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Vanilla pots with strawberries & espresso caramel

Vanilla pots with strawberries & espresso caramel

This intriguing blend of fruity sweetness and strong coffee is a knock-out finish to a spring meal and can be made ahead. 

Recipe by: Skye Gyngell

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Gluten freeVegetarian
  • Serves6
  • CourseDessert
  • Prepare20 mins
  • Cook1 hr 20 mins
  • Total time1 hr 40 mins
  • Plusinfusing + cooling + chilling


  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 300ml double cream
  • 200ml whole milk
  • 50g caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp sea salt flakes
  • 5 5 egg yolks and 1 egg white
  • 230g No.1 British Speciality Strawberries
  • 20g caster sugar

Espresso caramel

  • 110g caster sugar
  • 30ml freshly brewed espresso (or strong coffee)


  1. Slit the vanilla pod in ½ lengthways and scrape out the seeds into a large pan. Add the empty pod, cream, milk, sugar and salt, then set over a medium heat. Heat until steaming, stirring occasionally, then set aside to infuse for at least 30 minutes.

  2. Preheat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2. Put 6 small ovenproof ramekins (each about 125ml) in a large roasting tin. Leave at least 2cm between each. Reheat the milk mixture until steaming. Meanwhile, gently whisk the egg yolks and egg white in a large mixing bowl until lightly beaten. Gradually strain the hot milk over the eggs, whisking constantly. Pour the custard back into the pan and put over a low heat. Heat, stirring constantly, for 4-5 minutes or until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Immediately take off the heat and pass through a sieve into a large jug.

  3. Bring a kettle of water to the boil. Divide the custard among the ramekins, then pour just-boiled water into the tin until it comes halfway up the sides of the pots. Loosely cover with foil and transfer to the oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes until just set. Remove the pots from the water, set aside to cool, then chill for at least 2 hours (or overnight).

  4. For the caramel, put the 110g sugar in a small pan and cover with just enough water to bring it to the consistency of wet sand (about 50ml). Cook over a medium-high heat for about 5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Gently swirl the pan occasionally (don’t be tempted to stir it). Continue to cook until the caramel turns a light amber. Once the caramel is a light chestnut brown (5-7 minutes), stand back and carefully add 30ml warm water – it will bubble and splutter. Once added, set over a low heat for a few minutes, without stirring, until combined. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Add the espresso, then return to a low heat for a few minutes, without stirring, until combined. Set aside to cool completely.

  5. Meanwhile, halve or quarter the strawberries, depending on size. Toss the berries with the sugar and set aside for 30 minutes. When ready to serve, gently coat the strawberries in the caramel and top each baked custard with the fruit.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


1,854kJ/ 446kcals



Saturated Fat












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