“Sensual self-indulgence” is a custard that goes by the name of crème brûlée (literal translation: burnt cream). Crème brûlée’s chapeau of brittle caramelized sugar actually inspired the name of this beloved dessert. Our version — a chocolaty, velvety-smooth, bourbon-spiked custard that bathes your mouth with pleasure — is a delightful respite from being good for Christmas.–Marcel Desaulniers
Chocolate Mint Crème Brûlée Recipe
Hands-On Time: 30 minutes | Total Time: 5 hours | Makes 6 crème brûlées
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 6 large egg yolks
- 9 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- Mint sprigs, for garnish (optional)
- 1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Pour 2 cups water into a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan. Place the pan on the center rack of the oven.
- 2. Combine the cream, vanilla bean, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat.
- 3. Place 3/4 cup of the sugar and the egg yolks in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Ladle 1/2 cup of the hot cream into the yolks and whisk gently to incorporate. Pour the egg-yolk-and-cream mixture back into the saucepan and whisk until thoroughly combined. Add the chopped chocolate and stir gently to melt the chocolate and incorporate all of the ingredients.
- 4. Pour the chocolate custard through a fine-gauge strainer into a 4-cup heatproof glass measuring cup. Add the bourbon and peppermint extract and stir to incorporate.
- 5. Place 6 flameproof 7-ounce custard cups or ramekins into the water in the baking pan. Pour an equal amount of the custard into the cups. Bake for about 1 hour, or until just set. (Rotate the baking pan 180 degrees halfway through the baking time.) The top of the custards should still slightly shake; the custard will completely set when chilled.
- 6. Remove the custard cups from the baking pan and place them on a wire rack until cool, about 30 minutes. Cover each custard cup with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours before serving.
- 7. To serve, preheat the broiler. Remove the chilled custards from the refrigerator; remove and discard the plastic wrap. Place the custard cups on a baking sheet and evenly sprinkle the top of each custard with 1 teaspoon sugar. Position the baking sheet on the center rack under the broiler and broil until the sugar is caramelized to a dark amber. Refrigerate the custards for a few minutes to firm the caramelized sugar before serving. Garnish each with a mint sprig, if desired.
Chocolate Mint Crème Brûlée Recipe © 2007 Marcel Desaulniers. Photo © 2007 Ron Manville. All rights reserved.