A Culinary SOS reader wanted to recreate the chocolate creme brulee he ate at Pinot in Studio City. We asked chef-owner Joachim Splichal for the recipe and got one of the best desserts we've ever eaten.
1 quart whipping cream
2 cups milk
1 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean
10 egg yolks
9 ounces fine-quality dark sweet chocolate (such as Valhrona Majari), melted
Combine cream, milk, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla bean in saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat. Mix yolks (save egg white for another use) with remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Add 1/2 cup milk mixture to egg mixture to temper. Then pour egg mixture into remaining milk mixture and stir. Add melted chocolate and stir to mix. Strain. Pour into 8 (1-cup) ramekins. Place ramekins in another pan filled halfway with water and bake at 275 degrees 45 minutes.
Refrigerate until set. Sprinkle with raw sugar. Place ramekins under broiler until sugar melts. Makes 8 servings.