Chef's Recipes

Espresso crème brûlée with hazelnut ice-cream

Australian Gourmet Traveller dessert recipe for espresso crème brûlée with hazelnut ice-cream by Harbourkitchen&bar chef Alessandro Pavoni.

By Alessandro Pavoni
  • Serves 4
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 10 mins cooking plus chilling, freezing
Espresso crème brûlée with hazelnut ice-cream
Espresso crème brûlée with hazelnut ice-cream

"We had a beautiful dinner at Sydney's Harbourkitchen&bar. Could chef Alessandro Pavoni please share the delectable espresso crème brûlée recipe? It was so good."
Thao Le, Carnegie, Vic

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  • 375 ml (1½ cups) pouring cream
  • 125 ml (½ cup) milk
  • 150 gm caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 50 ml espresso strength coffee
  • 9 egg yolks
Hazelnut ice-cream
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 100 gm caster sugar
  • 250 ml (1 cup) pouring cream
  • 200 ml milk
  • 30 gm (1 tbsp) chocolate-hazelnut spread, such as Nutella


  • 1
    For hazelnut ice-cream, whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick and pale. Set aside. Combine cream, milk and chocolate-hazelnut spread in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring to dissolve (3-5 minutes). Bring just to the boil, then gradually pour over egg yolk mixture, whisking to combine. Return to a clean pan and stir over medium heat without boiling until mixture thickly coats the back of a spoon (10-12 minutes). Refrigerate until chilled, then freeze in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Makes about 750ml and will keep in freezer for up to 2 weeks.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 140C. Combine cream, milk, sugar and espresso in a saucepan and stir over medium heat to dissolve sugar, then bring almost to the boil (5-7 minutes). Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks in a bowl until frothy. Whisking continuously, add half the hot cream mixture, then stir in remaining. Strain through a fine sieve into a jug, then divide among four 1 cup-capacity shallow ovenproof dishes. Place dishes in a roasting pan, fill with enough cold water to come almost to the top of the outsides of dishes. Bake until just set (35-45 minutes). Remove dishes from pan, cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until completely chilled (3-3½ hours).
  • 3
    To serve, scatter an even layer of caster sugar over custards then, using a blowtorch, caramelise sugar. Serve immediately with hazelnut ice-cream.
  • Author: Alessandro Pavoni