When it comes to lusciously decadent desserts, chocolate custard takes the cake. Its velvety smooth texture and deep chocolate flavor are unparalleled, not to mention that it requires minimal ingredients and effort to make. Stick with small servings though, as this is very rich. I like to serve mine with various toppings, such as nuts, fruit preserves, shredded coconut, fresh mint, or chocolate chips.
Chocolate Custard (Inspired by Food & Wine)
(Yield: About 6 servings)
1 c half and half
1/3 c sugar
3 large egg yolks
3 1/2 oz good quality semisweet or dark chocolate (I use 60% cacao), chopped
2 TB unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)
Pinch instant coffee granules (optional)
6-8 small (6 oz) serving bowls
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and set aside. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook the half and half and sugar (stirring occasionally) until the sugar is dissolved and the half and half is steaming and starting to foam at the edges (about 5 minutes). Remove this mixture from the heat and slowly whisk it into the egg yolk, only adding a little at a time. Pour back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat (whisking constantly) until it comes to a rolling boil (about 3-5 minutes).
Turn off heat and whisk in the chopped chocolate, then whisk in the cocoa powder, vanilla, coffee granules, and salt. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, then transfer to individual serving bowls.