Friday, September 19, 2008

Chocolate Almond Creme Brulee

2 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 whole vanilla bean
1 (3.52-ounce) Toblerone chocolate almond bar, finely chopped
6 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar, plus more for topping

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Pour the cream into a medium saucepan over low heat. Using a paring knife, split the vanilla bean down the middle, scrape out the seeds and add them to the saucepan. Put the vanilla bean in there too for extra flavor. Bring the cream to a brief simmer — do not boil, or it will overflow. Stir in the chocolate and remove the vanilla bean. Remove from the heat.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the egg yolks and 1/4 cup of sugar with a whisk until the mixture is pale yellow and thick.

Slowly pour the chocolate cream into the yolks, continuously whisking. Do not add hot cream too quickly or the eggs will cook. Whisk until well combined.

Fill a baking dish a 1/4 full with water. Set 4 6-ounce ramekins in the water bath. Using a ladle, divide the custard into the ramekins, filling about 3/4 full. Bake until barely set around the edges, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the water and cool. Refrigerate the creme brulee until completely cold, about 2 hours or up to overnight. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar on top of each one, caramelize the tops with a creme brulee torch and serve.