Salted Dark Chocolate Crème Brûlée

Yes, you CAN make perfect crème brûlée at home! We took this recipe to a new level of decadence, mixing dark chocolate with a hint of espresso and topping with sea salt for a stunning finish. For chocolate lovers only!

Prep Time
15 minutes
4 hours chilling time
Cook Time
25 to 30 minutes
Three ramekins of salted dark chocolate crème brûlée, one partially eaten, shown with gold spoons, figs, and berries, on a rose-coloured tablecloth.

Medium heavy-bottomed saucepan x 2

Scale OR dry measuring cups

Liquid measuring cup (large)

Medium bowl (heatproof) x 2

Heatproof spatula


Tea towel x 2


Fine mesh sieve

Large bowl (optional)

4 to 6 oz ramekins x 6

Large baking dish (9 x 13 or bigger)

Oven mitts

Small bowl


Kitchen torch OR broiler

6 servings
  • ⅔ cup (113 g) bittersweet chocolate or dark chocolate (at least 70%), finely chopped
  • 2 cups (500 ml) half-and-half (10% cream) (see Chef’s Tips)
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp (82 g) Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar, packed, divided
  • 1 tsp (1 g) instant espresso powder
  • ¼ tsp (2 g) salt
  • 5 egg yolks, large
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp (37 g) Redpath® Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tbsp (12 g) Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar
  • Flaky sea salt
Garnish (optional):
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries

Step 1

Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C).

Step 2

Bring about two inches of water to a boil in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low to low. The water should be just simmering with a few bubbles breaking the surface.

Step 3

Place the finely chopped chocolate into a heat-proof medium bowl and place over the just simmering water. Gently stir until chocolate is almost completely melted. Turn off heat. Stir to melt the chocolate completely. Keep the bowl of melted chocolate over the saucepan to keep it warm, stirring occasionally.

Step 4

In a medium heavy-bottomed pot, slowly stir together half-and-half cream, 2 tablespoons (28 grams) of the Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar, instant espresso powder, and salt on medium heat until sugar is dissolved and it just begins to simmer around the edges; do not bring to a boil.

Step 5

In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk together egg yolks and the remaining ¼ cup (54 grams) of Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar until thoroughly combined. Take a damp tea towel and form a ring that the base of the bowl can “nest” in. Place the bowl into the centre of that ring. Continuously whisk the yolk mixture while slowly pouring or ladling in the hot cream. This will temper the yolks.

Step 6

Pour about one-third of the egg-cream mixture into the bowl of melted chocolate, slowly whisking to combine. Gently whisk in the remaining cream mixture. Stir in the vanilla extract. Place a fine mesh sieve over a large measuring cup or bowl and carefully pour the chocolate custard through the sieve.

Step 7

Place 6 ramekins, evenly spaced apart, into a large baking dish lined with a tea towel. Divide the chocolate custard evenly between the ramekins. Place the baking dish onto the oven rack. Fill baking dish with hot water, filling it halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Step 8

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the custard jiggles slightly when pan is gently shaken; do not over-bake. Remove from oven. With the help of an oven mitt, carefully remove ramekins from the hot water. Let cool slightly at room temperature; about 10 minutes. Place into the fridge to chill; at least 4 hours (up to 3 days).

Step 9

In a small bowl, mix the Redpath® Granulated Sugar and Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar together until well combined. Spoon 1 to 2 teaspoons of the sugar mixture onto the chilled crème brûlée. Tilt ramekin or use the back of a spoon to evenly spread the sugar over the entire surface of the custard.

Step 10

With a kitchen torch set at medium to medium-low flame, carefully brûlée the sugar. Let harden at room temperature. Sprinkle the tops of the crème brûlée with flaky sea salt just before serving. If desired, garnish with strawberries and/or raspberries.

Three ramekins of salted dark chocolate crème brûlée, one partially eaten, one with no topping, shown on a tea towel on a baking tray with a gold spoon and a bowl of Golden Yellow sugar.