EF Family Cookbook: Chocolate Custard Recipe
For this month’s installment of our series about treasured family recipes, compiled in our Everlasting Footprint Family Cookbook, Cindy Readnower shares a tried-and-true recipe for homemade chocolate custard, in celebration of National Chocolate Custard Month in May.
May is National Chocolate Custard Month
Who couldn’t get on board to celebrate chocolate? Chocolate is one of the most beloved treats in the world, and its status has gone from “don’t eat too much” to a recommendation to “eat one ounce of dark chocolate daily.”
Chocolate comes in many forms, but thick chocolate custard is one of those desserts that brings up memories of childhood – a throwback to a time when grandmothers made it from scratch. Even though moms made it from a box, and now kids can buy it in pre-made cups, the really good stuff is always cooked like Grandma did.
When you love a recipe, it’s not always because of taste, but you may also care about texture. The creamy smoothness of custard can be the ultimate comfort food. Picky eaters often avoid crunchy foods, and many love the silkiness of custard. Scientists also report that an ingredient in chocolate makes us feel good. The anandamide in chocolate causes the brain to release endorphins, and many people crave it in times of stress. Chocolate also provides antioxidants.
Brief History of Chocolate
Cultivated for several thousand years, the refining process for chocolate has been solidified into an art. Although originally grown in Central America and used by Aztec, Mayan, and Olmec civilizations, chocolate was brought to Europe by the explorers in the 1500s. Using combinations of cocoa liquor and cocoa butter distilled from the fermented cacao beans, Europeans produced various forms of chocolate including milk chocolate, white chocolate (made only with cocoa butter), and dark chocolate. Today, much of the world’s chocolate grows in western Africa.
Chocolate accounts for a $75 – $110 billion dollar per year industry. The most consumption is in Europe and North America, and some are becoming concerned for the well-being of cacao bean growers. Many remain poor while the manufacturers of the final product make the most profit. Certified fair trade chocolate and cocoa means that the farmer makes a fair price, the land and trees use sustainable practices, and child labor is forbidden and monitored. Farmers usually join into a cooperative, so that everyone benefits.
(Photo by Dominique, Perchance to Cook)
Chocolate Custard Recipe
Using the rich recipe below, with half and half and dark cocoa, I made holiday dessert for my family, and garnered rave reviews from everyone. Even people who don’t usually eat dark chocolate said this custard’s texture is thick and rich. The taste is decadent.
Chocolate Custard (For a Pie Shell or for Eating by Itself)
2 cups whole milk (for a richer custard, use half and half)
In a medium saucepan, mix all dry ingredients and gradually stir in liquid ingredients, except butter and vanilla.
Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. When mixture comes to a full boil, continue to cook and stir for one minute.
Remove from heat, stir in butter and vanilla. Cool and refrigerate. Use this chocolate custard recipe to fill a baked pie shell, or pour it into individual cups for chocolate custard. Top with whipped cream, if desired.
At Everlasting Footprint, we love to hear the stories of your loved ones. Create Footprint, share recipes, and remember the lives you celebrate together.