Chocolate Crème Brûlée?…or Really Fancy Chocolate Pudding?…

…fortunately, it turned out to be the former, but it had a brief second life as really fancy chocolate pudding…


After the success of my vanilla crème brûlée, my parents and I decided that the logical next step would be to make a decadent chocolate crème brûlée. I looked up various recipes before ultimately making the dumbest rookie mistake—I simply took my original recipe for the vanilla flavor and added chocolate. Crème brûlée falls into the category of baking rather than cooking, which means measurements matter, and anything you add has a reason for being there and makes something happen. In this case, melting Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips into the heavy cream (which actually would be how you’d make a chocolate crème brûlée), changes the cream and, somehow, combined with the measurements I used for each thing, ended up affecting the consistency of the final product. After baking for the required 30-35 minutes, I pulled the custards out and they were wobbly all over. In fact, they really hadn’t solidified at all—the custard had just gotten a bit thicker. That sent me scrambling to find a quick fix and the best thing I could come up with was adding another egg yolk. I think that’s what was wrong in the first place—I needed slightly different measurements for everything because of the addition of the chocolate. Well, I dumped the custards out into a bowl, whisked in another egg yolk, poured the mixture back in the ramekins, and baked them for another 20 or 30 minutes, hoping for the best. What I got were four ramekins filled with shiny, slightly thick, nothing-like-custard custards. Frustrated, I shoved them into the fridge to cool and ignored them until after dinner. 


After toiling away at some delicious risotto, I checked on my little failures and, much to my surprise, they’d completely solidified and looked the way crème brûlée should. Even more to my surprise, when I dipped a spoon into one and tasted it, it was fantastic! Ridiculously chocolatey and rich, with that quintessential light, creamy texture that makes a crème brûlée a crème brûlée. So, my wannabe fancy chocolate pudding turned into chocolate rème brûlée after all. Success! 

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