Tahitian Vanilla Bean and Key Lime Creme Brulee

  • Active Time 20m
  • Total Time 4h 10m
  • Rating ****

Makes 6

White chocolate enhances the creaminess of the custard and balances the sweet and tart flavors. Due to the high amount of chocolate, if over-baked, the custard will have a denser consistency but remain smooth and luscious. Cooking.com Tip: There's no need to wait for the broiler to heat up. A hand-held culinary torch caramelizes the sugar quickly so the crust is crisp and golden brown and the custard stays cool. The torch can be used on creme brulee, tarts and meringues.


  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup plus 6 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 7 ounces imported white chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • 4 teaspoons minced grated lime peel
  • Garnish: lime peel or fresh mint sprigs


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place cream and 1/4 cup sugar in medium saucepan over medium heat. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to simmer stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Stir in lime juice. Remove bean.

Beat egg yolks and lime peel in medium bowl until smooth. Gradually whisk in hot cream mixture. Divide among six 6-ounce ramekins or souffle cups. Place cups in large baking pan. Pour in enough hot water to come half way up sides of cups.

Bake until just edges are set and 90% of custard jiggles but is not too fluid, about 35 minutes. Remove from water bath and let cool at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon sugar evenly over each custard. Use torch to melt and caramelize sugar, or broil about 2 minutes, watching carefully and rotating cups. Let stand until sugar hardens or chill 15 minutes to 2 hours. Garnish if desired.

NOTE: If using heart-shaped molds reduce cooking time to 15 minutes and sprinkle each with 2-3 teaspoons of sugar and caramelize.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Publisher. All rights reserved.

RecID 6274

nutrition information per serving

715 calories; 61g total fat; 418mg cholesterol; 83mg sodium; 37g carbohydrates; 0g fiber; 8g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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