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Crème Brûlée Cappuccino


Crème brûlée is one of the most satisfying desserts I know — it makes the most delicious noise when you crack into the glazed sugar layer with a spoon. This cappuccino has a sugar decoration that melts into the drink to give a lovely burnt caramel flavor reminiscent of this popular French treat.


Prepare the Crème Brûlée Cappuccino

1. Begin by preparing the sugar decorations. In a dry saucepan, heat the sugar over a gentle heat until it melts and turns a golden-brown color. It is important to keep swirling the pan so that the sugar does not burn, but do not stir it. Take care towards the end as the sugar can suddenly burn quickly so remove it from the heat as soon as it is a deep golden color. Allow to cook for one minute, which will allow the caramel to thicken and make better shapes. Using a spoon, swirl the hot sugar in two spiral patterns on a silicone mat or parchment paper and leave to set (which will only take a few minutes).
2. Pour the hot coffee into two cups or heatproof glasses. Steam or froth the milk until hot and very foamy — you want a ratio of approximately 50–50 steamed milk and foam. Add a little vanilla syrup or vanilla extract to each drink, stir, and pour the hot milk on top of the coffee. Top the drinks with marshmallows and place a sugar decoration on top of each one. Serve at once with a spoon so that you can ‘crack’ the topping into the coffee and stir it in.

Prepare the Vanilla Syrup

1. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved and you have a thin syrup. Store in a sterilized jar or bottle. The syrup will store for up to one month if refrigerated. Makes approximately 250 milliliters/one cup.


From Festive Coffee Shop Drinks: More than 50 Holiday-Inspired Recipes for Coffees, Hot Chocolates & More with recipes by Hannah Miles, Ryland Peters & Small. Photograph by Alex Luck © Ryland Peters & Small