For chocolate lovers, I have found a wonderful dark chocolate variation to crème brûlée. Chopped dark chocolate is melted, then added to the custard mixture before baking to create a decadent dessert. For those in a crème brûlée mood, here are two other recipes I also posted this year: Green Tea Crème Brûlée and Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée.
I topped the Dark Chocolate Crème Brûlée with vanilla whipped cream and cacao nibs. I used cacao nibs mostly because I just wanted to use up a few from the pantry, but I enjoyed the texture they brought to the dish. If you don’t want to use them or don’t have them, chocolate sprinkles would also work well. I bought cacao nibs on Amazon:Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Cacao Nibs Sweetened, 4-Ounce Pouches.
Be sure to not add sugar and torch the top until immediately before serving. The top will soften with time.
When beating the eggs, add the heated milk in a very thin and light stream while continuously mixing to keep the eggs from scrambling. You don’t want to mix too vigorously and create too much foam. No worries if the eggs do end up with a few scrambled pieces. Just make sure to strain it before pouring the mixture into the ramekins.
Make sure the custard is completely chilled before serving. I usually let mine refrigerate overnight. It was really difficult for me to wait on this one.
Dark Chocolate Creme Brulee
Adapted from Half Baked Harvest
4 (6-8 oz) ramekins
6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks
Vanilla or Turbinado sugar
Cacao nibs or chocolate sprinkles
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place 4 (6-8 ounce) ramekins in a deep baking dish.
Melt dark chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring often, until smooth.
In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla extract over medium heat. In a medium bowl, beat together egg yolks. Once the milk mixture is heated, but not boiling, remove from heat and pour about 1/4 cup into the egg yolks while constantly whisking. Repeat 2-3 times, continuously whisking, until the eggs are heated. Pour the heated eggs back into the saucepan, continuously whisking. Mix in the melted chocolate.
If any of the eggs scrambled, pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer before dividing among the ramekins. Gently pour hot water into the baking dish until it reaches halfway up the ramekins, taking care not to let any water splash into the custard. Carefully transfer the dish to the preheated oven. Bake until the custard is set, but the center should still jiggle slightly when the pan is moved, 45-55 minutes.
Remove ramekins to a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
Once chilled and ready to serve, top each ramekin with a layer of vanilla or turbinado sugar. Use a torch or broiler (1-2 minutes) to heat the sugar until caramelized.
Serve immediately with whipped cream, cacao nibs, or chocolate sprinkles.