5 large egg yolks
6 T. sugar
2 c. whipping cream or 18 percent coffee cream
1/2 t. good-quality vanilla or
Madagascar vanilla bean paste
sugar, for sprinkling on top
Preheat oven to 325°F. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk in the cream and vanilla. Divide the mixture among 6 small ramekins and set them into a roasting pan. Add water to the pan so that it comes about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. This will insulate them from too much heat so they cook gently and evenly.
Bake them for about 40 minutes, until the custards are set but still slightly jiggly in the middle. Take the custards out, let them cool, and then refrigerate them for a few hours or overnight, until nice and cold.
When you’re ready to serve them, sprinkle an even layer of sugar over each crème and brûlée (caramelize) with a torch, or put the ramekins on a cookie sheet and place them under the broiler in the oven for about 2 minutes, just until the sugar is caramelized and golden. Let the crème brûlées sit on the countertop while you eat dinner or make coffee, just until the sugar is set and crackly. Serves 6.