Cooking time: 3 hrs & 30 mins.
Serves: Serves 6
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips, plus additional to garnish
3 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
8 mint leaves, to garnish
Divide chocolate chips between six 4-ounce ramekins or oven-proof dessert plates or cups. Heat cream and vanilla bean, stirring or whisking several times. Do not boil.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until frothy. While whisking, pour heated cream into sugar mixture. Remove vanilla bean. Strain mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in vanilla extract.
Divide egg mixture into ramekins. Set ramekins in a baking dish and fill dish with hot water that reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes until custard is set. Let ramekins cool, then cover and chill for 3 hours.
Just before serving, sift sugar over ramekins. Broil just until sugar caramelizes. Garnish with mint leaves and chocolate chips.