Baked Vanilla Custard with Coffee Jelly

008copy1 I do love a baked custard and I do love coffee.  Clearly, this recipe was made for me.  It is such a simple idea which works so well, especially after a dinner party when most tummies are full but room can still be found for some little sweet thing.

Before we start, I must discuss the little glasses.  They are not made out of normal glass but tempered glass.  To be oven safe, glass must be tempered.  And you still have to be a little careful with it: no extreme changes in heat, for example.  I really wanted the cute little old-fashioned-looking glasses you see in all the cookbooks but I couldn’t find them in my local kitchen shop (I did, later, in Sydney 🙂  ) so I bought these.  They are coffee cups with removable metal handles.

This recipe is from Maggie Beer’s Maggie’s Kitchen.  I only made one change to the recipe.  Maggie placed one tablespoon of marmalade in the bottom of each glass before adding the custard.  My mate, Colette, doesn’t like marmalade so I skipped it.  To be honest, marmalade in the bottom of the glass didn’t really appeal to me, either.  Colette, ironically, likes all things citrus (except marmalade (go figure 🙂 ) so I  took the liberty of adding a few strands of glacéd cumquats for decoration.

Maggie didn’t include the chocolate-coated coffee beans but I thought they would be perfect – so I added them and I am glad I did.  I put the balance on the table for my guests to nibble at and they were a hit.  BTW, if you are looking for chocolate-coated coffee beans, the lolly shop in Bridgetown sells them.

I doubled the recipe and made enough for six.  Maggie advises the original recipe serves four – maybe her glasses were smaller than the ones I used.  Maggie also advises that it is best to make the custard the day before you intend to serve the dessert and then add the coffee jelly on the morning of serving.


  • 2 cups of whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 vanilla beans, split lengthways
  • 10 egg yolks (don’t forget the chickens – please, use free range eggs)
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 280mls strong black coffee or espresso
  • 2 x 2g gelatine leaves
  • chocolate-coated coffee beans and glacéd cumquats, or other citrus, to serve


  1. Preheat your oven to 160°C.
  2. Bring the cream, milk and vanilla beans to the boil, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 15 minutes.
  3. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together until thick and pale.
  4. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla beans into the cream mixture and reheat until hot.
  5. Gently pour the hot cream mixture over the egg yolks and sugar mixture and gently stir until all the sugar has dissolved.  It is important to do this gently so that you do not make the mixture frothy.
  6. Pour the custard mixture through a fine sieve (to eliminate any froth) into oven proof glasses.  Ensure your glasses are made from tempered glass.
  7. Place the filled glasses in a baking dish and half-fill the dish with boiling water.
  8. Bake custards for 35-40 minutes or until they are set but still a little wobbly in the middle.
  9. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the water bath. When the custards have cooled, put them in the refrigerator to chill overnight.
  10. The next day, make the coffee and leave to cool slightly.  The coffee needs to be really, really strong.  I made mine in a plunger and used three times the amount of coffee I normally would.  Taste the coffee and add sugar, if desired.  I made mine quite sweet but Maggie did not add any sugar.  It is a personal thing.
  11. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for a few minutes until they soften. Once soft, squeeze out the excess liquid from the gelatine and add the leaves to the coffee.  Stir to dissolve.
  12. Remove any crema from the top of the coffee. Let the coffee and gelatine mixture cool a little.  Carefully spoon half of the coffee mixture over the chilled custards.  Leave for about 10 minutes until slightly set.  Divide the remaining coffee mixture between the glasses. Maggie advises doing this in two stages helps to achieve a shiny mirror-like effect on the surface of the jellies.
  13. Refrigerate until needed.
  14. Top with three chocolate-coated coffee beans and a few shreds of glacéd cumquat or whatever glacéd citrus you have.



25 thoughts on “Baked Vanilla Custard with Coffee Jelly

  1. Pingback: Rigatoni with Broccoli, Almonds and Currants | Passion Fruit Garden

  2. Pingback: Pannacotta Affogato | Passion Fruit Garden

  3. That really looks like a great way to end a nice meal. I’ve never heard of coffee jelly but what an interesting idea, as well as the chocolate covered coffee beans. It looks like such a classy idea, very nice.

  4. I’m with you, Glenda, and love baked custard. It makes such a flavorful dessert. This coffee jelly, though, is something completely new to me. I do like the idea of it, though, and bet it would be a wonderful accompaniment to the custard. Your garnishes make the dessert cups look even more elegant. This is how you wow dinner guests. 🙂

    • Hi Sandra, I am glad you think the combo a bit strange too. I can’t imagine getting to the bottom of the glass and finding a blob of marmalade. Oh well, each to their own.

  5. What a beautiful idea! Clearly I need to re-read Maggie’s Kitchen! Thanks for sharing, Glenda, love your work.

  6. Coffee and custard sounded a bit strange but then I thought of tiramisu which is coffee and cheese and a big hit at our place. Of course I add a fair bit of booze to that dish. 🙂 I owe it to the taste buds to try this recipe out at least once.

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