Chocolate Crème Brûlée with Fresh Raspberries

Serves 8

3 ½ cups heavy cream

1/2 of a 10 oz. pkg. of semisweet dark chocolate, such as Scharffen Berger

8 egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

32 fresh raspberries, divided

12 tbsp. superfine sugar, divided


In a large saucepan, heat cream over medium heat until mixture just begins to boil (about 8 min.); remove from heat and add chocolate. Let stand 5 min.; whisk until chocolate is melted and smooth. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale yellow (about 4 min.); stir in vanilla. Gradually whisk hot cream mixture into yolk mixture. Place 4 raspberries in each of 8 (5 oz.) oval ramekins; divide chocolate mixture among ramekins. Place ramekins in 2 (13x9") baking dishes; pour hot water around ramekins into baking dishes until it reaches halfway up the ramekins. Bake, loosely covered with foil, in a preheated 350° oven until custards are set around the edges but slightly loose in the center (60-70 min.). Cool on a wire rack; cover and refrigerate up to 2 days, if desired. Sprinkle 1 ½ tbsp. sugar over the top of each ramekin. Caramelize sugar with kitchen torch until no dry sugar is visible. Let stand about 5 min. before serving to allow sugar to harden.