Title: Black Bottom Creme Brulee
time: 13 hours till ready to eat.
Recipe via: Food Lover's Guide to Chocolate & Vanilla, www.recipesource.com
Categories: Desserts, Custard
Yield: 6 Servings

Bottom Layer
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 pinch salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon whipping cream
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Custard
1 vanilla bean -- split in half -- lengthwise
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup half-and-half
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract -- (optional)
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

In a small, heavy saucepan, combine cocoa, sugar and salt; stir until
cocoa is no longer lumpy.
Gradually stir in cream (mixture will be thick).
Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat to low; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat. Add butter, stirring until melted.
Stir in vanilla. Divide evenly between 6 (6-ounce) cups or ramekins, tilting to coat bottoms.
Place dishes in freezer until custard is ready.

To make custard:
Using a pointed spoon or a knife point, scrape seeds out of vanilla bean.
Add seeds and pod halves to cream and half-and-half in the top of a double boiler.
Placing top directly on burner, bring cream just to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring
occasionally.
Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes.
Remove vanilla bean halves to a flat work surface, scrape out any remaining seeds and add to
cream. (Discard vanilla bean).
While cream is standing, combine eggs, egg yolks, sugar and salt in a small mixing bowl.
Beat until thick and pale.
Gradually whisk 1 cup hot cream into egg mixture.
Stir mixture back into remaining hot cream in pan. (Mixture will be foamy.)
Place top of double boiler over simmering water.
Stirring constantly, cook 10 to 15 minutes, or until mixture coats back of a metal spoon very thickly. (No gaps will show and you will be able to draw a track through it.)
Remove from heat and strain through a fine sieve into a medium bowl.
Place bowl in a larger bowl of ice water.
Stir occasionally until custard is room temperature.
Taste; add vanilla if desired.
Gently spoon cooled custard over chocolate sauce in cups.
Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
Two or three hours before serving, preheat broiler.
Using the back of a spoon, rub brown sugar through a sieve over surface of custards, topping each with a thin layer.
Set custard cups in a baking pan and surround with ice to keep cups from cracking.
Place under broiler until sugar is melted and begins to caramelize, 3 to 5 minutes.
Cool 15 minutes, then refrigerate up to 5 hours before serving.
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