Cafe con Leche Custard

3 cusp milk, divided
1 cup heavy cream
2 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
Whipped cream, chocolate-covered espresso
    beans for garnish (optional)

Reserve 1 cup of the milk. Place the remaining 2 cups milk, cream, coffee powder and sugar in a heavy saucepan and whisk well.

Blend the cornstarch with the remaining 1 cup milk, then stir into the mixture in the saucepan. Set over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to low, cover and cook an additional 10 minutes.

Beat the eggs well. Slowly add a half cup of the hot coffee mixture into the eggs, whisking briskly so egg does not curdle. Gradually pour the egg mixture into the coffee mixture, still over low heat, and whisk well to incorporate. Cover and cook 2 minutes longer.

Remove from heat and pour into coffee cups or custard dishes. Cover with plastic wrap. Chill thoroughly. When ready to serve, top with fresh whipped cream and a chocolate covered espresso bean.

Makes 8 servings.

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