Serves: 2 (generously) / Preparation time: 15 minutes / Total time: 50 minutes Make the crème brulée a day or two in advance; put the sugar topping on before serving. Chocolate praline can be made up to two days in advance and will keep in an airtight container for 1 week.
1/2 cup heavy whipping
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Have ready nearly boiling water. Set 2 (4-6 ounce) ramekins in a small baking dish.
In a small saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat. When hot, stir in the vanilla.
In medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Slowly whisk the warmed cream mixture into the egg mixture, while whisking constantly. Divide the mixture between the two ramekins.
Place the baking dish in the oven and carefully pour the hot water into the baking dish, coming up about half way up the side of the ramekins.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until custard is set. Remove from the oven and cool. Once cool, sprinkle the sugars on the top of the custard. Using a crème brulée torch (available at big box retailers or kitchen supply stores), melt the sugar, turning the ramekins so the melted sugar covers the entire top. Or place under the broiler to melt the sugar.
To make the Chocolate Praline: Toast the almonds if desired. Coat a 12-inch square of foil lightly with vegetable oil (about 1 teaspoon).
In an 8- to 10-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, combine sugar, butter, corn syrup and milk. Stir occasionally until mixture is bubbly and golden, about 5 minutes. Add cocoa and stir until smooth, then stir in toasted almonds. Pour mixture onto oiled foil and spread about 1/4-inch thick. Let cool until solid, about 10 minutes. Break praline into about 10 pieces.