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Bittersweet Brûlée

Yield 9 servings
Crunchy brown sugar shells top these creamy chocolate pudding cups. For company, make these impressive desserts a day ahead.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whipping cream
  • 6 (1-ounce) squares bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 9 tablespoons brown sugar

How to Make It

  1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a large saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth (do not boil). Remove from heat. Stir in flavorings.

  2. Gradually stir about one-fourth of hot whipping cream mixture into beaten egg yolks; add to remaining hot whipping cream mixture, stirring constantly.

  3. Pour custard mixture evenly into 9 (4-ounce) ramekins. Place ramekins in a large roasting pan or 2 (9") pans; add hot water to pan(s) to depth of 1". Bake, covered, at 325° for 40 minutes. Remove ramekins from pan(s); cool slightly on wire racks. Cover and chill up to 24 hours.

  4. Place ramekins on a baking sheet. Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Broil 3" from heat just until sugar melts. Cool on wire racks 5 minutes to allow sugar to harden.

Christmas with Southern Living 2001