Chocolate Malted Creme Brulee

Serves 6

 Softened butter or vegetable-oil cooking spray for the ramekins

6 tablespoons chocolate malt mix

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

6 large egg yolks

1 tablespoon superfine sugar (see page XX)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup dark brown sugar, dried (see page XX)

Six 4-ounce ramekins

Put the oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 300°F.

Lightly butter or spray the ramekins.

In a food processor, process the chocolate malt mix until very fine, about 15 to 20 seconds.

In a small saucepan, heat the cream just until steam begins to rise. Remove the cream from the heat and mix in the processed chocolate malted mix.  Allow it to steep, covered, for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until slightly thickened.  Add the superfine sugar and whisk until dissolved.  Slowly whisk in the cream, and then the vanilla.

Set the prepared ramekins in a baking pan lined with a dish towel.  Ladle the crème mixture into the ramekins.  Set the baking pan on the oven rack and pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the ramekins.  Bake, uncovered, until the crèmes are just barely set, about 30 to 35 minutes.

Carefully remove the baking pan from the oven, leaving the ramekins in the hot water, and cool to room temperature.  Remove the ramekins, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled for at least 2 hours, or even overnight.

When ready to serve, put the oven rack to the second-highest position and preheat the broiler.  Remove the chilled ramekins from the refrigerator, uncover, and gently blot any moisture with a paper towel. Sprinkle each ramekin evenly with 2 teaspoons of the brown sugar.  Set the ramekins on a baking sheet and slide it under the broiler. Broil, watching constantly and rotating the pan for even caramelization, until the toppings are bubbly and a rich brown, about 2 to3 minutes, depending on the intensity of the heat.

Alternatively, brown the tops with a propane torch until the sugar bubbles and browns, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Let the crèmes cool 10 minutes and serve, or refrigerate for up to 30 minutes. 


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