Tuxedo Creme Brulee

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Tuxedo Crème Brûlée is a chocolatey twist on the traditional crème brûlée recipe. This dessert has a chocolate ganache bottom, creamy custard filling, and a caramelized sugar topping. Top these custards with fresh berries and chocolate curls for a delicious show-stopping dessert.

Once you’ve made (and fallen in love with) a traditional crème brûlée recipe, you’ve got to try this fun variation! This post includes step-by-step photos that will show you just how easy this fancy dessert is to make.

Overhead image of the Tuxedo Crème Brûlée garnished with chocolate curls and raspberries.

One of my mother-in-law’s favorite treats is crème brûlée. (I’ll admit they’re one of my favorite desserts as well!) So when we got to have her stay with us after Elizabeth’s arrival, I knew I had to make a few batches!

She told me of a crème brûlée she’d had at a restaurant with chocolate on top (no crispy topping). The chocolate lover in me was definitely intrigued… but my favorite part of this dessert is the crunchy caramelized topping! So I decided to put the chocolate on the bottom and keep the rest the same. To say we’re hooked is an understatement! My current dilemma now: this version or plain for Valentine’s Day dessert?!

Image of the base chocolate layer of these Tuxedo Creme Brûlées being made.

But first things first…

What is a Tuxedo Crème Brûlée?

A Tuxedo Crème Brûlée has a base layer of chocolate ganache on the bottom and then a layer of traditional crème brûlée (which is a vanilla custard). Everything is topped with a layer of caramelized sugar (using a kitchen torch or oven broiler)

Image of the chocolate layer being poured into the ramekins for these Tuxedo Crèmes Brûlée.Image of the eggs being added to these Tuxedo Cremes Brûlée.

How do you make Tuxedo Crème Brûlée?

  • Start by preparing the ramekins: I’ve tested this recipe in 4-ounce, 5-ounce, and 6-ounce ramekins — it works great in all of them, but my preference is the 5-ounce ramekins. (I like the thickness of the crème brûlées best.)
  • Chocolate ganache: Prepare the base! It’s as easy as heating heavy cream and adding some chopped chocolate. Stir until smooth and fill the bottom of the ramekins with the chocolate.
  • Custard filling: The egg yolks, vanilla bean seeds, and sugar are beaten together until light and creamy. You’ll temper this mixture with hot heavy cream and then pour this mixture over the chilled chocolate ganache layer.
  • Bake the custard filling: Place the ramekins in a 9×13-inch pan and fill the surrounding space with boiling water. It’s important to cook the crèmes brûlée in this water bath! Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the center slightly jiggles.
  • Chill the crèmes brûlée: Once baked, you’ll chill the crèmes brûlée for 3-4 hours. (The hardest part of making these!)
  • Caramelize the tops: Add some sugar to the tops of your custards and torch them with a kitchen torch. Wait a minute and then these are ready to eat!

Image of the base egg mixture being heated and added to a bowl to be mixed for these Tuxedo crèmes brûlée.Image of the base creme brûlée being added on top of the chocolate layer.

There are several things you can do to perfect your crème brûlée;  here are a few tips:

More desserts to try next:

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Tuxedo Crème Brûlée

5 from 4 votes
Tuxedo Crème Brûlée is a chocolatey twist on a traditional creme brulee recipe. This dessert has a chocolate ganache bottom, creamy custard filling, and a caramelized sugar topping
Print Recipe

Tuxedo Crème Brûlée

5 from 4 votes
Tuxedo Crème Brûlée is a chocolatey twist on a traditional creme brulee recipe. This dessert has a chocolate ganache bottom, creamy custard filling, and a caramelized sugar topping
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, French
Keyword tuxedo creme brulee
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Chilling Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 55 minutes
Servings 6 5-ounce ramekins
Calories 633kcal
Author Chelsea

Ingredients

Chocolate Ganache Layer

  • 6 ounces chocolate, milk, dark, or semi-sweet (whatever you prefer!)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Top Layer

