1tablespooncoffee flavored liqueur or strong coffeeoptional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease pan(s), one of the following: six 3/4 cup custard cups, four 1 1/3 cup ramekins, one 9 inch round cake pan or 8 inch square cake pan.
Place a kitchen towel in the bottom of a roasting pan and place the pan(s) on top. Start boiling at least 1 quart of water.
In a medium bowl, mash together butter, sugar and salt. Beat in egg yolks. Add flour. Slowly beat in coffee, milk and coffee liqueur, if using.
In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites and a pinch of cream of tartar with an electric mixer on medium high until stiff peaks form, when the beater is removed the "mountain" left behind stands up without falling over.
Gently fold the coffee mixture into the egg whites just until there are no large lumps. Do not overmix.
Ladle the mixture into your prepared pans. Pour the boiling water into the roasting pan until it comes halfway up the sides of the pudding cake pans.
Bake until the center is set and springs bake slightly, about 25 minutes for all pans. Remove from oven but let the pans sit in the water for 10 minutes before removing. Serve warm or chilled with whipped cream.
In a mixing bowl, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form, when the beater is removed the "mountain" left behind stands up without falling over. Mix in coffee liqueur and sweeten to taste with powdered sugar.
To make strong coffee: combine 1/3 cup coffee grounds with 2/3 cup of boiling water. Let sit 10 minutes then strain through a coffee filter.