Food & drink photography and styling - Recipe development

Whey protein coffee creme caramel

Whey protein coffee creme caramel

Disclaimer: In December 2019, I was commissioned to develop a variety of recipes for Dairy Australia. This is one of them, showing how to use whey protein in regular recipes. Styling and photography by me. Both the recipe and the photo is now property of Dairy Australia, however I was given permission to publish them on my website. © Dairy Australia. All rights reserved.

If you read my last post about the chai granita, you will recall that I said I don’t like coffee. Turns out, if it’s in form of a dessert, I might be able to tolerate it… hehe.

Dairy Australia asked me to create a few recipes that show that whey protein can be used in cooking. If you want to consume extra protein, it doesn’t always need to be in form of a smoothie or a protein bar. Why not incorporate the powder into your dinner, or dessert? I’ve played around with a few ideas, but then settled on a creme caramel, and because coffee and vanilla (as in, the vanilla flavour from the whey protein powder) go so well together, AND coffee is so popular these days, it seemed like this one could be a winner!

We made a few creme caramels at culinary school, and while I’ve known about them, I don’t think I’ve had very many of them before, if any really. How good are they though?! And how hard is it to get them right!? Good thing is, you just need to have a few tricks up your sleeve and they turn out lovely!

These are my tricks:

  1. Be patient when making the caramel. It will turn amber, promise, just don’t stir or try to accelerate the process, or it will form sugar crystals.
  2. Brush down the side of the pan with a wet brush to make sure no sugar water splashes burn on the sides.
  3. Have a towel on the bottom of your water bath and place the ramekins of top. This will help with even cooking so the bottoms don’t cook faster than the rest.
  4. Use a water bath! If you don’t want to splash water into your creme caramel when you place the dish into the oven, place it in without water first, then fill the dish in the oven until the water reaches about half way up the ramekins.
  5. Cover the creme caramel with foil while gently baking them. You don’t want the tops to burn, right?
  6. Take them out of the oven when there is still a slight wobble in the middle. The key word is ‘slight’. It will set over night.
  7. Let them rest over night. The caramel will have more time to colour and infuse the creme with flavour when you turn them out.

Let me know how you went! I’d love to hear your feedback!

Whey protein coffee creme caramel

Coffee’s popularity has been soaring in the last decade, and coffee flavoured desserts have emerged as a result, just as my version of this classic baked custard. With the addition of whey protein isolate, each small serve gives you 6g of protein.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Resting time4 hrs
Total Time5 hrs 5 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Spanish
Keyword: coffee, dairy, milk, whey protein, wpi
Servings: 8 serves



  • 280 g castor sugar
  • 140 ml water


  • 60 ml espresso coffee brewed
  • 400 ml full cream milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 40 g castor sugar
  • 50 g vanilla whey protein isolate


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan-forced 160°C). Lightly grease 8 small ramekins.
  • Make a caramel with sugar and water by heating the ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat. Do not stir or crystals will form. When dark amber, quickly pour into the ramekins.
  • For the custard, bring milk and coffee to a scalding point. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with sugar and whey protein powder until no lumps remain. Slowly pour the hot milk over the egg mixture while continuously whisking. Strain through a fine sieve into the ramekins onto the caramel.
  • Place a kitchen towel on the bottom of a deep baking tray and arrange the filled ramekins on top. Fill the tray with hot but not boiling water, about halfway up the ramekins. Cover with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the custard is just set with a slight wobble in the middle.
  • Remove from the oven and let sit in the water bath for 10 minutes. Take the ramekins out of the water and allow the creme caramel to cool before placing them into the fridge to cool for at least 4 hours, better overnight.
  • To serve, run a knife around the edge of the ramekins then turn out onto small plates.
  • Tip: WPI has the tendency to make the surface dry out once cooked. Keep the ramekins covered at all times while cooling to avoid this.

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