Chocolate Lover's Creme Brulee
2 cups heavy cream
3 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
3 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Have a pot of boiling water ready.
In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the cream until small bubbles form around the edges of the pan, 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until melted and blended. Cool slightly.
In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of the sugar until the mixture is pale yellow and thick ribbons fall from the whisk, about 5 minutes.
Slowly stir in the warm chocolate/cream mixture, then stir in the vanilla.
Line a 3-inch deep baking pan with a kitchen towel and place four 6-ounce ramekins or dessert cups in the pan.
Pour the chocolate mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl. Divide the chocolate mixture among the ramekins.
Add the boiling water to fill the pan halfway up the sides of the ramekins and cover loosely with aluminum foil.
Bake until the custards are just set around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes.
Transfer the ramekins to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days.
Just before serving, sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar evenly over the surface of each custard.
Using a kitchen torch, move the flame continuously in small circles over the surface until the sugar bubbles and just begins to turn golden, 20 to 30 seconds per custard.
Garnish with a few raspberries, a dollop of whipped cream and a sprig of mint, if desired. Serve immediately.