Chocolate crèmes brûlées

Rachel Allen loves her brother-in-laws take on crème brûlée a creamy chocolate custard topped with sugary crust
By Rachel Allen
Chocolate crèmes brûlées
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes plus chilling
  • Effort: medium


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 40 g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 350 ml double cream, or regular cream
  • 4 tsp cocoa powder
  • 4 tsp demerara sugar


1. Place the egg yolks in a large bowl with the caster sugar and vanilla extract; whisk until combined.

2. Pour the cream into a saucepan and bring to the boil. As it is heating, whisk in the cocoa powder until the cream is just about to boil. Remove from the heat and slowly pour into the bowl with the egg mixture, whisking constantly.

3. Pour the egg and cream mixture into the saucepan (having washed it first to help prevent the custard sticking and scrambling) and place on a low heat. Cook the custard, stirring constantly, for a couple of minutes or until it thickens. (Stir first with the whisk, then, as it heats up, change to a wooden spoon so you can get into the corners of the saucepan and avoid uneven cooking).

4. As the custard starts to shiver on top and comes almost to the boil, remove immediately from the heat. At this point, speed is crucial as the custard could turn into sweet scrambled eggs.

5. Pour the mixture into 4 small ramekins, allow to cool and then cover and place in the fridge to chill for at least an hour. Make sure when you are covering them with cling film that you do not touch the surface of the crèmes: you need a skin to form as this is what will hold the sugar on top.

6. When youre ready to serve, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of demerara sugar over each crème, spreading it out evenly so that its one grain thick across the whole surface. With a cooks blow-torch on full heat, caramelise the sugar, keeping the flame just over the sugar and moving in slow circular movements, taking take care not to burn the sugar. Alternatively, cook for 2060 seconds under a very hot grill until the sugar has caramelised and is bubbling.

7. Set aside for a few minutes to allow the caramel to cool and set.

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