A Mouth-Watering Chocolate Crème Brûlée

Celebrate Countylicious with this crème arlequin from Merrill House’s Michael Sullivan.

Countylicious, the annual celebration of Prince Edward County’s wonderful food and wine industry, is back, and NUVO has a fantastic recipe to enjoy. This crème arlequin from Merrill House’s head chef Michael Sullivan takes the traditional crème brûlée up a notch with the addition of a chocolate custard. It’s so delicious that you’ll want to celebrate Countylicious whether you’re in Picton or Prince George.


Serves 10


For the brûlée:

150 grams of sugar

1 litre of 35% cream

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

12 egg yolks

For the crème au chocolat:

3 egg yolks

50 grams of sugar

185 grams of chocolate

250 millilitres of milk

250 millilitres of 35% cream


For the brûlée:

Combine 75 grams of sugar, cream, and split and scraped vanilla bean in a pot.

Bring to simmer, then shut off. Let steep for 10 minutes.

Place yolks and remaining sugar in a bowl and whisk until pale and thick (about 5 minutes).

Bring cream mixture back to a boil.

Let cool for 1 minute.

Slowly whisk hot cream into yolks constantly so as not to “shock” the yolks and cook them.

Cool to fridge temperature. Can be done a day or two ahead of time.

Place shallow brûlée dishes on a flat sheet pan and fill 2/3 full.

Carefully put into oven preheated to 350°F. Pour hot water into the sheet pan until 2/3 up the sides of the dishes. Do not use convection.

Lay a flat piece of foil over the brûlées and bake for 50-60 minutes. Brûlées are ready when centre is set.

Cool fully to fridge temperature.

For the crème au chocolat:

Combine yolks and 25 grams of sugar in a bowl and whisk until pale and thick (about 5 minutes).

Place chocolate in separate bowl.

Place milk, cream, and remaining sugar in a pot and bring to a boil.

Slowly whisk into yolk mixture while hot.

Return mixture to the pot and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly until roughly 86°C.

Strain over chocolate. Whisk mixture until smooth and all the chocolate is melted.

While still hot, ladle over the brûlées to fill the final 1/3rd of the dishes.

Refrigerate, then serve.