The better the chocolate, the more extravagant these rich custards will be (so rich, in fact, that you might want to share just one for dessert). The baking is done using a bain-marie (water bath), which keeps the custards from curdling.
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 3/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 2 1/2 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons sugar
Center a rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Place a folded paper towel in the bottom of a small baking pan and position two 5- or 6-ounce ramekins on the paper towel. Boil a kettle of water and set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, milk and espresso granules. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture almost comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, whisking until it has completely melted and the mixture is uniform.
In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar. Whisk in a few tablespoons of the chocolate cream, mixing well. Gently whisk the remaining chocolate cream into the egg mixture. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a 2-cup measuring cup, then pour the custard into the ramekins. Pull out the center oven rack and place the baking pan on it, then fill with the boiled water until the bottom halves of the ramekins are submerged. Cover the baking pan with a piece of aluminum foil and bake the custards for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until they are just set. (Start checking after 30 minutes; the custards should jiggle a bit in the center.) Transfer the ramekins to a wire rack; cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until ready to serve.
Adapted from Tony Rosenfeld.
Tested by Michael Taylor.
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