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Chocolate Spiced Creme Brulee

by Chef Megan Joy on February 12, 2013

There’s a reason creme brulee sells well at restaurants. It’s silky, rich custard topped with a thin sheet of caramelized sugar. When you break through it with your spoon you’re left with an incredible experience of sweet, creamy and smooth, with crunchy and bitter rounding it all out. Delicious.

They’re pretty simple to make, too. All you need to do is a bit of minor planning, since they need to chill for about four hours.

Make them now, or tomorrow, and eat them on Valentine’s Day. Just a thought.

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I’ve added some spice to kick up the chocolate a little in this recipe, but feel free to omit the spices and celebrate just plain chocolate. I like to serve creme brulee with some fresh fruit, or crunchy cookies. But it’s bliss left on it’s own as well.

I’m going to share some “dreamy” and “romantic” winter photos of Vail too. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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How to make this high altitude adjusted recipe:

Chocolate Spiced Creme Brulee
by Megan Joy Kaminski

Chocolate Spiced Creme Brulee
Recipe type: High Altitude Baking
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch chipotle chili powder, or cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1½ oz chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • Sugar, for caramelizing the tops
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 300 F.
  2. Combine the cream and cocoa powder in a small sauce pot over medium heat.
  3. Bring to barely a simmer, then remove from heat.
  4. Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and spices in a bowl.
  5. Slowly stream the hot cream into the egg mixture and whisk to combine.
  6. Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl.
  7. Pour the cream mixture through a strainer (just in case there are any egg bits) over the chocolate.
  8. Let sit for a minute or two, then whisk together until smooth and blended (Sometimes I will even put my chocolate custard mixtures in the blender or use an immersion blender to completely emulsify the chocolate).
  9. Fold a paper towel or two and place on the bottom of a 9 x 13" baking dish. This prevents the custard dishes from sliding around. Top with custard dishes. They shouldn't be touching.
  10. Portion the custard into the dishes.
  11. Place the baking pan into your oven.
  12. Fill the pan with very hot water, until it reaches halfway up the custard dishes.
  13. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of your custard dishes. For smaller dishes, they will bake for less.
  14. The custards are done when they barely jiggle.
  15. Remove from oven, carefully, and let cool to room temperature in the water bath.
  16. Remove from water bath and cover with plastic wrap.
  17. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
  18. To serve, sprinkle a thin layer of sugar over the tops and caramelize the sugar by placing under the broiler, watching carefully, or by using a propane torch.
  19. Let cool a minute or two before serving.
  20. Make about 2 cups of custard.

Note: This recipe was adjusted for high altitude baking. To make at sea level, this recipe will take less time cooking in your oven. Keep an eye on the custard and remove it just when it barely jiggles.

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