If you like dark chocolate, you will love this dark chocolate crème brûlée. Compared to regular crème brûlée the flavors are hefty and although the chocolate version has the same contrast between the creamy custard and the crispy caramel, there is less of a contrast between the caramel and the chocolate custard, as both are ‘dark’ flavors. This is why chocolate crème brûlée is best enjoyed together with raspberries, which will provide a nice fresh flavor contrast. (I would recommend to serve more than just three raspberries per serving, but that wouldn’t look as nice in the photo.) If you are more a milk chocolate kind of person, leave out the cocoa powder and possibly even use milk chocolate instead of dark chocolate.
As usual, the best crème brûlée is served in shallow ramekins, so that each bite will include both caramel and custard. If you have small ramekins, you may consider to serve half portions, as this chocolate crème brûlée is very filling.
For 4 servings
500 ml (2 cups) heavy cream (35% fat)
100 grams (3.5 oz) chocolate chips, or chopped chocolate, I used 70% dark chocolate
50 grams (1.8 oz) cocoa powder
50 grams (1/4 cup) caster sugar
6 egg yolks
50 grams (1/4 cup) cane sugar
fresh raspberries, for serving
Pour the cream into a saucepan.
Sift the cocoa powder to prevent lumps, and add it to the cream.
Turn on the heat. Whisk until the cocoa powder has been dissolved. Make sure the cream will not come to a boil, so lower the heat as necessary.
When the cocoa powder has been dissolved, add the chocolate chips or chopped chocolate.
Stir over low to medium heat, still making sure that the cream won’t boil, until all of the chocolate has melted.
Turn off the heat and allow to cool while you continue with the recipe.
Preheat the oven to 150C/300F.
Combine 6 egg yolks with 50 grams (1/4 cup) of caster sugar in a large bowl, and whisk…
…until the mixture is pale and creamy. This will take a couple of minutes of energetic whisking.
If the chocolate mixture has cooled sufficiently (to less than 60C/140F), add it to the egg yolk mixture.
Whisk until homogeneous.
Put 4 ramekins in a large oven proof dish or a deep baking sheet, and distribute the chocolate mixture among them.
Pour enough boiling water around the ramekins so that they are submerged about halfway.
Bake in the oven at 150C/300F until the custard has set, about 40 minutes.
Allow to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate the ramekins.
Just before serving, cover each ramekin with about a tablespoon of cane sugar in an even layer.
Use a blowtorch to melt and caramelize the sugar on top, moving around a lot so the sugar melts and browns evenly. Although it is called burnt (brûlée), there is a fine line between a nice dep brown and black.
Serve with plenty of raspberries. My recommendation is to make sure that each bite includes custard, caramel, and a raspberry.
This is outstanding with a Recioto della Valpolicella, a red dessert wine from the Italian region of Veneto. It is mildly sweet but very much a red wine with tannins and red fruit character. It is made by drying the grapes after the harvest for a couple of months before turning them into wine. (The famous Amarone from the same region is a dry version of Recioto, and was actually discovered as a mistake when the goal had been to make Recioto.)
Stroopwafels are a Dutch treat that is very popular both inside and outside the Netherlands. They are thin round waffles, filled with syrup that has a hint of cinnamon. They are very addictive! When a Dutchman wants to charm a foreigner, the best gift to bring is a box of these syrup-filled waffles. They can be hard to find outside of the Netherlands, but of course you can always make them yourself from scratch.