This past Friday night, my friend and his girlfriend came over for dinner. He told me she is a chocolate lover so I obviously started thinking about what dessert I could make that would please a chocolate lover. Although I am not a huge chocolate fan, I love the taste and the way chocolate smells when it's being baked, cooked, simmered...you get the idea. I struggled between a chocolate cake and this velvety smooth creme brulee. By now it should be obvious who won that battle!
Creme brulee is one of my favorite desserts. There are so many different ways to flavor the custard AND the cold custard against the warm caramelized sugar is just an explosion in your mouth! I guess now would be a good time to explain to those of you who don't know, what creme brulee is. It's an egg custard (and if made correctly you would not taste the eggs) that has been mixed with cream, sugar and vanilla; baked and then refrigerated, then topped off with sugar. If you want to make a classic creme brulee you can visit my recipe/post here.
One of my favorite parts about making this dish is using my super awesome butane torch. It was a Valentine's Day gift along with a copy of Julia Child's, Mastering the art of French Cooking. What more can a girl ask for, flowers?!? bah ha ha!! Who wants flowers when you've got a butane torch for creme brulees!
You can certainly put your creme brulees under the broiler, but having a torch makes the world of a difference. Putting it under the broiler will heat the entire custard whereas torching the top will caramelize the sugar without heating the custard completely. So what did you learn today boys and girls? Buy a butane torch for your cremes!!
Get your vanilla into the saucepan with the heavy cream
Add the sugar...
Sift in the cocoa powder..or don't sift :/ but make sure it gets in there!
Add the melted chocolate
Makes 10 4oz ramekins
- 1 quart heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 10 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder (I used Hershey's unsweetened)
- Sugar to caramelize the tops (1 1/2 tablespoons each should suffice)
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Set ramekins in a deep baking dish where you can fill water into it later.
- Pour cream, sugar, and vanilla into a saucepan, and place over medium heat. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave until it is semi-soft then add to cream mixture. When mixture begins to simmer, remove from heat. Place egg yolks in a large bowl, and slowly whisk in the hot cream mixture, about 2 tablespoons at a time, until you have added approximately a cup of cream to the yolks. At this point, pour in the remaining cream, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips, and set aside for 5 minutes.
- Stir the mixture until the chocolate is smooth and evenly distributed. Pour into ramekins. Once ramekins are filled, fill baking dish with water until it comes half way up the ramekins. Bake in preheated oven until the center is just set about 30 minutes. You will know when it's done when you shake a ramekin gently and the custard jiggles like jell-o. Remove from oven, and allow to cool for 20 minutes, then place into the refrigerator, and chill until cold, about 6 hours.
- When custards are chilled, pour 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar on top and shake it around so that it is spread evenly. Torch the cremes in a circular motion until there is no more white sugar visible. You can also pour sugar on all the cremes all at once and place them under the broiler. Keep an eye on them if you use this method though, b/c you don't want to recook your cremes. You should eat this right away, otherwise you will regret it.
Transfer the mixture to a measuring cup or something that would make it easy to pour
Once they are cooked, you will really start to see the chocolate color really come through
Get ready to torch the top...
and now I'm going to eat it :)
Thank you :)