- 375ml double cream
- 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out
- 85g plain chocolate, 70% cocoa, broken into small pieces
- 3 large egg yolk
- 50g caster sugar, plus 6 tbsp
- 3 ready-made chocolate brownies (up to about 200g), cut into chunks
- 50g cherry in kirsch (or about 3 cherries per brûlée), drained, plus more to serve if you like
One of the delights of the summer, cherries are much loved for their succulent texture, flavour…
Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Put the cream into a saucepan with the vanilla seeds, then bring just to the boil. Take off the heat and stir in the chocolate until it has completely melted.
Boil the kettle. Meanwhile, whisk together egg yolks and 50g sugar for 20-30 seconds until thick and pale, then stir in the creamy chocolate. Divide the brownie pieces and cherries between six 200ml ramekins or dishes, drizzle with a little of the kirsch from the jar, then pour over the chocolate mix.
Line a roasting tin with a clean tea towel and stand the ramekins in the tin. Pour hot water halfway up the sides of the ramekins, cover the whole thing with foil, then cook for 40 mins until just set. Chill for at least 3 hrs. These can be baked and chilled up to 2 days in advance.
One hour before serving, make the sugary crust. Put the 6 tbsp sugar into a non-stick pan and melt evenly over a gentle heat. Once the sugar has turned a rich caramel colour, spoon it over the puddings and leave to set hard.
Maria says...'This is a real treat – a soft pudding, a little like chocolate fondant, studded with brownies and cherries. Substitute the cherries for any other fruit such as preserved apricots in brandy for an equally delicious dessert.'