Creme brulee is one of those desserts that feels so fancy, but is actually very easy to make! Plus, when you make it at home you get to use a kitchen torch, which is always so fun! And the best part of making it at home is that you can make unique flavors like this Homemade Red Wine Chocolate Creme Brulee. Rich dark chocolate custard paired with a luxurious red wine and topped with perfectly crystalized sugar, you'll impress everyone you know and they'll never have to know just how simple it is to make!
Why this recipe works
Most often if you have a creme brulee, it's vanilla, but this custard is like a blank canvas, and there are so many opportunities to create beautiful works of art. Because red wine and chocolate are one of the most delicious and elegant flavor pairings, they are the perfect additions to make this red wine chocolate creme brulee the ultimate dessert.
This recipe makes four individual servings, making it a perfect ending to your intimate Valentine's Day dinner, a romantic double date at home, or the answer to your chocolate cravings.
Ingredients and notes
Chocolate Chips - Any type of chocolate chips will work for this recipe. I tend to like darker chocolate paired with this delicious custard flavor, but you can use semi-sweet, milk, bittersweet, or any type of chocolate chips you have! You can also use baking chocolate or chocolate bars, you'll just want to chop them into small, somewhat evenly sized pieces to help ensure they melt evenly.
Egg Yolks - Egg yolks give the custard its texture and structure. This is the key ingredient of creme brulee and will ensure it's rich, smooth, and thick.
Sugar - The sugar in the creme brulee adds structure and sweetness, but sugar is also sprinkled on top and then torched or broiled to create the crunchy caramelized topping. Only granulated white sugar will get you that glass-like topping - brown sugar or powdered sugar will not work for this.
Red Wine - Red wine is, of course, a necessary ingredient for this luxurious recipe. The wine blends so nicely with the chocolate, making it the perfect accent flavor. Any red wine will work, so use what you like because of course we're taking sips while we bake, and there will be enough left for it to accompany your elegant dinner.
How to make this recipe
Heat the cream and salt in a saucepan over low heat until just hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat.
Stir in chocolate until melted and smooth.
Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a small bowl or container until the mixture is a pale yellow.
Stir a little bit of the hot mixture (about ¼ cup) into the egg mixture to slowly heat up the eggs, then mix the egg mixture into the chocolate.
Stir in wine until fully combined.
Divide the mixture evenly among four ramekins, and place filled ramekins into a 9x13 baking dish.
Fill the baking dish with boiling water until the water is about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Be careful not to get any water in the ramekins.
Bake for 40 minutes, until the centers are just barely set. They'll still have a slight jiggle.
Remove ramekins from baking dish, and let cool, then refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
Once chilled, sprinkle granulated sugar on top of each creme brulee and melt the sugar with a kitchen torch, or in the broiler.
Yes! This easy homemade treat can be made a few days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator! Top with and torch the sugar just ahead of serving!
You absolutely can! A torch is definitely best, and I highly recommend you get one if you don't have one, but you can broil them quickly to caramelize the sugar on top, but keep a close eye on them - the broiler works fast!! And before you ask, no, you cannot use a lighter instead of a torch. Yes, I have tried - it does not work!
It most likely needs to bake longer! As it bakes, a custard will form. Creme brulee should be baked until it's just barely set. It will continue to set as it cools. The edges should be done and the center should be just barely jiggly when you take it out of the oven.
Tips & Tricks
- Before you put the egg yolks into a hot mixture, you always heat them up slowly, by first putting a little bit of the hot mixture into the egg yolks. This is really imporatnt to avoid the eggs cooking too fast and giving you a scrambled egg texture!
- Be cautious when adding the boiling water to the 9x13 baking dish. You don't want to get any water in the chocolate custard.
- Be sure to let these rich chocolate treats cool before putting them into the refrigerator, as moving your ramekins directly from hot to cold could cause them to shatter. Be cautious with moving them to the broiler from the fridge for this reason as well!
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Perfect Homemade Red Wine Chocolate Creme Brulee
- 4 ramekins
- 9x13 baking pan
- 1 ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup bittersweet or dark chocolate chips
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt Diamond Crystal
- 5 egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup red wine
- sugar for topping
- Preheat oven to 325 F.
- Combine cream and salt over low heat until just hot.
- Remove from heat. Add in chocolate and stir until melted and smooth.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar until light.
- Stir about a quarter of the cream mixture into the egg mixture, then pour the egg mixture into the cream mixture.
- Stir in wine till fully incorporated.
- Pour into four ramekins and place ramekins in a baking dish.
- Fill the baking dish with boiling water to about half way up the side of the ramekins.
- Bake for 40 minutes, or until centers are barely set.
- Remove from oven and remove ramekins from water bath. Let cool for 15 minutes, then refrigerate for several hours.
- Once set, sprinkle the tops of the custard with sugar and torch (or broil in the oven) until the sugar is browned.
- Crack and enjoy!
This recipe was originally posted on February 6, 2020, but was republished with new photos, additional information about the recipe, step-by-step instructions, FAQs, and tips and tricks in February of 2022.