Chocolate Espresso Crème Brûlée
2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon espresso powder -- instant
5 ounce bittersweet chocolate
6 egg yolks
3 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar -- for the caramelized tops
espresso coffee-bean candies -- for garnish
Preheat oven to 300°. Combine cream and espresso powder in a heavy, medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer, whisking to dissolve espresso powder. Remove from heat. Break up chocolate and add to hot cream mixture, whisking until smooth. Set aside. Whisk yolks, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended. Gradually whisk in chocolate mixture. Strain into a clean bowl, skimming off any foam or bubbles. Divide mixture among 6 ramekins or custard cups. Place in a water bath, and bake until set around the edges, but still loose in the center, about 40 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven and leave in the water bath until cooled. Remove cups from water bath. To serve warm, dry off bottoms of ramekins as soon as you remove them from the hot water bath, and present them plain. If desired, top warm crème brûlées with a generous dollop of freshly-whipped cream, or serve with vanilla ice cream. Garnish with a sprinkling of coffee-bean candies. Serve chilled within a few hours of preparation.
NOTES : These custards can be served warm or chilled. To chill, refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days. When ready to serve, sprinkle about 2 teaspoons sugar over each custard. For best result, use a small handheld torch to melt the sugar. If you don't have a torch, place under the broiler until the sugar melts.
Pairs Well With
This always goes on the dessert buffet I put out Christmas Day. It's the first to go! I happened to find espresso sugar, so I use that to brûlée the top. Check out www.dididavisfood.com