There's sweetness, but also acid balance, and refreshment value as well. Tawny port isn't always warm, sweet and from a large flagon. Try this from contemporary example from Seppeltsfield as a delightful alternative." - Dan Coward






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Daryl Kirk demonstrates his passion for cocoa beans a different way, by cooking his famous chocolate crème brûlée in a barbecue. "Chocolate is always an interesting one. It's coming at the end of the meal, when you're full of food and, often, red wine. For many, continuing with red wine is a safe ploy and when it's bitter, dark chocolate in play then a rich, fruity red or sparkling red is a strong choice. When it's a creamier, sweeter proposition like this, then you do need a bit more sweetness in your accompanying drink. The Portuguese might serve a chilled tawny port in this situation and I think it's a smart play. 


  • 100 g egg yolks (5 eggs)
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 500 ml thickened cream
  • 2 Daintree vanilla beans, halved
  • pinch of salt
  • 100 g dark chocolate, chopped


  • 1 punnet strawberries
  • 1 cup caster sugar

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Drink Seppeltsfield No 7 Tawny NV, Barossa Valley, SA.

Preheat the oven or covered barbecue to 150°C.

Mix (do not whisk) the egg yolks and sugar. Heat the cream to scalding point, stir in the vanilla beans and allow to cool slightly. Gradually pour into the egg mixture, stirring continuously. Add the salt. Slowly add the chocolate to the mixture and stir until all the chocolate has melted.

Pour the mixture into ramekins. Pour in enough boiling water to come three-quarters of the way up the sides. Cook for 30 minutes or until just set.

When cooked, set aside and allow to cool at room temperature before placing in the fridge. These can be made a day in advance.

To make the garnish, mash one-third of the strawberries. Add 2 teaspoons of the sugar.

Melt the remaining sugar over a medium heat until deep golden brown, then carefully spoon onto the brulees. Pour the rest onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and allow to set for the garnish.

Garnish the chocolate crème brûlées with the sugar strawberries and serve with vanilla praline and a dollop of Jersey or whipped cream.