Bacco’s Spiced Chilled Chocolate Custard (Budino alla Modica)
Yields 6 (6 oz servings)
from Chef Michael Scognamiglio
For the Caramel:
1. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, water, and lemon juice. Stir initially to dissolve sugar then keep on stove until caramel turns dark golden brown in color. Turn off heat then carefully add spices, butter, and water. Quickly ladle caramel syrup into six ramekins evenly to coat the bottom of each dish. (Note: caramel syrup is very hot so use caution when making.)
For the Custard:
1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
2. In a saucepan, heat the milk and sugar over medium-high heat.
3. In separate mixing bowl add 2 whole eggs and 4 additional egg yolks. When the milk comes to a simmer turn off heat and add chocolate, cinnamon, and ground habanero. Stir until the chocolate is fully melted.
4. Temper (add slowly) ⅓ of the milk mixture into the bowl with the eggs using a wire whisk. Then slowly add that mixture back into the rest of the milk mixture to finish making the custard.
5. While still hot, divide the custard into the six ramekins that have the hardened caramel. Place the ramekins into an ovenproof casserole dish and create what is called a water bath by adding warm water until the water level is ⅔ up the side of the ramekins. Cover the casserole dish with saran wrap and foil and bake for 50 minutes. After 50 minutes custards should be set with the slightest jiggle to them. Take out of the oven and cool down while still in the water bath for 30 minutes then take out of the water bath and transfer them to the refrigerator to cool down completely.
6. To serve, run a knife around the inner edge of each ramekin, turn upside down, and unmold gently onto serving plate. Top with fresh whipped cream and serve.