Milk Chocolate Crème Brûlée with Passionfruit

Crack into this easy recipe for milk chocolate crème brûlée with passionfruit. A French classic dessert with a fruity, acidic twist with chocolate – or surprise guests instead with centre of melted dark chocolate.

This post just had to be updated. I mean, I talked about this crème brûlée like it was walking on Mars. It just went from fun to sheer madness. Sadly, I have made this a more serious recipe post!

cracking a spoon into a chocolate creme brulee

What is Crème Brûlée?

French Crème Brûlée, literally translated in English means burned cream. It’s a popular dessert on French restaurant menus.

This classic dessert is essentially a cooked cream with few ingredients. It’s made of egg yolks, cream, vanilla and sugar and topped with a crackling layer of caramelised sugar. It’s not technically burnt but the sugar is melted quickly either using a blowtorch or placed under a hot grill to caramelise the sugar topping.

The basic recipe is not unlike the Crème Catalane.
The only difference between the two is that the Catalane version uses milk instead of cream and is often given a touch of lemon and cinnamon.

This easy recipe, however, is a milk chocolate twist with a touch of passionfruit to surprise guests and turn it into something extra special.

spoonful of chocolate creme brulee dessert

Passionfruit and Chocolate Flavour Combination

As one of my favourite flavour associations is passionfruit with chocolate, I came up with this taste sensation in a crème brûlée. As the passionfruit makes this more liquid, instead of using half and half of cream and whole milk, I use the passionfruit in place of the milk in this recipe. C’est tout. That’s it!

To give you an idea what the combination tastes like, next time you order 2 scoops of ice cream, choose passionfruit and chocolate together. I love it so much, I combined them into a macaron in my first book, Mad About Macarons.

Speaking of macarons, as they need egg whites, Crème Brûlée is one of my favourite recipes to use up egg yolks in order to make them.

For more, see my database of egg yolk recipes.

discovering a centre of dark melted chocolate underneath a layer of caramelised sugar

Dark Chocolate Crème Brûlée

A variation of this recipe is just as delicious. Omit the milk chocolate in the passionfruit cream and instead plop in a piece of dark, bittersweet chocolate just before putting each ramekin in the oven.

The result is a surprising centre of melted dark chocolate which guests discover as they crack into the top caramelised layer and into the passionfruit cream.

How to Make a Crème Brûlée Topping

One word on preparing the crunchy caramelised topping. Please don’t make this part until just before serving. The rest of the dessert recipe can be made in advance – even a couple of days in advance. Conversely, the topping cannot keep.

So if your topping is no longer crunchy and is soft, it’s because the sugar has dissolved.

So prepare the topping before you are ready to serve dessert. Just sprinkle with a thin layer of cane sugar (cassonade in France), ensuring it covers the whole surface area. Then caramelise the sugar.

Can I Make It Without a Torch?

This is such an easy recipe. To caramelise the sugar, use a blowtorch to quickly melt the sugar crystals. Although a torch is a luxury it’s not absolutely needed to make this.

To caramelise the sugar without a blowtorch, simply place under a hot grill for a few minutes until the sugar completely melts – but keep your eye on it. Unlike its name, do not burn it.

spoon cracking in to a chocolate creme brulee

Who also loves cracking the crispy top caramel layer with the spoon?

Like Amélie Poulain, cracking through the caramelised sugar is one of life’s incredible thrills. Living dangerously, eh?

What to serve with it

Crème Brûlée is so rich, it’s not normally served with anything else in French restaurants and believe me, I have had more than plenty of them living here to agree! If you really want to add something, I’d simply suggest some fruit such as a few fresh raspberries, blueberries or serve a few thin slices of mango on the side – or half a passionfruit.

cracking a spoon into a chocolate creme brulee

Milk Chocolate Crème Brûlée with Passionfruit

Author: Jill Colonna
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : French
Keyword : chocolate creme brulee, milk chocolate creme brulee, how to make creme brulee
Servings : 4 servings
Calories : 395kcal


An easy recipe for milk chocolate crème brûlée with passionfruit. A deliciously cracking dessert that uses up egg yolks.


  • 4 egg yolks organic
  • 40 g (¼ cup) caster sugar (superfine)
  • 2 passion fruits
  • 200 ml (¾ cup) whipping (or heavy) cream
  • 115 g (4oz) milk chocolate (good quality couverture, at least 35% cacao)
  • 4 tbsp brown cane sugar (Cassonade) for caramelising


  • Preheat oven to 110°C fan/130°C/250°F/Gas ½. 
    Remove the pulp from the passion fruits and using the back of big spoon, press the pulp through a sieve to remove the seeds.
  • Mix the yolks and sugar until creamy, then whisk in the passionfruit pulp. Gently heat the cream and milk chocolate in a pan until warm until the chocolate has just melted (don’t boil.) Pour over the egg mixture and mix thoroughly.
  • Pour into individual ramekins and place in a bain-marie (a roasting tray filled halfway up with water will suffice) in the oven for about one hour.
    Remove from the water bath to cool, then chill for 2 hours in the fridge.
  • Before serving, dust with the brown sugar then caramelise them quickly with a blowtorch or under a hot grill.


