Bittersweet Chocolate Creme Brulee with Caramelized Bananas
Crème brûlée crusts need to be caramelized quickly. Since most home broilers aren't as hot as those in restaurants, Hubert Keller of Fleur de Lys in San Francisco suggests setting ramekins in a baking dish half filled with ice water. This will allow the crème brûlées to stay cool while the tops are becoming crisp.
Sift the brown sugar onto a plate in an even layer and let stand at room temperature for at least 6 hours or overnight to dry. Sift the sugar again to break up any lumps.
Preheat the oven to 300°. In a medium saucepan, bring the cream and milk to a boil over moderate heat. Remove from the heat, stir in the chocolate and let stand until melted, about 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the granulated sugar until blended. Whisk in the chocolate mixture. Strain the custard into a large measuring cup and pour it into six 4-ounce ramekins.In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the granulated sugar until blended. Whisk in the chocolate mixture. Strain the custard into a large measuring cup and pour it into six 4-ounce ramekins.
Set the ramekins in a baking dish and add enough hot water to the dish to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the custards are set. Remove from the water bath and let cool. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Preheat the broiler. Slice the bananas 1/8 inch thick and arrange 5 or 6 overlapping slices in a circle on top of each custard. Sprinkle the dried brown sugar evenly over the bananas and custard and broil as close to the heat as possible for about 20 seconds, or until the sugar melts.