3 cups whipping cream
8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons orange liqueur
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons grated orange peel
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
8 large egg yolks
7 tablespoons sugar
Bring 1 cup cream to simmer in medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; whisk until smooth. Whisk in 2 tablespoons orange liqueur. Spoon 1 tablespoon chocolate mixture into each of eight 3/4-cup custard cups. Place cups in freezer. Reserve remaining chocolate mixture.
Combine milk, grated orange peel and 2 cups cream in medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla beans; add beans. Bring to simmer. Whisk 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, pressing on solids. Whisk 2 tablespoons orange liqueur into custard.
Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Ladle custard over chocolate in cups. Place cups in large baking pan. Pour enough hot water into pan to come halfway up sides of cups. Bake until custards are set, about 50 minutes. Remove cups from water. Stir chocolate mixture over low heat until just pourable if necessary. Spoon generous 1 tablespoon chocolate mixture over each. Chill overnight. Serve cold.
Makes 8 servings.
Source: Bon Appétit Magazine 1997
Date: August 6, 2003