Dark Chocolate Variation: omit the milk chocolate in the passionfruit cream and instead add a square of bittersweet, dark chocolate in the middle, just before putting each ramekin in the oven. It's a delicious surprise to crack in the spoon and discover a centre of melted chocolate in the centre.
Note on sugar: as using milk chocolate, I have reduced the sugar content, otherwise the crème brûlées would be too sweet.
Measures: Please note that all my recipes are best made using digital kitchen scales in precise metric grams. Both ounces (and cups) are given as an approximate guide. 

This recipe was first posted 29 March 2012 but is now completely updated, including with new images.

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62 responses to “Milk Chocolate Crème Brûlée with Passionfruit”

  1. I think you missed your calling as a comedienne! Truly, you are cracking me up (just like that caramel topping)! haha! See, I can do it too! 😉 The bathwater draining made me laugh out loud!

    Well, dear you’ll be happy to know that I ordered an oven today so I CAN make these beauties (although, I usually make my creme brulees on the stove). I have never tasted a chocolate one, but am quite enamored of the black hole version! I love dark chocolate, and it sounds very enticing! Nice work. And I LOVE cracking the caramel with the spoon! 😉

    • See, this cracking up business is contagious Christina! So happy you’ll finally have an oven. Cheers to making a cracking black hole crème brûlée in it soon.

  2. Forgotten Apple Chutney, Curry Macarons and a Mole | Mad about Macarons! Make Macarons like the French - le blog in Paris says:

    […] My girls are convinced I was a squirrel at some point on this planet (or perhaps I came from the planet Mars, with this crème brûlée?). […]

  3. This is my favorite blog yet!
    I so love the idea of having a creme brulee compared to Mars! The chocolate creme brulee is the “creme de la creme” though… The oozing chocolate, the cracking top… So brill!

  4. Mmmm I love creme brûlée. It’s not often I see chocolate and passion fruit together. Although there is a cookie company in hawaii that plays with the flavors… But I think I’ll stick with the creme brûlée! Great recipe!

  5. Your posts are always so funny and how you see your desserts (a walk on mars?) is too funny! And your desserts heavenly and this one is no different! Scrumptious and I would so love to taste it. And do you know as much as we love crème brulée I’ve never made one? Oh, Jill, inspire me!

  6. You MUST have a MADELEINE post here!?
    am I mad?
    Can this be??
    How will I ever make the damn$#@! things then..?

    • Carol, there are SO many recipes I want to share with you all, so little time trying to get on with the next book! Madeleines don’t use egg yolks in particular so that’s why not included yet (after all it’s a macaron site.) In the meantime, why not visit my friend Biren’s site at Roti’n’Rice who posted a lovely recipe for Lavender Madeleines this week. Enjoy!

  7. Wowsa! I can just hear the little ‘tinkle’ the sugar make when you make your first fork attack. So yummy, so passion fruity…who cares about the flute? You’re the First Foodie!

    • Hehe, Carsley. Thanks. In fact, just back from Paris (rue de Rome – it’s the street of musical instruments) since my poor flute is sick so getting him sorted, repadded, the works.

  8. A friend of mine sent me passion fruits from her garden but haven’t made anything with them yet. I’ve been thinking of making passion fruit curd but now Creme Brûlée sounds better. Although if you’ve got chocolate Macarons with passion fruit filling in your book I may do that. I need to check.

    So sorry to ramble – your brûlée sounds heavenly. Looking forward to attempting one or the other of these mentioned.

    Have a great day!

    • Oh, what decisions, Vicki 😉 Why don’t you make the macarons from the book and the crème brûlée to accompany? That sounds so exotic too – passion fruits from the garden! Enjoy.

  9. Jill, i LOVE this flavor combo!!! Definitely something I need to try! Hmmmm…miam-miam-miam creme brulee!

  10. I have two friends who are in my bad books at the moment – one who cracked the sugar crust, and the other who downright stole my crime brûlée while I was busy chatting – oh boy if they come within an inch of this lovely version when I make it, there’ll be trouble! It really does look like Mars, Jill, and out of this world 😉

    • You call these friends, Hester? You’re going to have to get the record straight before making this!

  11. I love creme brulee and the cracking with the spoon of course! It’s probably one of the most common desserts I order when in France. I really have to get myself a blowtorch to make some as my over grill just doesn’t do it right!

