Crème Brûlée with Warm Cherries and Chocolate Sauce
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Combine milk and cream in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Meanwhile cut vanilla bean lengthwise in half and scrape seeds out using a small knife. Place vanilla bean and its content into cream mixture and remove from heat when it reached a boil. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. If using vanilla extract add after mixture has cooled.
- Combine sugars and egg yolks in a bowl and whisk rapidly until smooth and well combined. While whisking gradually add boiled mixture.
- Set ramekins into a roasting pan. Pour crème brûlée mixture into ramekins. Pour water into roasting pan until it comes halfway up sides of ramekins.
- Place in oven and bake until center of ramekins no longer tremble. About 50 to 70 minutes, time will depend on depth of ramekins used.
- When cool enough to handle remove ramekins from roasting pan and place in refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
- Remove from refrigerator and cover surface of crème brûlée with a thin even coating of granulated sugar.
- Torch surface using a blow torch to melt and consequently caramelize sugar.
- Remove pits from cherries using a cherry/olive pitter, reserve some cherries with stem intact to be used for decoration.
- Melt butter in a pan and add sugar. Add cherries and stir until thoroughly heated. Add liquor if using and swirl around.
- Using a spoon arrange cherries on crème brûlée. Decorate with fresh cherries and if desired sprinkle with confectioners powdered sugar. Serve with warm chocolate sauce.