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Lightened-Up Dark Chocolate Crème Brûlée

Lightened-Up Dark Chocolate Crème Brûlée

A cracked caramel-sugar top with a creamy chocolate dessert underneath.
Made entirely with milk, not a drop of heavy cream!
Lightened-Up: Creamy, decadent and delicious… decadent but not too rich!

Chocolate Crème Brûlée
Lightened-Up Chocolate Crème Brûlée is a wonderful special dessert for Thanksgiving. Ingredients for Chocolate Crème Brûlée

Ingredients for Chocolate Crème Brûlée ~ Port Wine soaked Cherries optional 

Whisked eggs with sugar
Whisked eggs with sugar – I use pasture raised eggs… notice the natural orange color of the yolks
Add milk and melted dark chocolate to the egg mixture
Add warm milk and melted dark chocolate to the egg mixture slowly at first to temper it
Ladle into 1/2 cup ramekins - into a waterbath for baking
Ladle into  4 – 6 ounce ramekins – into a water bath for baking
Lightened-Up Chocolate Crème Brûlée – crack the sugar topping with a spoon 

I really love all custard-y sweets – there are dozens of culinary desserts based on eggy-creamy-custard. Delicious éclairs, Boston cream pie, bread pudding, crème anglaise, flan and crème brûlée all depend on custards.

The “chocolate custard” (the base of the crème brûlée) is simple to make and is ladled into ramekins. Best to refrigerate and make the caramelized sugar topping before serving to it stays crisp & crunchy!

Custard preparation is a delicate operation, overcooking can lead to curdling.
A water bath slows heat transfer and cooks the custard slowly and evenly.

Topping without a blow torch: 
While many do not have a blow torch – melt sugar in a skillet until it liquefies and becomes a pourable amber caramel. Will harden immediately.

Lightened-Up Chocolate Crème Brûlée

Lightened-Up Dark Chocolate Crème Brûlée

A cracked caramel-sugar top with a creamy chocolate dessert underneath. Made entirely with milk, not a drop of heavy cream! Lightened-Up: Creamy, decadent and delicious... decadent but not too rich!
Make the custard up to 3 days in advance and make the cracked-sugar top just before serving.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
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Ingredients

For the custard:

  • 2 1/2 cups milk, full fat
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate* small chop
  • 2 large eggs I use pastured raised
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 5 tablespoons pure cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt I use Himalayan Pink
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries optional, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon port optional (for soaking cherries)

The caramelized sugar crust:

  • 6 tablespoons pure cane sugar

Instructions

For the custard:

  • Heat the milk on the stovetop or microwave until just reaches a simmer.
    Carefully add the chocolate and stir gently to melt.
    Preheat oven to 325 degrees - or 300 degrees with Convection.
  • For cherries: combine chopped cherries with port wine and stir up. Let stand 15 minutes to macerate.
  • Whisk the eggs, yolks and 5 tablespoons sugar in a large heatproof bowl with a wire whisk until light, about 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup milk/chocolate, tempering - whisk to combine. Add the rest of the chocolate mixture and the vanilla and sea salt; whisk to combine.
  • Ladle the mixture into 6, 4 - 6 ounce capacity ramekins or oval bakers (I used vintage pyrex.) Add the soaked chopped cherries if using, portioned in each ramekin.
  • Add the ramekins to a baking pan with high sides - boil water and add to the pan - half way up the sides of the ramekins.
    Carefully place in the oven and cook until just set; 25 minutes for a shallow ramekin (like mine), or 40 minutes for a higher one.
    Cool on a wire rack, then refrigerate until cold.

The caramelized sugar crust:

  • Have ready the cold Chocolate Crème Brûlées on your work surface.
    Add 6 tablespoons of sugar to a 6" skillet (mine has a pouring spout.) Add to a burner over low heat. Sugar will start to caramelize around the edges. Do not stir, just swirl the pan. Stir with a wooden spoon when almost all the sugar has melted, and has turned a golden-amber color. Do not raise the heat higher. Now, gently stir up to melt all the sugar - quickly and carefully pour about 1 tablespoon of the hot caramelized sugar over each ramekin - pouring as quick as possible to cover each in a thin layer. The sugar can be gently reheated if hardens too quickly.
    The topping will stay crunchy for about one hour. I like to take them out of the refrigerator before serving - make the caramelized sugar, and top each ramekin - giving your guests a little show!

Notes

*Dark Chocolate: Use from 60% to 78% cocao. The lower number, the higher the sugar content.
Nutrition is for 12 servings - 2 sharing each ramekin.
This recipe may not be reproduced without the consent of its author, Karen Sheer.
 
COURSE: Dessert
CUISINE: American, French
KEYWORDS: Chocolate Crème Brûlée, Crème Brûlée, Lightened-Up Crème Brûlée
Nutrition Facts
Lightened-Up Dark Chocolate Crème Brûlée
Amount per Serving
Calories
180
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
9
g
14
%
Saturated Fat
 
5
g
31
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Cholesterol
 
67
mg
22
%
Sodium
 
63
mg
3
%
Potassium
 
184
mg
5
%
Carbohydrates
 
20
g
7
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
17
g
19
%
Protein
 
4
g
8
%
Vitamin A
 
174
IU
3
%
Calcium
 
77
mg
8
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Lightened-Up Dark Chocolate Crème Brûlée

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