I’ve made this Creme Brulee recipe many times now, at one point making it 3 times in one week. Oh, the rigours of recipe testing. Let me tell you a secret, Chocolate Crème Brulee is easy to make. Like, the same revelation I had when I discovered how-easy-panna-cotta-was-to-make kind of easy.
What is it?
Creme brulee is a rich baked custard dessert with a crisp layer of caramelised sugar on top. After baking the dessert is chilled and the sugar top is caramelised right before serving.
You may also have heard of chocolate pots de creme? Another lovely French term, pots de creme are basically a creme brulee without the caramelised sugar on top. Pots de creme also tend to be a little less ‘set’ than creme brulee as they’ll often use milk in place of some or all of the cream. You can certainly make these into chocolate pots de creme just by not creating the sugar crust on top.
Ingredients you’ll need
Crème brulee is a mixture of 4 very simple ingredients.
- Egg yolks
That’s it and if you’re anything like me you have those ingredients on hand, ALWAYS.
For this chocolate crème brulee recipe, I swap out the vanilla and add chocolate. You can actually still add 1 teaspoon of vanilla if you like though,
You must use dark chocolate (50% – 70% cocoa) and try to use a very good quality eating chocolate – not a baking or compound chocolate. You only need 100g / 3.5oz but, being that there are only 4 ingredients going into this, good flavour and texture is a must. It won’t make them bitter, I promise.
The recipe – step by step
Making creme brulee is extremely easy. For this chocolate version;
- You start by heating the cream and some sugar, then pouring it over finely chopped dark chocolate (almost as if you were making ganache). Let that sit for about 5 minutes before giving it a stir until you have a smooth chocolate cream. (photos 1,2,3)
- Beat the egg yolks and the remaining sugar until light and creamy then very slowly, pour the chocolate cream into the egg yolks while beating on low. Don’t mix it all in at once, otherwise you’ll end up with scrambled eggs.
- Strain the chocolate custard (image 6) then pour it into ramekins and bake on very low heat for 1 ¼ hours. Don’t be tempted to increase the heat or the texture will suffer.
- Cool in the fridge overnight.
- Sprinkle sugar on top and use a kitchen torch to caramelise it right before serving
I nearly forgot to mention but point 4 above means, BONUS, this is a make ahead dessert, perfect for if you’re having friends round. You can make these glorious little baked chocolate custard pots a couple of days ahead and then brulee the tops right before serving. Brulee-ing the tops can take a minute each, so maybe just small dinner parties, not parties of 30 people 🙂
What to do with leftover egg whites
Ok, so I hear you. You’ve just made your Chocolate Creme Brulee and you have all these leftover egg whites now. What can you do with them? Check out these recipes for some ideas.
Now you know how easy crème brulee is to make, I urge you to give this chocolate crème brulee a go. It’s rich, luscious, indulgent and just so, so good.
More recipes you’ll love
- 2 cups thickened (heavy) cream
- 125 g dark (50-70%) chocolate, finely chopped (4.4oz)
- 5 egg yolks, from large eggs
- ⅓ cup caster (superfine) sugar
- ¼ cup caster (superfine) sugar, extra (notes)
For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided
- Preheat the oven to 140C / 285F / 120C fan forced.
- Place a layer of paper towel into a casserole dish or baking tin that can hold 6 ramekins. Pour water into the dish about 1cm deep then place in the oven to warm.
- Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof dish and set aside.
- Add the cream and ½ the sugar to a small saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved and the cream steams and you see the first bubble.
- Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit for a 1-2 minutes before stirring until the chocolate has completely melted into it.
- Beat together the egg yolks and remaining sugar about 30 -40 seconds until lightened. Slowly pour the chocolate cream in while constantly beating on low. (You can also use a manual whisk).
- Strain custard into a pouring jug to remove any possible lumps. Now divide the custard equally between the 6 ramekins.
- Place the ramekins into the baking dish and, if necessary, top up the water so that it goes halfway up the outsides of the ramekins.
- Bake for around 1 hour until the custard looks set around the edges and the centre still has a wobble when you give it a gentle shake. It should wobble but not look like it's liquid underneath the surface.
- Remove the ramekins from the baking dish, careful not to burn yourself. Cool for 1 hour, then place in the fridge to cool for at least 2 hours or overnight is better.
- Take ramekins out of the fridge 1/2 an hour before serving.
- Right before serving, divide extra sugar between the custards, sprinkling evenly over the top of each one. Use a kitchen blow torch to caramelise the sugar on top until golden and glass-like.
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspooons worldwide)
- I recommend using an oven thermometer for any baking / roasting. All ovens vary and thermostats can often be out. An oven thermometer is cheap and long-lasting.
- Don't be tempted to cook them at a higher temperature as it will affect the texture.
- I recommend getting a kitchen blowtorch for creme brulee's as well. while you could put them under a broiler / top grill, it can overheat the custards, making them melt completely by the time the top is bruleed. If you do try it this way, don't take them out of the fridge until the last moment.
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