Looking for a dessert to make for Valentine’s Day? This wonderful dessert is naturally gluten-free, but heavy on the cream. So, it’s not for those on a casein/dairy-free diet! And, if you’re lactose intolerant like me, make sure you take some lactase with it.
I’ve never been a big fan of Creme Brulee — mostly because I’ve been avoiding dairy since I was 10. But I fell in love with the Chocolate Creme Brulee at Bonefish Grill a couple months ago. Bonefish is one of our favorite restaurants. We love the food and are happy they have a gluten-free menu and staff who seem knowledgeable about the gluten-free diet. This dessert was one of the daily specials. And once we got the kids home and into bed, I immediately started looking for a recipe. Here’s what I came up with:
Chocolate Creme Brulee
2 Cups heavy cream
3.5 oz. semisweet or bitter chocolate, finely chopped (I recommend 60-75% cocoa.)
6 large egg yolks
1/4 Cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
For sugar topping: 2 TBSP sugar and 2 TBSP dark brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Position oven rack in the middle.
- In a medium saucepan bring the cream to a simmer. Watch carefully so it doesn’t scald or boil over. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chocolate. Continue to stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Beat in 1/4 Cup sugar. Pour a small amount of the hot chocolate mixture into the yolks and thoroughly whisk together. Then, very slowly whisk in the rest of the hot chocolate mixture; continue to whisk together until smooth. (It’s important to do this slowly so you don’t cook the egg yolks with the hot chocolate mixture.) Whisk in the vanilla. Cool to room temperature.
- Place four to six 6-ounce ramekins or custard cups in a baking pan. Fill the ramekins with the chocolate mixture. Then fill the baking pan with water so it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the custard is set. Carefully remove the custards from the water and cool on wire racks. Refrigerate the custards for 6 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the broiler. In a small bowl, thoroughly combine 2 TBSP sugar with 2 TBSP brown sugar, breaking up any clumps. Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the tops of the custards.
- Broil the custards 2 inches from the heat source for 1-2 minutes to melt the sugar. Watch the custards carefully so that the sugar melts and lightly caramelizes but does not burn. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. (Of course, if you have a kitchen torch, you could use that to melt the sugar instead of the broiler.)