Delicious Chocolate Crème Brûlées
December 23rd 2008 06:00
Delicious Chocolate Crème Brûlées
About Delicious Chocolate Crème Brûlées
Chocolate mousse was to the 1960s, Crème Brûlée was to the 1990s, as it seemed to be on almost every restaurant menu. It’s truly a great British classic that easily lends itself to variations like this chocolate crème Brûlée, a smooth, velvety chocolate custard topped with a very crunchy caramel.
About Crème Brûlées
Crème brûlée , French for "burnt cream"; is a dessert consisting of a rich custard base topped with a layer of hard caramel, created by burning sugar under a grill, or with a blowtorch or other intense heat source. It is usually served cold in individual ramekins.
The custard base is normally flavoured with just vanilla, but it can be enhanced with chocolate, a liqueur, fruit, etc. Sometimes the hardened sugar on top will be given a Maillard reaction, or caramelization, by igniting a thin layer of liqueur sprinkled over the top.
Origins of the dessert are in dispute among Britain, France, Germany, The Czech Republic, and Spain. It appeared in France in François Massialot's 1691 cookbook, and the French name was used in the English translation of this book, but the 1731 edition of Massialot's Cuisine roial et bourgeoise changed the name of the same recipe from "crème brûlée" to "crème à l'Angloise". In the early eighteenth century, the dessert was called "burnt cream" in English.
150 gm / 5 oz dark chocolate with 70-75% cocoa solids, broken into spieces
570 ml / 1 pint whipping cream
6 large egg yolks
50 gm / 2 oz golden caster sugar
1 rounded teaspoon cornflour
For the caramel
2 tablespoons golden caster sugar
1. Place the broken-up chocolate, along with 150 ml / 5 fl oz of the cream, in a large, heatproof bowl sitting over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
2. Keeping the heat at its lowest, allow the chocolate to melt slowly, it should take 5-6 minutes.
3. Remove from the heat and give it a good stir until it’s smooth and glossy.
4. Then remove the bowl from the pan and let the mixture cool for 2-3 minutes.
5. To make the custard, whisk the egg yolks, caster sugar and cornflour together in a separate bowl for about 2 minutes, or until they are thick and creamy.
6. In another pan, heat the remaining cream just up to simmering point and pour it over the egg yolk mixture, whisking as you pour.
7. Return the whole lot to the pan and continue to stir over a gentle heat until it thickens, this will take 2-3 minutes.
8. Whisk the melted chocolate and cream together until completely smooth.
9. Add a little of the custard mixture to it and continue to whisk it in.
10. After that, add the remaining custard, whisking until everything is really smooth.
11. Divide the custard among the ramekins, making sure you leave a 1 cm / ½ inch space at the top for the caramel.
12. Leave to cool.
13. Cover the pots with clingfilm and chill overnight in the fridge. These also freeze well, but do this before the caramel is added.
14. A few hours before serving the brûlées, make the caramel. Sprinkle 1 rounded teaspoon of golden caster sugar over each ramekin of chocolate custard.
15. Using a water spray, mist the surface lightly, this will help the sugar to caramelise quickly without burning.
16. Using sweeping movements, pass the flame of the blowtorch across each brûlée until the sugar melts and caramelises.
Start the crème brûlées the day before you want to serve them.
**From “The Delia Collection Chocolate” and “Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia” **
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