    • Having a blowtorch is hot – although I just about set fire to the table once while trying to carmelise at the table and pouring wine with the other hand. Although the wine would have put out the fire, lol.

  12. I took your advice and played the music while reading this and it and the brulees transported me to another planet. I find creme brulee to be an amazing concoction with the most simple of ingredients combiningg to a taste symphony of Holstian proportions (windaggy enough for you? LOL) Seriously this sound delicious and I love the crack of the breaking caramel too

  13. Mmmmmmmm….you knew I’d come running for a chocolate creme brulee, didn’t you??? I just don’t know which one to try first!!!!

  14. OMG!!
    Heaven on earth this!
    I LURVE anything passion fruit
    and I love crustillante or however you spell it..
    The French have the best crunchy textures
    merci carolg

  15. What an amazing recipe! So ingenious to combine creme brulee with chocolate :-), this recipe is a “must try!”

    • It is rather yummy, although not so hot on le look, as you don’t get to see the caramel crust. Although perhaps that’s the charm. Surprise!

  16. What a wonderful creme brulee.It makes me want to lick my screen! I am so glad you shared it with us.

  17. Hi Jill! This creme brulee looks wonderful, and what a great way to use up egg yolks! I love the exotic flavor you have given it, so heavenly and I have a feeling I could devour it in no time! Hope you are having a wonderful Spring :)!

    • Thanks, Amy. Adoring spring even if it’s bringing on the pollen allergies big time in our house, sniff, sniff, achoum.

  18. When I saw the name of the post, I wondered how Mars fit in–I get it! What a gorgeous, vividly flavored creme brulee–definitely out of the ordinary!

  19. I don’t eat creme brulee often but when I do I certainly enjoy it. Can only imagine how wonderful these flavour combinations are and yes, I love cracking the caramel with a spoon!

  20. Chocolate and passion fruit Creme brûlée? Wow that is a very unique flavor! My husband’s most favorite dessert is Creme brûlée or Creme caramel (purin). Since I make latter I now have to try Creme brûlée to surprise him. :-). I love the nicely burnt top area scooping off with spoon. Yours look delish!!

    • I LOVED your purin recipe, Nami. Great idea. Hubby will adore cracking into this one.

  21. You are so funny! I love cracking the top of a creme brulee but I love it even more when I am doing it upside down!!! What fun!!! 🙂 And the flavor combination sounds brilliant… I have never tried passionfruit and chocolate together, but it appeals to me! And I think it’s really cool that both of us just posted about ‘Mars’! Great minds, eh, Jill? Hugs to you, my friend!

  22. Another lovely recipe to use leftover eggyolks. Unfortunately we don’t have passion fruit in Greece.

    • What? No passionfruit? Not even juice? Oh dear. Well I’m sure with your creativity, Ivy, you’ll find a local alternative.

  23. Wow, you’re not only mad, Jill, you’re brilliant too. That’s a sign of genius too! hehehe you seem to be unhappy with your height. How tall are you?

    Red brulee….Passion week is here. In case you didn’t think of it…what a connection ;p

    • I’m tall for my age 😉
      But could I be shrinking soon? I’m 1m80, Thoma. Yep, that was a mad connection – but having fun.

      • Ha, that’s nearly my husband’s height! So I know how you would look like! Do you get to wear heels? ;p

  24. I’m a huge custard based desserts lover, usully I”just keep my yolks for breakfast next morning 🙂
    Take care..

  25. Very funny post. Well done. Gorgeous creme brulee. Love the combination of flavors. The color and look is fabulous. Perfectly executed.

  26. Me! I looove that cracked top 🙂 Creme brulee is one of my top 10 indulgences, I’d say, and I certainly never had a passion fruit version. Sounds delightful!

  27. Gosh! Your Crème Brulee looks divine! My husband loves this dessert. On our trip to Paris last October he was very keen to enjoy his favourite dessert but surprisingly we couldn’t find it at any of the restaurants we went to. Finally we found it at a bakery/patisserie in a nondescript street which was not up to the mark. Thanks for sharing this recipe 🙂

    • You’re just as well making it yourself, eh? Especially as you can transport yourself to any flavour combination you fancy…

  28. ah..chocolate and passion fruit, a rare but delicious blend! Pretty fantastic served up in the form of a creme brulee, very creative of you Jill. Glad I do not have to be an astronaut on Mars to enjoy this. Impressive post!

    • Thanks, Tina. Just the greedy side coming out with Easter approaching and needing chocolate!

  29. Wow, creme brulee is my favourite recipe here in France, but never had it with chocolate inside. It must be devine!!

    • Neither had I until I tried this out. Needing chocolate as Easter is approaching… Hope you enjoy this!

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