Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chocolate Custard aka Custard's Last Stand...

I know I know - bad pun, right off the bat.  But it's custard and chocolate all at the same time:  the be all to end all of custards.  I'm a fan of custards, the smoothness and egginess and sweetness of them the right amount of everything for my palate.  Maybe I'll learn how to make a bunch of different custards one day - but not soon.  I'm content knowing how to make real banana pudding, a decent flan, and this:  chocolate custard. 

I've made this to use as a filling in a chocolate cake for an aspiring chocoholic.  Her mom's ordered the chocolate overload for the youngster's high school graduation party.  In a small community like this, you grow up knowing everybody or going to school with their younger or older siblings or, heaven forbid,  being related.  The graduate's mom, Brenda, was a year ahead of me in school.  We were in the band together for years and years.  Her dad was in Mama's kindergarten.  I know this family so when the call for a graduation cake came in, I wanted to kick it up a notch for them.  I'm using this chocolate custard as the means to an end.

Before I get on with the tutorial I need to explain 'bout the cakes made here.  They are NOT dried-out-mealy-textured sheet cakes.  Nope.  The closest to a sheet cake I make is a double layer.  Cakes have to have something in them to break up that butter/sugar/egg/flour texture likened to a bad pan of cornbread.  Mine are filled with something like Bavarian cream or lemon curd or fresh strawberry filling or seedless raspberry preserves.  It's the thing that makes them exceptional.  The fillings and home made icings make them of such good flavor and texture as to be memorable.  And I like memorable.

So annnnyways, Miss Abbie's cake is to be special.  A chocolate cake with chocolate custard filling and chocolate butter cream icing.  Here's what you need:

See that post it note to the right?  No recipe until just then! The margarine is missing!  Ohhh no!  Maybe it'll show up at the microwave.

Into the food processor, you know how I love the Cuisinart, put 2 cups sugar, 1/4 cup flour, and 1/2 cup cocoa powder.  Making it for myself, I like to use Hershey's special dark cocoa powder.  And don't give me any problems about that being too much sugar.  No such thing!  Give it a whirl and then add the eggs.

These are free range fertilized eggs from a local farm, Perlena's Peculiar Hens.  Okay.  You caught me...they're from Mama's incredibly tame chickens that speak Hen-ese to you.  Seriously!  Those chickens hear a soul coming through the shop, expecting feed or greenery and they'll sweet talk you right into a handful of corn.   She has the one Araucana chicken that lays the green egg.  Only the outside is green, see?

OOOoooo... seeing more of this home's good stuff today.  That little white bowl is very vintage;  unmarked Homer Laughlin I think.  I forget.  Home grown eggs are VERY yellow and should always be cracked into a separate bowl before being used.  Always.  The first time you drop a rotten egg into a hot skillet to make a fried egg sandwich you'll remember those words of wisdom and vow to never repeat the mistake.  The eggs go into the food processor.

Processing that results in a thick, gummy something-or-another so add the can of evaporated milk and blend again.   If you don't care for the taste of evaporated milk, use 12 ounces of sweet milk, by all means.  I know some souls don't cotton to it.  Money was tight in a family with five growing youngsters.  Sometimes if the sweet milk was gone before a trip into town could be arranged Mama would open a can of evaporated milk, add another can of water to it, and use it like regular milk.  I always kind of liked it on the frosted flakes on a Saturday morning, the only day of the week we had cereal.

Pour everything into the big 8 cup measuring cup.  Put another 2 cups of milk in the food processor and buzz it to get allllll the chocolate out.  Pour that in the measuring cup as well and nuke that chocolate deliciousness for 10 minutes on high.

Look!  There's the margarine and vanilla.  Lots of cooks say you can't tell the difference between real vanilla and imitation.  I dunno.  I'm not going to use anything but Mexican vanilla where flavor is uber important.  As Forrest Gump says, "And that's all I've got to say about that."  Yikes!  You can almost see me in the reflection on the microwave.

Go clean your kitchen while you wait.

oh SNAP!  Now you know my very inexpensive secret to degreasing all the greasy mixing bowls from the icings.  Octagon soap.  It's in the soap dish up there on the left.  Wet the dishcloth and get it very very soapy with that and you won't have any problem getting the dishes clean the first time.  I don't.

After ten minutes, take the custard out of the microwave, whisk in the 4 tablespoons of butter or margarine and a big teaspoon of vanilla.  Return to microwave for another four or five minutes.  Whisk it all again until it's a smooth texture like this:

The whisk is standing up by itself.  See that clementine?  A good cup of custard will come out to be used Monday in a different cake.  I'll grate a bit of clementine rind into it as a teaser, changing the entire dynamic of flavor!

Press the obligatory wrap against the surface to keep nastiness from scumming the deliciousness and let cool.

You absolutely can put the un-nuked custard in an unbaked pie shell and bake as a pie.  Add an another egg if you do.

The ingredients for Chocolate Custard are:

2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup plain flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 eggs
1 large can evaporated milk
2 cups milk
4 tablespoons margarine or butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Y'all saw it put together up there -- now go and do and make me proud!


  1. when you listed the ingredients, it reminded me of another of your Southern-isms being defined...Sweet milk as opposed to butter milk.
    Love it!

  2. All I need is some evaporated milk! By the way, that's the only way I'll eat cornflakes or frosted flakes. That's how my grandma made them for me and it just doesn't taste right any other way!

  3. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm :)

  4. Thanks for the recipe, can't wait to give it a try! I love evaporated milk in coffee..hubby can't stand it!