Chocolate Crème Brûlée with Fresh Raspberries

Moderate
Serves 8
Ingredients: 
  • 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
Instructions: 

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.