White Chocolate Currant Crème Brûlée
There is nothing quite like breaking through crème brûlée’s crispy caramelized top into a thick creamy custard base - pure bliss. Heavy cream, and egg yolks gives this classic its silky, rich texture that’s like no other dessert. I tampered with a classic and added white chocolate to the custard making deliciously richer and to temper its sweetness I added a layer of tart but sweet stewed currants. A riff on a classic combo of raspberries and white chocolate using currants in place of raspberries. When I start to see currants around I get so excited - my mind starts racing on what to do with them. This was the year for creme brûlée!
I went to an event earlier this year (as a food blogger you get invited to a lot of events to help promote them- I’m picky about the ones I accept and attend) and sat and enjoyed a lovely meal with complete strangers amongst loads of beautiful flowers in a greenhouse. It was such a lovely place and dinner and of course every conversation there revolved around food, more food and flowers. We sat in front of a couple who were celebrating their anniversary and their daughter had gifted them tickets to this event - it was also a celebration of mom having her last chemo treatment. What a special treat for them and a wonderful reason to celebrate. We chatted about food and family and the woman mentioned her all time favorite dessert being a raspberry white chocolate creme brûlée - it was a recipe from a well known chef which I can’t remember now even though I searched high and low for the recipe at the time with no success. It stuck and I knew I had to make it as my hubby loves all things custard.
I have to be honest though, creme brûlée’s, flans, and creme caramel have always intimidated me. The whole caramelizing (Burning) sugar always made me nervous along with the flan flip over (btw flan testing is so happening soon). Just another thing on the list I was not very confident in doing. I was determined though and I became a proud owner of a kitchen torch this year so I basically had no excuse. I compared 4 different recipes and bring you this one. You don’t have to add the currant layer but I strongly recommend it.
The custard is perfectly creamy and every bite has three layers of flavours - that tangy sweet fruit layer, the caramelized white chocolate along with creme brûlée’s singnature layer of crunchy caramelized sugar. It’s so easy to make! Basically whisk your eggs and sugar, warm your cream and chocolate to melt the chocolate, incorporate the the two together, bake and then caramelize the sugar with a kitchen torch or under the broiler before serving. Its almost like dinner with a show if you are ever serving these at a dinner party. If I can make these you definitely can. They are also served cool and make for a great summery dessert. Grab all the currants you can get your hands on and make this if you can - you won’t regret it!
Makes approximately 4-6 depending on the size of your ramekins
- 1 cup of currants plus more for garnish (raspberries make a good alternative)
- 2 tbsp Crème de Cassis liqueur - optional (black currant syrup, raspberry syrup or even cherry liqueur/syrup can be used as as substitute if including)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 5 egg yolks
- ⅓ cup sugar plus 2 tbsp
- Pinch of salt
- 3.5oz (100g) White Chocolate, chopped
- 1 tsp of vanilla
- White sugar to caramelize, approximately 1 teaspoon per ramekin
For the currants
- Place 1 cup blackcurrants and 2 tbsp granulated sugar in a small saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often and crushing fruit lightly to release juices, until mixture is reduced and jammy.
- Remove from the heat and let cool.
- Stir in Crème de Cassis or other alternative if using
For the creme brûlée
- Preheat oven to 300°F
- Place 6 ramekins in a heat-proof baking pan, deep enough to fill with water to the middle of the ramekins
- Divide currant mixture among the ramekins and set side.
- Whisk egg yolks, sugar, and salt together in a heat-proof bowl vigorously for a couple minutes until the sugar is well incorporated.
- Heat heavy cream to a light simmer and add chopped chocolate; whisk until the chocolate is completely melted.
- Slowly pour the hot cream into egg yolk mixture, while whisking continuously.
- Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and gently pour the liquid into the ramekins waiting in the baking pan.
- Fill the baking dish with hot water until it reaches the middle of the ramekins
- Carefully transfer the baking pan to the oven and bake 30-35 minutes.
- Remove from oven and from pan carefully, let cool, and refrigerate. The recipe can be made the day before serving.
- Caramelize just before serving to achieve that signature crunchy topping.
To brûlée or caramelize
- Sprinkle an even layer of sugar on top of the custard and using a brûlée or kitchen torch (available at kitchen stores) caramelize the sugar until golden brown. Hold the torch just above the top of the ramekin, and make sure you do not put the flame directly on the sugar.
- You can also use a broiler to achieve this affect. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet, and place it on the topmost rack beneath the broiler. If using a broiler, make sure the ramekins are rotated to prevent uneven caramelization. Watch them closely, they will caramelize quickly and you don’t want to burn the sugar too long.