Chocolate Creme Brûlée is the ultimate dining-in dessert! Perfect for date-night, Valentine’s Day, or any night you want something crunchy, creamy, and chocolatey. The chocolate custard is rich and creamy… but it’s the caramelized sugar topping that really steals the show.
Best Darn Chocolate Creme Brulee
You’ve probably seen Creme Brûlée on a million different restaurant menus, right? But have you ever made it? More specifically: have you ever made it with CHOCOLATE? If you’re shaking your head no, you’re in for a treat! Because today I’m going to teach you exactly how to make this fancy French dessert. And I promise you, it’s not as hard or scary as you might think. It’s creamy, decadent, and the perfect ending to romantic dinner or dinner party!
Chocolate Creme Brûlée Ingredients (You Might already Have in your Kitchen)
- Eggs: You’ll only use the yolks for this recipe, but don’t throw away those egg white. You can make an omelette with them or save them for another recipe, like my bakery-style white cake or mimosa cupcakes!
- Sugar: You’ll need granulated sugar for the filling and super-fine caster sugar for the caramelized topping. In a pinch, you can use granulated sugar for both. It just won’t get as crispy well when you go to heat the sugar.
- Heavy Cream: Do not sub milk or half-and-half for the cream mixture, it will not work.
- Chocolate: I prefer semi-sweet chocolate, but for an extra dark dessert, you may use dark or bittersweet chocolate.
- Espresso Powder: Enhances the chocolate flavor! Do not sub instant coffee.
- Kahlua Liqueur: Chocolate liqueur or a hazelnut liqueur would also work.
- Vanilla Extract: Did you know vanilla actually enhances the flavor of chocolate? It might sound crazy, but it’s true! Always use pure vanilla extract and avoid artificial ones.
- Sea Salt: Use fine sea salt so it completely dissolves into the mixture. Salt balances the sweetness and enhances the chocolate flavor and other flavors in this recipe!
How to Make Chocolate Crème Brûlée like a Pro
- Prep: Before you make anything , you’ll want to preheat the oven so it’s ready to go when you are. This is also the time to prep your ramekins. You’ll want to arrange them in a large roasting pan. Ideally, they’ll all fit in the same pan. But if you need to improvise, you can use multiple pans.
- Bring Water to a Boil: Later you’ll be using hot water to make a water bath, so this is a good time to get the water going so it’s ready.
- Make the Chocolate Creme: In a medium bowl whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. In a medium saucepan and bring the cream to just a brief simmer, then remove it and whisk in the chocolate and espresso powder. Slowly whisk the cream mixture into the egg mixture, mixing until evenly combined. Whisk in the Kahlua and vanilla extract.
- Fill the Ramekins: Transfer the mixture into a large measuring cup or bowl, then divide the mixture evenly among the ramekins.
- Make your Water Bath: Pour boiling water into the pan until it’s halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
- Bake: But don’t over bake! The custard should be firm at the edges but still have a jiggly center when shaken. They’ll firm up a lot as they cool!
- Chill: Loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
- Brûlée: Sprinkle each custard with sugar, then blaze with a kitchen blowtorch until the sugar is caramelized. No need to heat the sides of the ramekins!
- Garnish: Top with whipped cream, fresh raspberries, and sprig of mint, if desired!
Equipment You’ll Need:
- Oven-Safe Ramekins: You’ll need 8 of these, and unfortunately I don’t have a suggested replacement for them. I do not recommend trying to make this in a muffin tin or any other glass bowl.
- Large Measuring Cup: This just makes it so much easier to fill the individual ramekins. If you don’t have one, you can adapt. It’ll just be a little messier!
- Kitchen Blow Torch: If you don’t have one of these, you could try to broil the sugar, but I don’t find this method to be foolproof. So for best results, be sure to have a kitchen blow torch. And use it with care!
- Large Baking Tray: Ideally, you’ll use a very large roasting pan. It needs to have tall enough sides that you can fill it with water.
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More Chocolate Desserts:
- Chocolate Madeleines
- Easy Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes for Two
- Homemade Chocolate Martinis
- Espresso Chocolate Pudding Pie
- Amaretto Chocolate Truffles
Chocolate Creme Brûlée
- 7 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup (99g) granulated sugar
- 3 and 1/4 cups (738ml) heavy whipping cream
- 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate finely chopped
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
- 1/3 cup (76ml) Kahlua liqueur
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup super fine caster sugar
- fresh raspberries for serving, optional
- freshly whipped cream for serving, optional
- mint sprigs for serving, optional
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees (F). Place six (8-ounce) ramekins in a large flat-bottomed roasting pan. The pan should be large enough to hold all of the ramekins with a little space between each one and the ramekins should be completely flat. If you don’t have a pan this size, simply use multiple pans. Set aside until needed.
- In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until just combined. Set aside. (Note: this is a good time to bring a tea kettle or pot of water to a rolling boil. You’ll need freshly boiled water to pour into the baking sheet for the water bath later in this recipe.)
- Pour the heavy cream into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Place the pan over medium heat and cook just until small bubbles start to firm around the edges and center of the pan. Do not bring to a full boil.
- Remove the pan from heat. Immediately add in the chocolate and espresso powder and vigorously whisk until the chocolate is completely melted.
- In a slow and steady stream, whisk the cream mixture into the egg mixture, mixing until evenly combined. Whisk in the Kahlua and vanilla extract.
- Transfer the mixture into a large spouted measuring cup or bowl. Pour the mixture into the prepared ramekins, filling each one all the way up to the top.
- Place the pan on the center rack in the oven and slowly (and carefully!) pour freshly boiled water into the pan until it’s halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Take care not to get any water on the custards!
- Bake for 38 to 40 minutes, or until the custards are set at the edges, but still a little jiggly in the middle when gently shaken.
- Remove the custards from the water bath, cool to room temperature, then loosely cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or up to 48 hours.
- 20 minutes before you plan on serving, remove from the fridge and allow custards to come to room temperature. Do not try to brûlée while still cold.
- To serve: Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of fine caster sugar evenly on top of each custard. Hold a kitchen blowtorch one inch from the surface of the custard and blaze the sugar until it caramelizes evenly. Repeat with all custards.
- Optional: Top with a small swirl of whipped cream, fresh raspberries, and sprig of mint. Serve at once!