This Chocolate Creme Brulee recipe is delicious, creamy, and the most perfect special occasion dessert. Easily made ahead of time, and absolutely scrumptious your guests will love this creme brulee. Step-by-step photos help you make this delectable French dessert!
Two of my favorite things in the world are a classic creme brulee and chocolate cake, I always find it extremely hard to choose between the two. So naturally making a chocolate creme dessert was the answer.
For a not as fancy favorite check out my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.
Creme brûlée is also a favorite of mine due to the fact that you can make it ahead of time, just like with cheesecakes. So it makes a perfect date night or dinner party dessert, you can easily prepare it a day or two ahead of time.
Valentine's Day would be a perfect occasion to indulge in these chocolate creme brulees, and the recipe makes three, because who doesn't want a leftover one?
Let's get to the recipe.
What ingredients do you need?
You only need a few ingredients here, but good quality is key.
- Heavy Whipping Cream. Make sure you are using heavy or double cream for this.
- Vanilla Beans. You'll just need one bean, you could substitute vanilla bean paste. I would not recommend using vanilla extract but you could use it.
- Espresso Powder. This ingredient is optional, but I love using it in chocolate desserts because it helps bring out and enhance the chocolate flavors. I also use it in my chocolate lava cakes.
- Dark/ Semi-Sweet Chocolate. I prefer not to use milk chocolate because of all of the cream and sugar already in the recipe, but you could. I use Callebaut Chocolate Callets, they are amazing. Some recipes call for cocoa powder but I find melted and smooth dark chocolate provides a better, richer flavor.
- Sugar. You'll need Granulated/ Caster sugar for this. You'll also need a little bit of sugar to make the hard sugar top.
- Egg Yolks. Large egg yolks should be used and they should be at room temperature. Use the leftover egg whites to make Baileys Swiss meringue buttercream or meringue cookies.
- Kitchen Torch. You can place the creme brulees in the oven and use the broil feature but I prefer using a kitchen torch.
How to make chocolate creme brulee?
First thing's first let's get those vanilla beans, baby! Using a knife cut your vanilla bean open in half lengthwise then use the non-sharp side of the knife to scrape out the vanilla beans.
In a thick-bottomed medium saucepan over medium-low heat warm the heavy cream, espresso powder, and vanilla beans. You just want to warm it until just before a boil. You don't want to boil the cream.
Then take off the heat, add chocolate pieces and place lid on and let steep for 10 minutes.
While the cream heats we will mix the egg yolks and sugar together
Once the chocolate mixture has cooled and the chocolate is fully melted slowly whisk a small amount into the egg mixture. It is crucial you do not add all of the hot cream at once as it will curdle the eggs, and you'll have to start all over again. Please, take your time!!
Whisk the first small amount in then add a little more cream, whisk again, then gently and slowly stream in the remaining cream. Scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is evenly combined.
Place a large fine mesh strainer or sieve over a large bowl, preferably with a pouring spout. Then strain the chocolate cream mixture, this helps catch and chunks of chocolate or egg that would create a lumpy creme brulee.
Place ramekins into a roasting pan and slowly pour the cream mixture into each ramekin, do this slowly so it doesn't spill.
Next, we need to create a water bath. To do this place the roasting pan in the oven and pour hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
Ideally, you want the custards to cool to room temperature, I usually let them sit for about an hour before wrapping them in plastic wrap and storing in the fridge.
How do you make the sugar topping?
You only need sugar and a way to burn it. I prefer using a kitchen torch because you can easily control it. Hold the torch 2-3 inches above the sugar and burn the sugar. This can take anywhere from 2-3 minutes to achieve and even burning.
If you don't have a torch you can place them in the oven under the broiler, watch carefully as you don't want the sugar to burn too much, just caramelized sugar is what we are going for.
There you have it a spectacular dessert, I hope your loved ones adore these chocolate creme brûlées.
Next time, try my easy flourless chocolate cake recipe.
★★★★★ Please let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a star rating and comment below!Print
- Cut your vanilla bean open in half lengthwise then use the non-sharp side of a knife to scrape out the vanilla beans. In a thick-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat cook the heavy cream, espresso powder, and vanilla beans. Stirring constantly, cook until mixture comes to a slight simmer just before a boil. Then take off heat, add chocolate pieces and place the lid on and let steep for 10 minutes.
- In a large roasting pan place 4 (7-8oz) ramekins inside and put the kettle on to boil and preheat the oven to 325F/163C.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or large bowl with a handheld electric whisk beat the sugar and egg yolks until fully combined and much lighter in color, a pale yellow.
- Using a whisk mix the cream mixture ensuring all of the chocolate is fully melted, if not place on the stove for a minute or two. Slowly pour the cream into the egg mixture with the whisk attachment on at the lowest speed. Take your time doing this so the eggs do not curdle.
- Once completely mixed pour the mixture evenly into ramekins. Place the pan on the oven rack and pour boiling water from the kettle in the roasting pan, pour enough to come up halfway of the ramekins.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes, you want the center of the creme brulee's to be set but have a little bit of jiggle, if you want to use an instant-read thermometer the internal temperature should be 170F/77C. Take out of the oven and place the roasting pan on a wire rack. After five minutes remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and let cool for 1 hour on a wire rack. Place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.
- When ready to serve sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar on top of each creme brulee swirling the ramekin so the sugar is spread evenly and using a kitchen torch, torch the top of the creme brulee until the sugar has caramelized and hardened. Serve immediately with fresh berries if desired.
Depending on how large your ramekins are, some are wider and some are deeper, the bake time might change, you are looking for a slow wobble, not super jiggly.
- Prep Time: 15
- Chill Time: 5 Hours
- Cook Time: 25
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: French
Keywords: chocolate creme brulee, how to make chocolate creme brulee,