Chocolate-Ancho Creme Brulee
cups half-and-half or light cream
3-inch stick cinnamon
ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
egg yolks, lightly beaten
teaspoon ground ancho chile pepper
teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a heavy small saucepan, heat half-and-half and cinnamon stick over medium heat just until bubbly. Remove from heat; remove cinnamon stick. Add chocolate to cream. Let stand 5 minutes; whisk until smooth and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar, the vanilla, chile pepper, and salt. Whisk until combined. Slowly whisk the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
- Place six 5- to 6-ounce ungreased casseroles, souffle dishes, or 6-ounce custard cups in a 13x9x2-inch baking dish or pan. Divide custard mixture mixture evenly among the souffle dishes. Place baking dish on oven rack. Pour enough boiling water into the baking dish to reach halfway up the sides of the casseroles.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the centers comes out clean. Carefully remove casseroles from water; cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
- Before serving, let custards stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons sugar and the ground cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly atop custards. Place on a baking sheet. Caramelize sugar with a culinary torch or broil* 4 to 5 inches from heat for 1 to 2 minutes until sugar is melted and lightly browned. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.
From the Test Kitchen
* Choose the culinary torch if your dishes are not broiler safe.