Adventures in Ratio Baking: Let's Try Custard Again - making chocolate custard using ratio baking

Adventures in Ratio Baking: Let’s Try Custard Again

A few weeks ago, I tried making custard using it’s ratio of 2:1 dairy to eggs. Since it just says dairy, and since I just happened to have a can of sweetened condensed milk sitting around doing nothing, I thought, well, why not? Turns out there’s a reason why I’ve never seen a custard recipe use sweetened condensed milk. It’s thick! And super sweet.

Last week I decided it was time to try again. The right way. With actual dairy. And I mean using milk. Just milk and eggs, and, of course, cocoa powder because chocolate. Everything is better with chocolate. Well, that’s a lie. I wouldn’t want chocolate on my rice, but, still, the idea remains. Especially in baking.

I haven’t gotten around to trying a baked custard yet. Right now, my oven isn’t quite at it’s best and, if I’m honest, using water baths kind of scares me. I’m really afraid of spilling the water everywhere when I try to lean over and stick it in. I’m clumsy that way. It’s a wonder I haven’t broken a dish in years. Well, it also probably has something to do with the fact that I have two young children and plastic is just so much easier to use.

Anyways, I made a stirred custard. Stirred custards are made on the stove top either in a double boiler of directly in a pot. I prefer to use a double boiler. In that case, since I don’t actually have one, I just took my small mixing bowl and set it over a pot of boiling water (just about an inch high; you don’t want the bottom of your bowl touching the water! It might scramble your eggs).

I separated three eggs (stirred custards use egg yolks; baked custards use the whole egg) because I wanted to be able to eat a good bit of it, I knew my daughter would want some because chocolate, and two egg yolks just didn’t look like a lot. So I grabbed a third egg. After weighing it, I weighed my milk so it weighed twice as much as the eggs. In went the milk and eggs into my mixing bowl. I also read somewhere that the eggs should be beaten first. Oops. I don’t think it made that big of a difference, though, but I’ll try it that way next time. For there will be a next time. I want to make a chocolate custard pie. Ha! Two ratios at once. That ought to be fun.

A stirred custard must be constantly stirred. I’ll be honest. I was a little nervous about that part. My daughter is 2.5 and not at all patient. She bounces from one thing to the next and has an unhealthy fixation on being right by the stove. I silently prayed it wouldn’t take too long to cook. Thank goodness it only took about 15 minutes. Well, a bit longer because I wanted it to be a bit thicker so I could see if this would be a good consistency for the custard filling for the pie of my dreams.

Once I decided it was thick enough, I took it off the heat and stirred in some cocoa powder and vanilla extract. In order to prevent a skin from forming, plastic wrap needs to be pressed directly onto the custard. My daughter complained a bit while I was doing that because she’s 2 and impatient and wanted the chocolate now. So I gave her a spoon with some custard and hurriedly shoved the bowl into the fridge.

Now to wait until after lunch.

And then, of course, my daughter decided it wasn’t a lunch day, so we didn’t have dessert. We waited until after nap and after we picked up her brother from school. Then I added some whipped cream and a bit of ground cinnamon. She ate about half of it and wanted to keep the bowl. I suppose it was a successful, if somewhat pudding-like custard.

For more of my adventures in ratio baking, head over here or check out some of my recipes.

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