Chocolate Truffle Crème Brûlée

Sometimes, things don’t quite turn out as you intended.

They turn out better.

Like this recipe for instance. I wanted a chocolate creme brulee. Silky smooth, creamy, and deep, dark chocolate.

I was going to call it “Brownie Batter Crème Brûlée” and it was going to be brilliant.

While I succeeded in getting about as much chocolate as humanly possible in a single ramekin, the resulting texture was quite unexpected: more like the center of a chocolate truffle than a creamy custard.

So, slight change of plans, and I present to you “Chocolate Truffle Crème Brûlée” instead.

Chocolate Truffle Crème Brûlée

Let me tell you, this dessert is RICH. Like, Warren Buffet rich.

While one of these ramekins would be a reasonable single serving of traditional crème brûlée, I was lucky to get through half of one before I had to raise the white flag.

Which makes it pretty darn perfect for a certain lovey-dovey holiday coming up this week. Two spoons, one ramekin… it doesn’t get more romantic than that.

Chocolate Truffle Crème Brûlée

One spoon, two ramekins is perfectly acceptable too.

You know, perspective.

Chocolate Truffle Crème Brûlée

The crunchy caramelized sugar is perhaps the icing on the cake. Just like with traditional crème brûlée, it’s that textural contrast that makes the dessert so delightful, and probably the reason why it appears on pretty much every restaurant dessert menu ever. Without it, well, it’s just pudding.

Chocolate Truffle Crème Brûlée

Yield: 6 servings

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 4 hours

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, very finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • granulated sugar, for topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Place a folded dish towel flat inside a 13-by-9-inch baking dish (this will keep the ramekins from shifting around), and arrange four 6 ounce or six 4 ounce ramekins inside. Bring 3 to 4 cups of water to a simmer and keep warm.
  2. Place chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm heavy cream until it begins to steam.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, and salt until smooth. Whisk in warm cream, 1/4 cup at a time, until mixture is warm to the touch and about half of cream has been added. Do this gradually, as you want to temper the egg yolks rather than cook them. Pour yolk mixture back into saucepan and whisk until incorporated.
  4. Pour warm cream mixture over chopped chocolate; let sit for 30 seconds, then whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. If you chopped your chocolate fine enough the residual heat from the cream should be more than enough to fully melt it. If not, return to saucepan and stir over very low heat until almost melted, then remove from heat and continue to stir until smooth. Whisk in vanilla.
  5. Divide mixture evenly among ramekins. Place baking pan in oven, then very carefully pour hot water into the baking dish until it comes about half-way up the side of the ramekins.
  6. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until centers are just set but still slightly jiggly. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes, then carefully remove ramekins from water and let cool to room temperature on a wire cooling rack. Once cool, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 or until ready to serve.
  7. About 30 minutes prior to serving, remove ramekins from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Just before serving, sprinkle each custard with an even layer of granulated sugar, then caramelize with a kitchen torch, keeping the flame moving over the surface of the custards, until sugar is golden brown and bubbly. Let sit for 1 to 2 minutes to allow sugar to harden, then serve.

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40 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. Well thank goodness you cam up with this! I love chocolate truffles so much, and can’t wait to have a whole ramekin of one!

  2. LOL at Warren Buffet rich. We all needs a little Buffet riches in our life at some point, right? Why not via a creme brulee.

  3. It’s beautiful & I love it when there are unintended and GOOD surprises with recipes. The unintended bad ones, meh, those aren’t fun. This, however, looks very fun :)

  4. This looks amazing!  I don’t think it would matter what you call them, the pics speak for themselves-just gorgeous!!

  5. This sounds BETTER to me than a traditional (even chocolatey) creme brulee–I love truffles! I’m saving this recipe for a future special occasion. 

  6. AAAAH!  I need a kitchen torch stat.

  7. Oh, wow…this looks absolutely delicious! If it’s half as delicious as it looks, it will be outstanding. I love everything about this recipe…thanks for sharing!

