Sometimes you just need a rich, decadent dessert and this no bake chocolate custard is an easy solution. The little bites of candied ginger are the perfect touch to make every mouthful sparkle. Plus it's made ahead for easy serving too.
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I first made this dessert because of what will sound like the strangest of dilemmas to some of you.
I had too much chocolate.
Believe me, I understand that sounds like an impossible situation for many, but I'm really not the hugest sweet tooth. You see, I had some lovely chocolate thanks to a sponsor of an event I'd taken part in, but hadn't quite got round to using it all up.
The chocolate was in discs/chips so more meant for cooking with rather than just snacking, but being good quality, I wanted to show it off a little.
I had in mind a lovely custard-like dessert that my mum used to make and in digging around, came across Food and Wine's no bake chocolate custard. I wanted to give it a little ginger kick, so tweaked the recipe ever so slightly.
The result was a wonderfully smooth, rich and chocolatey dessert that's balanced out with little bites of sweet-sharp crystalized ginger. We all loved it.
In fact, my eldest son was such a fan of the crystalized ginger he kept asking for some more pieces to add to his. I was right there with him, so easily gave in.
I'll admit, they didn't really come through in the main custard, so if you want to try more it is worth a try. But I imagine they'll always be more distinct on top so definitely add a few there (plus it looks pretty).
How does this set when it's not baked?
Unlike some of the French-style custards like crème brûlée and pot de crème that are baked in a water bath in the oven, you cook this on the stove. Instead, you use the warm milk to gently temper the egg yolk. Then, return it to the heat to thicken. This then helps the custard firm up as you chill it.
You melt the chocolate in the milk mixture which looks like it's going horribly wrong when you first start, as you can see below. But stick with it. The ugly mixture soon becomes smooth and well-combined.
The final step is you add a little butter at the end. In a similar way to savory dishes, like saffron risotto, this step adds a lovely extra richness and gloss to the dish.
Then, it's a case of waiting patiently as the whole thing firms up in the fridge. I'd recommend making these before you have something else to do so the anticipation doesn't get too much! Because the chilling does help add that something to the end result, not just that it sets.
This no bake chocolate custard is a dessert to eat in small quantities as it's most definitely rich. But it's wonderfully smooth and especially with the ginger or top, the flavors are incredibly good. So spoil yourself, or someone else, and make this soon.
Try these other no bake desserts:
- Crema Catalana (similar to crème brûlée but no bake)
- Mango cheesecake parfait
- Apple panna cotta
- Summer pudding (a fruit filled British dessert)
- Plus get more dessert recipes in the archives.
No bake chocolate custard with ginger
- ⅓ cup whole milk 80ml
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ cup bittersweet chocolate approx 90g/3oz
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon crystalized ginger approx, divided, cut into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon butter 15g
- Warm the milk and sugar over a medium-low heat until it is just boiling. Lightly beat the egg yolk in a bowl and gradually add the milk, whisking it in as you add to ensure it combines well and doesn't cook the egg.
- Return the mixture to the pan then add the chocolate and melt in the heat of the milk mixture, stirring constantly. Add the cinnamon and ½ tablespoon ginger and mix through.
- Warm the mixture for a couple minutes back on a low stovetop heat, without boiling, to thicken the mixture slightly. Then stir in butter and divide it between two small glasses. Refrigerate before serving, topped with additional small pieces of crystalized ginger.
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