OK, so this version of crème brûlée, another of Chantal’s Real Chocolate recipes, is slightly cheaty. If you have a blowtorch to hand then please feel free to make it properly, but this is both easy and caramelicious.
Charlie in wholesale says that discovering that you can just pour a thin caramel layer onto your pudding on was a revelation which has opened up a whole new crème brûlée-filled world! Her favourite way of making this is with white chocolate and raspberries in vintage teacups, and she’s about to embark on tests using Rococo’s flavoured Artisan Bars. All in the name of scientific research, you understand.
Quick, flexible and impressive enough for dinner parties. And did I mention it’s rather tasty?
200g good dark chocolate, finely chopped
500g very dark cherries, preferably morello, stoned
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
500ml crème fraîche (this also works with the low-fat version)
Approx 250g caster sugar
Put the stoned cherries into the bottom of 8 small ramekins (or a big dish) and sprinkle with the lemon zest.
Bring the cream just to the boil and make a ganache by pouring it a tablespoon at a time onto the chopped chocolate and stirring well after each addition. Pour the mixture over the cherries and chill for at least 2 hours.
When you’ve eaten dinner and are nearly ready for pudding, heat the sugar with 6 tablespoons of water. This will get exceptionally hot and bubble up so use the deepest, largest pan you can find. Avoid stirring your caramel, but you can tilt the pan gently from side to side to ensure the sugar melts evenly and doesn’t burn in one spot. Bring to the boil and let it bubble until the colour changes to a deep amber and it smells of caramel but don’t let it burn! If you’re new to caramel, try David Lebovitz’s tips.
Let it sit briefly so the bubbles settle down while you take your puddings from the fridge, then quickly spoon or pour over the pots. It should set instantly. These are best served soon after making, but the heat will have made the top of your chocolate mixture a little runny so you might like to pop them back in the fridge for 5 minutes first.