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Espresso Crme Brle

While the process may seem a bit complicated, the end result is a stunning dessert for that special occasion.

2 cups milk
1 cup whole espresso coffee beans 
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
3 Tablespoons sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar, divided

1. In a large saucepan, stir together the milk, coffee beans, nonfat dry milk and 2 tablespoons of sugar.

2. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until tiny bubbles begin to form around the edge. Do not allow to boil.

3. Remove mixture from heat, cover and allow to steep 30 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 300F.

5. Strain the milk mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and stir in the vanilla.

6. Whisk the egg yolks together with 1 tablespoon of sugar and a pinch of salt.

7. Gradually add milk mixture to the egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk.

8. Divide the mixture evenly among 4 (4-oz.) ramekins or custard cups. Place them in a 13x9-inch baking pan and add hot water to a depth of 1-inch.

9. Bake for 25 minutes or until the center barely moves when ramekins is touched. Remove ramekins from pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

10. Preheat broiler. Blot any water from tops of custards. Sprinkle evenly with sugar, about 1-2 tablespoons each, and place under broiler. Broil until sugar is caramelized, about 2 minutes. Let cool before serving.

Serves 4.

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