate the custards to assure even caramelization.

Allow the burnt sugar topping to cool and harden for several minutes prior to serving. Do not refrigerate the custards once the sugar has been caramelized.

Cook’s note:
There are a number of commercial espresso powders on the market. Medaglia d’Oro is a fine brand, however King Arthur Espresso Powder is my choice. It has rich flavor, plenty of body, and it dissolves with ease. It is available online from King Arthur.

About blowtorches – there are a number of small, almost purse-size models available in cookware shops and online. Avoid them. Go to a hardware store and buy a real blowtorch. They are easy to use and far more efficient than the tiny ones. I suggest purchasing a torch with an adjustable flame control and a trigger start.

Torch Extension Hose

If you really want to go all out, get a “Universal Torch Extension Hose.” The hose attaches the fuel tank to the torch, allowing you to set the tank upright on the counter. With your hands free, it is easy to direct the flame. Without the hose, when you tilt the torch it may flame out. And yes, way back in the early eighties Bart really did buy a blowtorch for me for Christmas. To say I was surprised on Christmas morning would be an understatement.

CoffeeDog Creme Brulee

A CoffeeDog kit was provided to me for review from Bulldog Brewery LA. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be of interest to my readers. I otherwise have no affiliation with any product, manufacturer, or site mentioned in this article. and Bulldog Brewery LA are co-sponsors of this Giveaway.

Note: You can click on any picture and see a slide show!

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  1. Comment by 2 Sisters Recipes:

    Thank you ADRI!! We just received the gift box of Coffee Dog Liqueur kit. We are so excited to start this project and make our very own coffee liqueur, along with delicious recipes to try. Grazie Mille!!
    Un bacio forte forte!
    Anna and Liz

  2. Comment by Mila:

    That creme brulee looks amazing!!! I just wish I could get it right now and tasty! 🙂

  3. Comment by Pam Green:

    What a perfect Valentine’s Day recipe! I love my little kitchen torch, and the addition of the coffee liqueur sounds like a great twist on a classic.

  4. Comment by Penny:

    This is a beautiful dessert Adri! All of my favorite flavors.

  5. Comment by Krista:

    My favorite Valentine’s Day dessert is the ubiquitous lava cake. I know it’s passe, but I adore it. 🙂

  6. Comment by Krista:

    I love creme brulee in any flavor, and this sounds divine. 🙂

  7. Comment by nancy at good food matters:

    HI Adri,
    Caramel Coffee Chocolate
    When it comes to dessert, anything that has two of those in some combination is a favorite! Your brulee fits the bill beautifully.
    This Valentine’s I made ganache-filled chocolate stout cupcakes with coffee cream cheese frosting.
    Typically I am not a cupcake person, but these are fantastic.

  8. Comment by linda:

    I absolutely love having creme brulee or strawberry chocolate tartes!

  9. Comment by Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen:

    Interesting creme brulee flavorr! Thanks for dropping by my blog Adri!

  10. Comment by manda:

    I love chocolate mousse for dessert.

  11. Comment by Jason:

    Looks delicious, but I think I’ll leave the blowtorch to the experts.

  12. Comment by kathy Eyre:

    I love the Chantilly cake with fresh strawberrys and blueberries, and of course fresh whipped creamn

  13. Comment by donna:

    I love anything topped with strawberries but my favorite is creme brulee with strawberries and cream

  14. Comment by Mette Vaabengaard:

    I’ve just discovered the magnificence of crema catalana ie. creme brulée without the double cream and it has become an instant favourite with out without a Valentine excuse.

  15. Comment by CakePants:

    Ooh, this looks absolutely perfect! I love the combination of flavors.

  16. Comment by Julie at Hostess At Heart:

    I love love love creme brulee. This one may grace my table tomorrow. I’m afraid of what John would do with a full sized blow torch! I’ve never heard of CoffeeDog but it sounds great.

  17. Comment by Gina B.:

    How to choose??!!! I love desserts, my choice would be a perfect creme brûlée!! ❤️

  18. Comment by 2 sisters recipes:

    Hi Adri! This looks amazing! Love the flavor of coffee so this dessert is perfect to serve for any dinner party! Hope you are warm in the West Coast. It’s freezing on the East. Anyway,
    our favorite Valentines dessert has to be chocolate mousse cake and Panna cotta! Have a great weekend! Xoxo

  19. Comment by Hannah:

    Well, before reading your post I would have said that my favorite Valentine’s Day dessert is simply chocolate-dipped strawberries, but I think you may have just given me a new top runner to consider… That creme brulee looks so luscious! From the creamy interior to the crisp, crackling sugar crust, I can’t imagine a better treat to stimulate romance. 😉

  20. Comment by julie:

    There are so many fantastic desserts to make for Valentine’s Day. I love making strawberry shortcakes with a chocolate drizzle.

  21. Comment by Madonna:

    I love coffee with chocolate. It just enhances any dessert. But your your coffee brûlée is pretty terrific.

  22. Comment by sue|theviewfromgreatisland:

    Oh wow, this has my name written all over it, and thanks for the tip about the espresso powder, I’m not happy with the brand I find in my supermarket — my fave Valentine’s dessert is a rich chocolate lava cake!

  23. Comment by Jessica Lance:

    Fantastic recipe and so tempting! Our favorite Valentine’s Day deserts always involve Berries and Chocolate. One tasty version is the large waffle cookie lightly warmed in the oven and then wrapped around a mixture of berries & sliced strawberries topped with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle! Of course, nothing beats fresh picked berries but it’s the waffle cookie that makes it special.
    Great job Adri! I really enjoy your foodie blog!

  24. Comment by Karen (Back Road Journal):

    I know I would really like your creme brûlée, it looks absolutely delicious and that is not exactly easy with photographing a brown dessert. My favorite dessert, I’ve not met many that I don’t like but if I was looking at a menu, I’d probably pick something lemony.

  25. Comment by Kimmy Ripley:

    My favorite Valentine’s Day dessert is red velvet cake!

  26. Comment by Anthony Fama:

    My favorite is strawberries with whip cream but this could become my new favorite

  27. Comment by ann:

    creme brulee is delicious! I love flourless chocolate cake with a raspberry drizzle

  28. Comment by Ciaochowlinda:

    Well those folks at CoffeeDog knew what they were doing to have you come up with a recipe. This looks great, and I like your advice about those small blow torches. I always wondered if they were worth buying. I remember an episode of Julia Child’s show decades ago, where she used a real blow torch and goggles. I’ve got the goggles. Now I need the blow torch.

  29. Comment by Barbara Bennett:

    My family’s favorite valentines desert is chocolate dipped strawberries with a side odd whipped cream

  30. Comment by Laney (Ortensia Blu):

    Well of course the new favorite looks like it might be CoffeeDog Creme Brûlée! Happy Valentine’s Day!

  31. Comment by Cynthia Lee:

    My favorite dessert for Valentine’s Day is just a good old fashioned panna cotta topped with fresh berries!

  32. Comment by Denise Long:

    My favorite Valentine’s dessert…Dark Chocolate Guinness Cake with Baileys Cream Cheese Icing

  33. Comment by John/Kitchen Riffs:

    What a terrific looking dessert! Love its coffee flavor — what a nice idea. And I’m always up for playing with my blowtorch. Always makes me nervous, though — I always know where my fire extinguisher is when I”m using it. I’m with you on getting a hardware store blowtorch — much cheaper, more powerful. Didn’t know about that extension hose — I’m definitely going to get one. Makes it easier (and probably safer) to use. Good post — thanks.

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