Hazelnut and cappuccino crème brûlée with warm chocolate doughnuts and biscotti

Hazelnut and cappuccino crème brûlée with warm chocolate doughnuts and biscotti

William Meppem

The hazelnut and cappuccino crème brûlée has never been off the menu at the Botanical as it is so popular. We love our coffee in Melbourne and this is a fun interpretation of the classic crème brûlée.



Quantity Ingredient
50g hazelnuts
325ml pouring cream
175ml milk
1 vanilla pod, split and scraped
2 tablespoons coffee extract
or 2 double espressos reduced in a pan to 10 ml
50g hazelnut paste
9 egg yolks
75g sugar

Cappuccino topping

Quantity Ingredient
4 egg yolks
40ml hazelnut liqueur
25ml coffee liqueur
40ml water
50g sugar


Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity Biscotti
1 quantity doughnuts, (see Note)
150g caster sugar
5 g pieces of good-quality dark chocolate
250ml vegetable oil
additional caster sugar
1 heaped teaspoon cocoa powder


  1. Preheat oven to 100ºC.
  2. Spread the hazelnuts out flat on a baking tray and roast for 6–8 minutes. When they are roasted sufficiently the skins should be easy to remove.
  3. Blend the hazelnuts coarsely in a food processor, then combine with the cream, milk, vanilla pod and seeds and coffee extract. Bring to the boil gently over a low heat, then whisk in the hazelnut paste until dissolved. Set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and fluffy, then gradually add the hazelnut-flavoured cream. Once the cream has been absorbed, allow to infuse for 5 minutes, then remove the vanilla pod and pass the custard through a fine sieve. Pour into ovenproof coffee cups or ramekins and place in a deep baking tray. Transfer to the oven then fill the tray with boiling water three-quarters full. Bake for 35–40 minutes, until the surface of the custards is still slightly wobbly in the centre but firm around the outsides. Remove from the tray and refrigerate overnight, for at least 6–8 hours.
  5. Prepare the biscotti and prove the brioche dough for the doughnuts (see p. 259).
  6. To make the topping, combine the egg yolks, hazelnut and coffee liqueurs, water and sugar in a metal bowl. Place snugly over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk the mixture vigorously until the egg yolks begin to froth and warm through. Continue to whisk for 5 minutes, taking care not to overheat the egg mixture. Transfer to a food processor and whisk steadily until it reaches a thick ribbon stage and is cool to the touch.
  7. Sprinkle the 150 g of caster sugar over the chilled custards and evenly heat the surfaces with a blow torch until deep golden-brown and a liquid caramel forms. Allow to cool for 5 minutes until the caramel becomes crisp.
  8. Roll 30 g pieces of proved brioche dough into balls. Press a 5 g piece of chocolate into the centre of each ball. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep saucepan over a medium heat to a temperature of 180ºC. Deep-fry all the doughnuts evenly for about 2 minutes, then remove from oil and allow to rest (this ensures the dough is cooked in the centre). After 5–10 minutes, return the doughnuts to the oil and cook again for about 1–2 minutes. Once they are golden and crisp, drain on paper towels and roll in additional caster sugar.
  9. To serve, top the caramelised crème brûlées with a generous spoonful of cappuccino topping, dust with cocoa and serve with a warm chocolate doughnut and biscotti.

Chef’s note

  • This dough makes excellent doughnuts: roll 30 g pieces of proved dough in your hands and press a 5 g piece of chocolate into the centre. Leave to rest for at least 20 minutes then shallow-fry. Pat off excess oil with paper towels and roll in caster or cinnamon sugar to finish.

Chef’s note

  • The egg sabayon (cappuccino topping) makes an excellent dessert in its own right. Instead of hazelnut and coffee, flavour it with your favourite liqueur and serve it in tall glasses with poached fruit, such as cherries or pears, and freshly churned ice-cream.
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