Serves: Makes 8 (4-ounce) servings
- 8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1½ cups whipping cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 2-inch strips orange peel
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 6 large egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
Combine whipping cream, milk, orange peel, espresso powder and a pinch of salt in medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring just to a boil.
Pour cream/milk over chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in large bowl to blend. Whisk hot cream mixture into yolk mixture. Let stand 30 minutes. Strain through fine sieve set over medium bowl.
Preheat oven to 300°F. Ladle custard into ramekins. Line bottom of a baking pan (at least 2" deep and large enough to hold all the ramekins) with a folded kitchen towel and arrange ramekins on the towel. Pour enough hot water into pan to come halfway up sides of ramekins. Bake until custards are set, about 50 minutes. Transfer ramekins to a rack to cool completely, about 1 hour. (Custards will set as they cool.) Chill, covered in refrigerator, until cold, at least 3 hours.