Orange Chocolate Custard with Grand Marnier

I was not a big fan of chocolate growing up. Chocolate cake at birthday parties were my worst nightmare (cue the gasp!). Clearly late bloomers, my tastebuds finally caught up and I started exploring the different flavors I could combine chocolate with. I may not love oranges on their own but the orange-chocolate combo is sensational. Paired with a little orange liqueur which brings out the flavor, this dessert is made of smooth custard and is topped with a layer of hard chocolate for a delightful crunch.

Orange Chocolate Custard with Grand Marnier
Makes 4 servings

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 40min

7 oz (200g) of baking chocolate
3 egg yolks
1 egg
⅓ cup minus one table spoon (60g) of sugar
16.9 oz (500ml) of milk
2 oranges
8 tbsp. of Grand Marnier or Cointreau
1 tbsp. of grapeseed or vegetable oil
½ cup (10 cl) of water
4 ramekins
butter for dish

To make the zest:
Wash and dry the oranges. Remove the zest and cut in small thin strips. Blanch them by boiling a small pot of water and dropping them in for 2 min then draining them and placing them under cold water.
Add the blanched zest back in the now empty small pot and add the 10cl of water and 3 tbsp. of Grand Marnier to create a syrup. Boil slowly for 20 min to candy the zest. Remove from syrup with a fork and place them on a plate.

To make the custard:

Preheat the oven to 356°F (180°C). Butter the ramekins.

In a medium bowl, whip the egg yolks, the egg and the sugar. Set aside. Add half of the chocolate (broken up) in a pot, add the milk and heat up. Mix constantly until the chocolate has melted. Slowly pour the chocolate mixture onto the egg mixture and whip well. Add half of the orange zest in the mixture and 3 more tbsp. of Grand Marnier. Mix well and pour into each of the ramekins.
Place them in a bain-marie (I used a rectangular baking dish). Cook in the oven for 40 min. Remove from water and let them cool completely before placing them in the fridge.

To make the chocolate topping:
Break the rest of the chocolate in a small pot and place in a bain-marie on low heat. Add the oil and let the chocolate melt. Slowly mix once the chocolate is soft.
Remove the ramekins from the fridge and pour the chocolate mixture on top of the cooled custard. Top with the rest of the candied oranges. Refrigerate again and remove about 30 min before serving.

Storage:
Keeps a day or two in the fridge.

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