  • 1 full vanilla bean I like Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans (You can use 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks must be at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup superfine white sugar divided
  • 6 cups water
  • Optional: fresh berries for serving

Instructions

For the chocolate ganache:

  • Coarsely chop the chocolate. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the cream and bring to a just before a boil (don't boil). Reduce the heat to the lowest temperature. Add the chocolate and salt and whisk to combine until the chocolate has melted and the mixture becomes smooth and shiny. Remove from heat.
  • Divide the chocolate ganache evenly among all 6 ramekins so they are filled a little less than ¼ of the way full. Place the ramekins in the freezer and freeze for one hour.

For the custard layer:

  • Start by splitting the vanilla bean down the center. Scrape out all the seeds and place in a large bowl. Take the vanilla bean pod and place it in a small pot with sea salt and heavy cream.
  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Heat the heavy cream mixture just until the cream is simmering. Do not boil! Remove from the stovetop and set aside to slightly cool. Remove the vanilla bean pod (If using vanilla extract, stir it in here).
  • In the bowl with the vanilla bean seeds, add the egg yolks (I like to save the whites in a container for omelets during the week!) and 1/2 cup sugar. Beat until the mixture is light, about 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, place 6 cups of water in a large pot and heat to boiling.
  • Add about 1/4 of the cream mixture into the egg and sugar mixture. Mix until combined. Then pour the (now-tempered) egg + sugar mixture into the remaining heavy cream mixture. Stir until combined.
  • Remove the chocolate-filled ramekins from the freezer and place them in a metal 9x13 baking pan. Pour the prepared mixture evenly into the ramekins. (You should use up all the mixture between the 6 dishes.)
  • Fill the baking pan with boiling water halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until centers are barely set (very slight jiggle). Cool completely at room temperature and then refrigerate for 3-4 hours before serving. Alternatively, these can be refrigerated 4-5 days before use.
  • When ready to serve, sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup superfine sugar on top of the custards. I find it helpful to use a little more sugar than needed to swirl the dish around and make sure the top is evenly coated with sugar (then just pour the extra sugar onto the next ramekin). Use a kitchen torch to heat the tops until the sugar melts and browns (or even slightly blackens) a bit. Top with fresh berries and enjoy immediately.
  • Alternatively, if you want to use your oven, move the oven rack to the top position and heat the oven to a high broil. Once the oven is heated, add the custards topped with superfine sugar to a tray. Place the tray on that top shelf and watch carefully as they broil. It only takes 1-3 minutes, so watch closely to avoid burned crèmes brûlée.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 633kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 30g | Cholesterol: 299mg | Sodium: 207mg | Potassium: 173mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 1674IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 1mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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Nutrition facts in tuxedo creme brûlée

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11 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve done this prep for this Easter, test tasted it……. the creme is delicious but the chocolate is hard! Could it be 7oz of chocolate is too much or is 35% whipping cream too thick?

    1. Oh shoot! I think it might be slightly too much chocolate; an extra ounce could contribute to the harder layer. I wonder if it will soften a bit sitting out before torching the tops?

  2. Hi Chelsea, your recipe seems delicious, so I was thinking of giving it a go. However, all the measurements are in cups. Is there any way you could tell me what they are in grams / ml? Thanks, Christine

  3. This is a fantastic recipe. Always a huge hit. However, it has several steps, so read the recipe several times before beginning, and plan the timing carefully. Best to make a day ahead or start early in the morning if serving that day. I usually separate the eggs and leave the yolks to come to room temp while making and chilling the ganache. The hardest part of the recipe is getting the water around the ramekins and the pan (I use big turkey roasting pan because it has nice handles) into the oven and out of it without splashing water into the custard. Take the custards out of the fridge about 10 minutes before torching the sugar so the chocolate isn’t too hard when serving.

  4. 5 stars
    I made this (a day ahead) for my family and it was big hit! The hardest part was knowing when it was done. How jiggly is done? But I got it right and was very pleased with the results. This recipe is a keeper.

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