Chocolate Custard – the easy version
You know, like all kids, I didn’t give my Mum much credit for being a good cook. The food appeared; I ate it (being a greedy skinny active child) and ran off to play without thinking about the effort that had gone into the meal. Actually, not much, she liked to keep it simple, especially lunches. This was a dish that we had very often on school holiday lunchtimes – quick to make, easy to eat, non-challenging to the fussy, and made from cheap store-cupboard ingredients. No chemicals, no e-numbers or stabilisers, just cornflour, sugar, milk, eggs and cocoa. Yes, it has sugar, so maybe not the dessert for absolutely every day. Pour it over bananas or poached pears, or grated apple or eat it by itself – we did and called it Chocolate Pudding.
It takes 10 minutes to make from scratch and is nice and filling, so feed the little darlings or terrors (whichever mood they are in today) a lunch of baked beans on toast and chocolate custard with bananas and send them out to play in the cold knowing they won’t need a snack before the evening meal – another healthy habit to cultivate while they’re small. It's also comfort food for grown-ups if you need something warm and easy and you can't face another bowl of cornflakes for dinner.
Of course, there is a sophisticated version of Chocolate Custard, more suited to the adults and taking more time – I’ll do a recipe for that another day.
Serves 4, timing – 10 minutes.
Pour 430ml milk into a pan (use a non-stick if you don’t like washing up) and get it on the heat, reserving the little bit of milk, about 2 tablespoons.
Sieve the cornflour and cocoa into a bowl (there are often little gritty bits in the cocoa if it’s a good brand), stir in the sugar, then stir in the egg yolks and the reserved milk. Mix to give a nice thick liquid paste.
The milk in the pan should be near to boiling by now. Take it off the heat, pour into the bowl of chocolate paste. Stir well and pour the whole lot back into the pan, scraping out any bits at the bottom of the bowl.
Put the pan back on the heat and stir the sauce with a wooden spoon as it thickens – it only takes a couple of minutes.
Eat straightaway, poured over whatever fresh or tinned fruit you like or just as it is. Lucky kids!
(You can use the egg whites to make meringues or maybe toppings for Little Lemon Meringue Tartlets - see my post from 28th November.)
A Hug from the Kitchen
Healthy, hearty, happy food, for good times and bad. Cheer yourself up, or spread the cheer around your family and friends.