Dad’s friend had given them a huge bottle of fresh cream – mum gave it to me, and I decided to try again to make custard.
I’ve never made good custard – it usually refuses to set… or separates. But, I figured… free cream… why not?
Custard-based desserts are often the only option on a restaurant menu that are suitable for those of us with ‘gluten issues’. I don’t usually make it to the dessert course, but I am partial to panna cotta – that lovely Italian ‘cooked cream’… and I love the English version – the posset (don’t you love that word? – sounds all medieval to me)
Anyway…200g good quality dark chocolate – chopped 2 cups (500ml) cream 4 free-range egg yolks 1/3 cup caster sugar – plus extra to sprinkle 1 – 2 tbsp Cognac, Armagnac or Cointreau – optional (oh please!) Pre-heat the oven to 120c Put chocolate and cream in a large heat-proof bowl over simmering water Stir occasionally until melted and combined, then remove from heat Put egg yolks and sugar in a large clean bowl and beat until thick and pale Slowly whisk in the warm chocolate mixture, a pinch of salt and the alcohol if using. Strain the mixture into a jug, then divide among 6 200ml ramekins Put the ramekins into a deep roasting pan, then pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins Cook 25 – 30 minutes until the custards are just set with a slight wobble. Carefully remove the ramekins from the water bath and allow to cool Chill the ramekins in the fridge for at least 2 hours When ready to serve, sprinkle with a thin layer of extra sugar and caramelise with a blowtorch or place under a hot grill for 2 – 3 minutes. Serve immediately
Well! They set beautifully – I was a little worried they were too set, but they were crunchy on top and silky smooth underneath, so I think I might have broken the custard hood00.
They were however, sweet enough to make my eyebrows hurt – I would make them in smaller dishes next time – and cook them for a shorter time…