Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Make
the creme brulee: Heat cream
and 1/4 cup sugar in a small
saucepan over medium heat,
stirring, until sugar dissolves
and the cream just begins to
simmer. Add chocolate, and
whisk until melted and smooth.
Whisk remaining 3 tablespoons
sugar with the egg yolks
in a medium bowl. Slowly pour
cream mixture into yolk mixture,
whisking constantly. Strain
custard through a fine sieve.
Pour custard into four 4-ounce
ramekins. Transfer ramekins to
a roasting pan, and fill pan with
enough boiling water to reach
halfway up the sides of ramekins.
Bake until custards are just
set, 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes.
Carefully remove from water,
and let custards cool.
Assemble the cremes brulees: Refrigerate for 1 hour. Top each with 1 tablespoon sugar. Hold a
small handheld kitchen torch at a 90-degree angle 3 to 4 inches from surface of custard. Move
flame back and forth until surface is caramelized. Alternatively, broil custards on top rack until
caramelized, 1 to 2 minutes.
Baked cremes brulees can be refrigerated overnight. Caramelize tops before serving.