  8. Drooling! I shouldn’t read dessert posts at night! What was I thinking! This looks divine!

  9. I love when they are GOOD surprises and not disasters! These are amazing in every way, shape and form!

  10. hah–I love my desserts Warren Buffet rich! :)

  11. Honestly, any dessert with the word truffle in it has me craving it, these are certainly no exception. The texture looks fantastic, what a wonderful mishap!

  12. I didn’t think creme brulee could get more beautiful. Love.

  13. A “mishap” like this one could never be bad! I mean, look at it. Looks truly luxurious :)

  14. Wow this looks so yummy. I’ll save this and give the recipe a try. Your posts are really funny too! *follower
    Follow me. renee x

  15. The description in the recipe prelude indicated that this would have more chocolate in it. I was a bit surprised to only see 4oz in a recipe that serves six. I’m still curious to try it though.

    • Once you taste it I think you’ll agree there is more than enough chocolate in there. :) And if you have larger 6oz ramekins (like the ones pictured) you’ll only get 4 of them from this recipe. The more shallower 4oz ones will give you 6.

  16. Excuse me while I contain my excitement for this decadent dessert. I live for creme brulee, and this particular recipe needs to make an apperance in my life. Yum!

  17. Unintended? I say totally intended. Thank goodness for us!

  18. Oooo I can taste the creamy velvety goodness right through the monitor.

  19. Looks amazing and impressive and easy! The perfect combination. It’s going in my files of recipes to try with my “date night” classes. Yum!

  20. I will pin it and I will definitely make it!

  21. Oh, be still my heart!

  22. This looks delicious and the recipe easy to follow! Happy Valentine’s Day!

  23. Like, Warren Buffet rich. <— THAT's the kind of rich I want!!
    Without it, well, it’s just pudding. <— gimme the sugar crackly top!!!!

    I'd LOVE this! Especially with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and some blackberries!

  24. I love your flexibility in turning an unanticipated outcome to a delicious treat! This is a recipe I have to try!

  25. It’s a amazing recipe.. I always wanted to try this one out. But never actually knew how to make it. Love the photos :) 

  26. Conveniently, LAST valentines day, my other half got me a hand-held torch for the kitchen. Tragically, I have YET to make creme brulee. This will be my first. I can’t wait. 

  27. Oh wow my two favourite things in one pot…oh dear, I can’t work out if thats a good thing or a bad thing!

    Jenna || Jennafifi.co.uk

  28. This is stunning! And OMG the chocolate. I love when great ideas turn into even better ones!

  29. Made this…. LOVED IT!  The velvety smooth rich chocolate flavor is amazing, flavor heightened as it is not sweet sweet like traditional creme brûlée.  The crunch from the torched sugar gives it the perfect textural counterbalance.  (Btw:  we just used the torch from my husband’s tool bench…)  This dessert makes the cook look  brilliant!

  30. Made this for Vakentine’s Day and my husband’s comment was “this is the best dessert you EVER made”. Thank you. 

  31. Beautiful! In my book, the richer the better when it comes to chocolate desserts!

  32. BEAUTIFUL. And I love those ramekins, too.

  33. Made this  for hubby’s birthday last week and am making it again this coming weekend for company.  OMGoodness Good!  I did substitute Swerve for the granulated sugar because we follow a low carb diet.  It was wonderful and I was pleased to find that Swerve caramelizes too.  Yay!

  34. This was so, so good. I used the broiler to caramelize the sugar (keeping the ramekins in an ice bath while broiling), and it turned out fantastic. I’m a major chocolate lover, and this was definitely chocolatey enough for me! 

    • Thank you for telling me about the icebath! I don’t have a torch and just made them. I will borrow your idea!!! I can’t wait to finish them and try. 

  35. i dont have a kitchen torch. any alternate suggestions?

    • It’s perfectly enjoyable without the brulee layer. Unfortunately there isn’t really a substitute… I’ve seen people brulee in a broiler but I’ve never had any luck with it.

    • This was posted above:
      This was so, so good. I used the broiler to caramelize the sugar (keeping the ramekins in an ice bath while broiling), and it turned out fantastic. I’m a major chocolate lover, and this was definitely chocolatey enough for me!

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