Espresso crema fritti

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 4 people

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 70 gm caster sugar
  • Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • 75 gm (½ cup) plain flour
  • 20 gm cornflour
  • 400 ml milk
  • 100 ml espresso-strength coffee
  • For greasing: butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 70 gm (1 cup) fresh breadcrumbs from soft white bread
  • 60 gm (½ cup) almond meal
  • For deep-frying: vegetable oil
  • To serve: vanilla gelato
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  • Coffee liqueur caramel
  • 220 gm (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 50 ml coffee liqueur
  • 30 ml espresso-strength coffee
01   Whisk yolks, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until pale (2-3 minutes), then whisk in flour and cornflour. Bring milk and espresso to just below the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour milk mixture over yolk mixture, whisk continuously until smooth. Return to pan, whisk continuously until mixture boils and thickens (1-2 minutes). Remove from heat, spoon into a greased 15cm square cake tin lined with baking paper, smooth top with a wet palette knife and refrigerate until firm (2 hours).
02   Meanwhile, for coffee liqueur caramel, stir sugar and 60ml water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil and cook until dark caramel (3-4 minutes). Remove from heat, add 30ml water (be careful as hot caramel may spit), return to heat and stir to combine. Add liqueur and espresso, stir to combine, then set aside to cool to room temperature.
03   Whisk eggs in a bowl until just combined and set aside. Combine breadcrumbs and almond meal in a separate bowl and set aside. Turn crema onto a board and cut out 7cm-diameter rounds with a wet pastry cutter. Dip rounds in eggwash, dredge in breadcrumb mixture and place on a tray.
04   Heat oil in a deep saucepan or deep-fryer to 180C. Deep-fry crema until golden, turning occasionally (3-4 minutes, be careful as hot oil will spit), drain on absorbent paper and serve with vanilla gelato, drizzled with coffee liqueur caramel.
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