Valentine’s Day approaches, and I’m always reminded of the time, 8 years ago, when my husband and I hopped on a plane, and eloped. And how, every day since that day, I’ve fallen more and more in love with him. I can’t help it.
I try to make the day special – as I’ve a soft spot for all holidays. Now that our little boy is older, we make it inclusive – a celebration of love and kindness, with special things to eat. I plan to order oysters from our favorite supplier, which is always a favorite around here, and I plan to make this Simple Chocolate Custard.
Despite all the sweet things and treats I post to Nourished Kitchen, we rarely indulge in sweets except for special occasions. Instead, we rely on the bounty of sweets nature provides: strawberries in spring, plums in summer, pears in autumn, and oranges in winter. Nevertheless, occasionally, we want for something richer – something decadent.
Making Chocolate Custards
My little boy wanted chocolate pudding, and I spent a fair amount of time scouring the web for a chocolate pudding made without cornstarch, as I’m not much of a fan of that chalky powder. Sure, arrowroot might work and usually does make a fine substitute for cornstarch, but when put into pudding – at least my puddings – it ends up thick, viscous and slimy.
Instead, I settled on custard. Following my model for Honey Custard, I settled on this version for a Simple Chocolate Custard that relies on only a handful of ingredients: cream and eggs, unrefined cane sugar, dark chocolate and vanilla bean powder. You throw it together in a double boiler over simmering water, stir it well, and then you have a deliciously rich chocolate custard.
- Set your double boiler (find one here) atop a saucepan half-ful of simmering water. Pour in the cream and warm it for 3 or 4 minutes, then whisk in the vanilla bean powder, sugar and salt. Continue whisking until the sugar is dissolved.
- Spoon a bit of hot cream into the egg yolks to temper them, then pour the eggs into the double boiler, stirring continuously for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the chopped chocolate and continue stirring until it melts, combining with the cream and eggs and thickening enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Spoon the custard into individual ramekins, cover with plastic wrap to prevent it from forming a skin, and refrigerate it or serve it right away with whipped cream.