Pumpkin-Chocolate Creme Brulee
Preheat oven to 325°.
Mix puréed pumpkin, white sugar, Vanilla, and cinnamon, in mixing bowl. Stir well. Taste. Add a bit more sugar if you like it sweeter. Add egg yolks and mix again.
Stir cocoa into ¼ cup of heavy cream until smooth.
Pour remaining heavy cream into saucepan and add cocoa mixture to it. Place saucepan over medium flame. Stir briskly with a whisk until cocoa mixture is thoroughly blended into cream. Heat until cream almost boils. Remove from heat and whisk slowly into pumpkin mixture.
Divide ramekins between roasting pans. Pour pumpkin mixture into liquid measuring cup and pour four ounces into each ramekin.
Pour enough boiling water into each roasting pan so that it comes at least half way up the sides of the ramekins. Place roasting pans on the bottom racks of your oven. Bake 5x1 ramekins for 40 minutes. The 3x1 ½ ramekins will take 50 minutes. When you insert a cake tester, it should come out clean with the filling set. I use a wide spatula to remove ramekins from the hot water and place them on a cooling rack. Then I carefully remove the pan of water and discard the water. Place ramekins in the fridge for at least three hours after they have cooled.
Turn oven on to broil. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon brown sugar over the top of each ramekin. Place them on a small cookie sheet and then place that on the top level of the broiler. Watch carefully. They only take a few minutes to melt and crisp. Remove from broiler and return to refrigerator to chill until you are ready to serve them. This dessert is best eaten the day it is made. It will taste good the next day but the topping will not be crisp.
To roast pumpkin: Cut off top of pumpkin and then cut it in half. Remove seeds and pulp. Cut each half in half again. Roast in 400 F. oven for 30-45 minutes or until pumpkin is soft. Remove any scorched pieces. Scrape soft pumpkin from shell and puree it in an electric food processor. Measure as much as you need for various recipes and freeze in labeled plastic bags.I recommend using fresh pureed pumpkin for several reasons: 1. It is fresh-no preservatives. 2. The color of fresh pumpkin is a beautiful orange. Although the finished product is not orange, I prefer starting out with a fresh orange product instead of a canned brown one. 3. The taste and texture of pureed fresh pumpkin is far superior to that of the canned version. All this being said, the recipe will work with canned pumpkin.