4-8 Servings (depending on size of ramekins)
- 4 cups of water
- 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup malted milk powder
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa (dark, good-quality cocoa is best)
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup raw sugar (brown turbinado sugar)
- Handful of chocolate-covered malt balls for garnish
- Kitchen torch
Preheat oven (not a convection oven) to 300 degrees and adjust rack into the middle of the oven. Boil 3-4 cups of water for later.
Heat the cream in a small saucepan over low heat until hot but not boiling. (This is called a scald.) Once the cream is scalded, turn off the heat and mix in the malted milk powder and cocoa powder. Whisk until combined.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine yolks, sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Starting with a thin stream, very slowly whisk the warm cream into the yolks until completely combined. Pour through a fine mesh strainer to remove any eggs that might have curdled.
Place oven-safe brûlée ramekins into a shallow baking pan and fill each dish with the brûlée mixture, leaving 1/4-inch of room at the top.
Set baking pan onto the oven rack and carefully pour the hot water around the brûlée dishes so that the water fills the baking pan to 1/3 of the way from the bottom. Carefully push the rack into the oven and lightly place a large piece of parchment paper over the top of the pan to prevent a skin from forming on the top of the custard.
Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes but check after 15 minutes to see if the custard is set: It should jiggle like firm gelatin when the side of the pan is tapped and not be watery. If it seems soft and jiggles in the center, but is not watery, it will firm up in the refrigerator.
When done, remove from the oven and allow ramekins to cool slightly before placing them in the refrigerator with parchment over the top. Cool for about 1-2 hours; custard will hold overnight, or 2-3 days, if covered.
Lightly sprinkle cooled brûlée with sugar to form a thin layer. With a kitchen torch 3 to 4 inches away, begin to caramelize the sugar until it is melted and bubbly. Repeat 2 more times for a total of 3 layers. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Garnish with chocolate-covered malt balls.
For a classic vanilla crème brûlée, leave out the malted milk and chocolate and increase the vanilla extract to 1 1/2 teaspoons. To add some color to the vanilla brûlée, top with fresh raspberries.