Chocolate Creme Brûlée

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I’ve always thought myself to be someone who did not like creme brûlée.  I’ve never been crazy about custard so I just assumed I would not like creme brûlée.  Apparently I have been wrong all these years, because I REALLY enjoyed this chocolate creme brûlée last night.  Or it could just be that this chocolate version is too good to be true.

So you might wonder why I would even consider making creme brûlée for a dinner party if I don’t even like it.  The reason behind all of this is a blowtorch.  The friends who were coming over for dinner had given me this blowtorch as part of my birthday present and I wanted to be able to use it with them as part of an interactive dinner experience.  After looking up potential other desserts I could use a blowtorch with, I settled on making a chocolate creme brûlée.

I didn’t have enough ramekins for the dessert (I needed five and only had two available), so I had to make it in a larger dish.  Unfortunately when I was looking online for a good recipe, I couldn’t really find one for a large dish.  I looked through loads and even went through Yahoo answers to see if there were any answers about the right temperature and the right time required.  Nothing seemed clear to me, so I made something up based on what I thought sounded right.  Luckily for me, it turned out really good.  Typically, when people come over and compliment me, I’m more modest, but with this dessert – I straight up said, YES this is SO good and I’m SO proud of myself.

Initially I was just going to have the dessert in for 30 minutes in the oven.  However, I got distracted when making hummus and totally lost track of time.  Yes – I was going to put an alarm on, but for whatever reason I didn’t.  Oops. So I noticed that the dessert was in the oven after FORTY minutes and completely freaked out.  I thought I had ruined it.  As it turned out, 40 minutes made it out to be fantastic.  I’m not sure what it would have been like after 30 minutes, more wobbly I’m assuming.

Depending on the dish you use, I would suggest looking after 30 minutes, just in case! 

Apparently you can put the creme brûlée under the broiler to get the sugar caramelizing for the hard top, but using a blowtorch is WAY more fun.  We all took turns using the torch and everyone felt their tension melt away.

The magical recipe is as follows:

Ingredients: 

284 ml of double cream
100 grams of milk chocolate (or dark, whichever you prefer)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup of sugar plus 3 tablespoons
4 egg yolks

Plus – sugar to top off the dessert after removed from the oven

Method: 

Oven is at 150 Celsius.

On the stove, heat up the cream with the chocolate and vanilla and 1/4 cup of sugar.  Just until it is all melted, it doesn’t need to boil.

Take the 4 egg yolks with the 3 tablespoons of sugar and whisk until getting lighter in color.

Add in the cream mixture slowly and keep whisking!  You don’t want the eggs to cook, so you need to keep whisking while you pour.

Strain the combined mixture and put into the dish you want (or even personal ramekins).

Put this in a water bath of cold water.  Meaning, get a larger dish, put your creme brûlée dish into this and then fill with cold (room temperature) water, until it has reached the half  way point of your dish.  Stick this in the oven and should take 40 minutes.  However, as mentioned before, check after 30 minutes.

In order to tell it is ready, tap the side of the dish and if it is wobbly everywhere, it needs more time.  You just want the middle to slightly wobble.

Keep this in the fridge to cool until it is time to serve.  Before you do this, sprinkle the top with a sizable amount of sugar – a few tablespoons.  Then use the blowtorch to start burning the sugar so it becomes that classic hard creme brûlée top that everyone loves to crack 🙂

All this is what happens when people just go in and destroy it:

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