Chocolate Crème Brûlée

by Jillian
Rich, creamy, and incredibly indulgent, this Chocolate Crème Brûlée is nothing short of heavenly!

Rich, creamy, and incredibly indulgent, this Chocolate Crème Brûlée is nothing short of heavenly!

Now that Christmas and New Years have come and gone, I think it’s about time we set our sights on VALENTINES DAY.

It’s not too early, is it? After all, it IS the next big holiday we have coming up!

Besides, if it’s ok for stores to have their shelves stocked with Valentine’s Day candy and decor already, then it sure as heck should be ok for the rest of us to get into the lovey-dovey spirit! And no, I ain’t talkin’ about some lame-o significant other…I’ve got my heart eyes set on the one and only, CHOCOLATE.

To me, Valentine’s Day is ALL about the sweets, specifically CHOCOLATE. And I know I’m definitely not alone, seeing as an estimated TWO BILLION buck-a-roo’s were spent on Valentine’s Day candy last year alone. Sure, a romantic card and a diamond bracelet sound like nice gifts, but CHOCOLATE has the power to make the heart, soul, AND stomach happy.

So if you REALLY wanna impress your date/better half this Valentine’s Day, I HIGHLY recommend finishing the evening off with this exquisitely sinful Chocolate Crème Brûlée…

Smooth, rich, and incredibly silky, this Chocolate Crème Brûlée will make your tastebuds SWOON. Every single spoonful is irresistible, and I can pretty much guarantee you’ll be licking the bottom of the dish when you’re done. It’s THAT good.

While this dessert might look rather decadent, it’s not overwhelmingly sweet. There’s just enough sugar to enhance the wonderful flavors of the dark chocolate, so you don’t have to worry about falling into a sugar coma after eating one of these.

And don’t let the drop-dead-gorgeousness of this Chocolate Crème Brûlée fool ya. It might look intimidating, but this dessert really isn’t that difficult to make. It starts off by heating some heavy cream over the stove. Once it begins to simmer, you’ll pour in your semi-sweet chocolate. I used chocolate chips, but you can also use chopped dark chocolate. Allow the heavy cream to soften the chocolate for a few minutes, then stir it until completely smooth.

Now you’ll combine a few egg yolks with some sugar, a little cocoa powder, and a dash of espresso powder. The espresso powder helps to enhance the flavors of the cocoa and the chocolate. Just a little is needed to achieve that intense richness without adding any coffee flavor to the crème brûlée.

To avoid scrambled eggs, you’ll want to slowly and gradually incorporate the warm chocolate-cream mixture into the yolk mixture. To do this, just take a half cup measuring cup, scoop up some of the warm cream, and pour it into the yolk mixture, while using the other hand to whisk. Repeat this technique with a few more cupfuls before pouring the rest of the warm cream in.

While the custard may appear smooth at this point, it’s not a bad idea to take the extra precaution of pouring it through a fine mesh sieve. This will ensure that there are no random lumps hiding in the custard.

When it comes to crème brûlée, water baths are an absolute MUST. Water baths provide that moist, even heat, which prevents the custard from becoming rubbery or forming cracks at the surface. 

As far as baking time goes, you’ll want to check the custards after about 30 minutes. Gently shake the pan to see if they’re done. The edges should be set, and the centers should jiggle like jello. The jiggly center will eventually firm up as it cools, allowing the residual heat to finish baking the custard.

After your custards have had their beauty rest in the refrigerator, it’s time to add the “brûlée” piece of the puzzle…it’s TORCH time!

Just sprinkle an even blanket of sugar on top of the custard, and use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar. If you don’t have a kitchen torch, you can always use the broiler method. After sprinkling the custards with sugar, just place them on a baking sheet on an oven rack directly under the broiler. Broil on high until caramelized, and keep a CLOSE eye on them. Also, make sure that you cover the ENTIRE surface of the custard with sugar. Otherwise, the direct heat will curdle any custard that’s exposed.

This Chocolate Crème Brûlée is ABSOLUTELY divine. With its creamy, buttery, deep dark chocolatey custard and crisp caramelized sugar ceiling, you’re sure to fall in love at first blissful bite…

Rich, creamy, and incredibly indulgent, this Chocolate Crème Brûlée is nothing short of heavenly!

Chocolate Crème Brûlée

Rich, creamy, and incredibly indulgent, this Chocolate Crème Brûlée is nothing short of heavenly!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Refrigeration Time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours 5 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet/dark chocolate chips or chopped
  • 5 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6-7 teaspoons granulated sugar for caramelizing

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 300ºF. Lay a kitchen towel along the bottom of a large roasting pan. Place six 4-5 ounce ramekins on top of the towel; set aside.
  • Pour the heavy cream into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until it starts to simmer. Remove from heat and add the chocolate. Allow the hot cream to soften the chocolate for a few minutes, then stir until smooth.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and vanilla together until smooth and combined. Gradually add the warm cream mixture, by whisking in about a half cup. Whisk in another half cup, then finally pour the rest of the cream in, stirring until smooth. Pour mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove any lumps that might have formed.
  • Divide custard evenly among the six ramekins, then set the pan on the oven rack. Carefully pour enough hot water into the pan to come about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the edges are set, and the centers jiggle when you gently shake the pan.
  • Transfer ramekins to a wire rack and allow to cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Place ramekins on a baking sheet, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Just before serving, sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar evenly over each custard.* Use a small kitchen torch to caramelize the tops. Enjoy!

Notes

*Make sure that you cover the ENTIRE surface of the custard with sugar. Otherwise, the direct heat will curdle any custard that’s exposed.
**BROILER METHOD: If you don’t have a kitchen torch, you can always use the broiler. After sprinkling the custards with sugar, just place them on a baking sheet on an oven rack directly under the broiler. Broil on high until caramelized, and keep a CLOSE eye on it. 
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