Butterscotch Crème Brûlée with Salted Popcorn


1 cup (250 mL) 35% whipping cream
1 cup (250 mL) 2% milk
½ cup (125 mL) light brown sugar
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
¼ cup (60 mL) milk chocolate chips
1 tbsp (15 mL) pure vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 tbsp (30 mL) sugar, divided
1 cup (250 mL) popped popcorn, lightly salted


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).
  2. To a medium pot, add cream, milk, brown sugar and salt. Set over medium heat. Bring just to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. Immediately remove pot from heat and stir in chocolate chips until melted. Stir in vanilla.
  3. To a medium bowl, slowly add 1 cup (250 mL) of the chocolate mixture to egg yolks, whisking continuously. Whisk remaining mixture into egg yolks. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve.
  4. Place six ½ cup (125 mL) ramekins in a shallow roasting pan. Divide custard mixture among them. Put pan in oven and pour boiling water into pan so the water comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  5. Bake for 35–40 minutes until custard is set but slightly jiggly in centre. Remove pan from oven, allow ramekins to cool in water bath, then place in fridge for 4 hours or overnight.
  6. Set ramekins in freezer for 10–15 minutes and turn oven broiler to high. Remove ramekins from freezer and sprinkle each with 1 tsp (5 mL) sugar. Place on a baking sheet and set under broiler until sugar caramelizes, 5–8 minutes. (Alternatively you can skip the freezer step and use a brûlée torch.) Set in fridge for 15 minutes or until ready to serve. Serve the same day. Serve each brûlée with a few popcorn pieces.
Serves 6