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Chocolate Hazelnut Espresso Creme Brulee

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Servings: 4
I live in Hazel Park Michigan, which is named for the Hazelnut. Anytime that I have guests over they expect something sinful for dessert. This recipe is the one that I decided to have them talking about until next years celebration.

I decided to serve this warm instead of letting it set for an hour or 2 in the fridge or freezer.

Whenever you are making custard make sure before pouring it into the ramekins to run the custard mixture through a fine sieve.

Also I do not count calories! I have Cystic Fibrosis which means I need all of the calories and fat I can swallow just to maintain my body weight.

This recipe is Extremely Rich!!! so if you decide to serve it don't be suprised if you cannot eat it in one sitting. I did not eat the day I served it at 8pm and I was only able to eat half. And then felt like I ate the whole turkey at Thanksgiving.

Also if you serve this for dessert, no one will be able to remember what you served for dinner. Including yourself!

4 egg yolks
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2 tsp. hazelnut extract or 1 vanilla bean
(if you do not have the vanilla bean then use 1 tsp. vanilla extract)
4 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, ground into a paste (this can be easily done in a food processor)
1/3 cup freshly ground espresso (tell the person at Starbucks or Caribou that you need it ground into powder for baking)
6 tbsp. sugar (any type of sugar of your choice)

Garnish: (optional)
Nutella Hazelnut Spread
Chopped hazelnuts

You will need:
4 (4 ounce) ramekins or 4 (4 ounce) oven-safe custard cups

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F/150 degrees C.

In a double boiler, slowly heat cream, hazelnut or vanilla extract (or vanilla bean), espresso, and hazelnut paste for 10-15 minutes, then stir in the chocolate (if you used a vanilla bean remove it now).

Mix the eggs and the 1 tbsp. sugar, using preferably a whisk in a bowl (or use an electric mixer, or mix with a spoon until smooth and creamy).

Slowly pour chocolate hazelnut espresso creme mixture into the egg mixture, mixing continuously.

Pour mixture into another bowl using a fine sieve.

Heat a pot of water to boiling. Turn heat down to low or simmering (i placed a cooling rack for cakes or pies on top of the pot of water). Place bowl on top stirring occasionally 6-8 minutes, until it coats the back of a spoon (that means that a layer of the mixture will coat the spoon without dripping off of it).

Pour mixture into 4 (4 oz.) ramekins (or custard cups) up to the lower lip of each ramekin or custard cup.

Place ramekins in a baking pan.

Add enough water to the baking pan so it will come up the side of the ramekins half way (this is also known as a "water bath").

Place pan in oven very carefully (this is the easiest way to blow this by allowing the water to spill into the ramekins, so be careful). Bake creme brulee's for 50-60 minutes (custard should jiggle like eggs in the middle when they are removed from the oven).

If serving warm let cool 15 minutes, top each with about a tbsp. of sugar.

Carmelize sugar with a hand-held kitchen torch (if you are using a torch make sure you have a fire extinguisher handy), or place ramekins under the broiler for about 15 minutes or until brown.

Top each creme brulee with about 1/4 to 1/2 inch melted Nutella spread. Heat for 30-45 seconds in microwave or until it is the consistancy of a fudge topping.

If desired, sprinkle a few chopped hazelnuts on top for garnish.

If you'd rather serve the creme brulee chilled, refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days. When ready to serve, sprinkle each creme brulee with 1 tablespoon sugar. For best result, use a small handheld torch to melt the sugar. If you don't have a torch, place under the broiler until the sugar melts.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Rev. Herb Spliff
Submitted By: Rev. Herb Spliff
Date: January 7, 2007

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