Chocolate Creme Brulee
This chocolate-centric creme brulee retains the creaminess and caramelized-sugar topping of the classic version. Though caramel and chocolate are considered sweets, the real secret to their allure is an undercurrent of bitterness, a natural component of cacao and burned sugar.
FOR THE CREME BRULEE
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (1/2 cup)
- 5 large egg yolks
- 4 tablespoons sugar
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.