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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Milk Chocolate Crème Brûlée with Passionfruit
- 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 tablespoon 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.
This recipe was first posted 29 March 2012 but is now completely updated, including with new images.
Love caramel? Enjoy more of these recipes:
- French crème caramel - a favourite (and lighter) dessert classic, also known as crème renversée or flan aux oeufs;
- Salted Caramel Sauce - make a batch and keep in jars in the fridge. Great over apple desserts like this apple tart with nougat;
- Tarte Tatin - caramelised upside down apple tart;
- Salted Caramel Macaron Filling
- Confiture de lait
- Nougatine - also great for topping on desserts, and handy as decor on hand as it keeps well in a tin for a month.
Christina @ Christina's Cucina
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.
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!
Both creme brulees sound absolutely delicious =)
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!
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!
Ohhhh my! I love creme brulee! I think both these versions are fantastic! I particularly like the idea of the chocolate "surprise" in the second one! YUM! Jill, there's something waiting for you here: http://www.manusmenu.com/rotisserie-potatoes
Merci beaucoup, Manu!
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!
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.
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.
Jen Laceda @ Tartine and Apron Strings
Jill, i LOVE this flavor combo!!! Definitely something I need to try! Hmmmm...miam-miam-miam creme brulee!
Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen
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!
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.
mike @ TheCulinaryLens
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
Holstian proportions? Love it, Mike.
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!!!!
Hehe. It's the chocolate queen, Lizzy! Go for them both. Go on...
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
Yes, the French have a lot to answer for, Carol 😉
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!
What a wonderful creme brulee.It makes me want to lick my screen! I am so glad you shared it with us.
If you're glad, that makes me happy too.
Mmmm.... sounds delicious, love the Creme brulee, looks super yummy.
Glad it sounds delicious, Irena. Because it is! 😉
Amy @ FragrantVanillaCake
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.
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!
Glad you got it. Was kind of a mad shot, eh?
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!
I'm like you, Paula. Not often but when I do, it's the full monty!
This is just one of the many reasons I love you. xx
Golly gosh, you're making me blush.
Nami | Just One Cookbook
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.
Marsha @ The Harried Cook
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!
Cheers to Mars, cracking up brûlées and enjoying life upside down, Marsha.
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.
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
Only when I'm in a bad mood or if he's in the dog house ;-))
Gerry @Foodness Gracious
I'm a huge custard based desserts lover, usully I''just keep my yolks for breakfast next morning 🙂
Very funny post. Well done. Gorgeous creme brulee. Love the combination of flavors. The color and look is fabulous. Perfectly executed.
Merci beaucoup, Chef. xo
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!
Kiri, you need to try the passion version. You need to crack it! 😉
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...
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!
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!