Bad weather often calls for something smooth and easy to get down sore throats, or something nourishing and simple that fits the just-looking-for-something-little-and-sweet niche. This does it. These are little pots of cream custard, which you can go to after school or serve with proud pomp and ceremony after a special-occasion dinner. Children who are not crazy about chocolate, and they do exist, can omit it in this recipe. Add a few drops of vanilla essence or a shot of espresso instead.
1 cup cream
1½ cups milk
150g good-quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1 vanilla pod or essence
1 tbsp castor sugar
4 egg yolks
Preheat oven to 150C. In a small saucepan, slowly bring the cream and milk, with the chocolate, vanilla and sugar, to scalding point, stirring gently until chocolate is melted, then remove from heat. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks and egg lightly in a bowl to combine and pour on the scalded cream mixture. Mix together well, then pour into a jug. Pour carefully into six individual pots. Stand these in a roasting pan filled with hot water to come three-quarters up the sides of pots. Cover with a lid or foil and place in oven.
Cook until set, between 20 minutes to 40 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pots. Let cool in turned-off oven for an extra 30 minutes, then lift out of the pan, removing lids quickly so no water falls into the creams. Leave to cool completely, then place in refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve with a crisp dessert biscuit like a brandy snap or sweet wafer.