Dark chocolate cherry crème brulee

By Mary Berg
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  • 3 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 ½ cups whipping cream
  • ½ teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 100 grams dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons orange liqueur, divided
  • ½ cup halved pitted cherries


  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • Kitchen torch, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 275ºF and place four 1-cup ramekins in a baking pan (either a 9-inch square pan or a 9- x 13-inch pan).
  2. In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and gradually whisk in ¼ cup of sugar. Meanwhile, heat the cream to just under a simmer. Remove the cream from the heat and add in the espresso powder and chopped chocolate, stirring slowly until all of the chocolate is melted. Slowly whisk the cream mixture into the egg mixture making sure to do it gradually so that you don’t accidentally cook the egg yolks with the hot liquid. Whisk in the salt and 1 tablespoon of the orange liqueur and set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, combing the cherries, remaining 2 teaspoons of orange liqueur, and 2 tablespoons of sugar over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar has dissolved, the cherries have released some of their juices, and the mixture is a little syrupy.
  4. Divide the cherry mixture between the four ramekins then top with the chocolate custard mixture. Place the pan in the oven and carefully pour enough hot tap water or boiling water into the pan so that it comes about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until the custards are set on the edges just still jiggly in the middle. Remove the custards from the oven, retrieve them from the water bath, and cool to room temperature. Once cool, place the custards in the fridge until completely chilled and firm, at least 1 hour.
  5. To serve, spread 1 tablespoon of sugar over each custard and, using a kitchen torch held about 1-inch from the surface, caramelize the sugar until evenly golden and melted. You can also caramelize the top using your oven broiler – just keep an eye on it. Allow the crème brulee to cool for 5 mintues then serve.

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