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Custard Cups

ingredients

serves: 4
8 medium size egg yolks
1 1/8 cups (250 g) 9 oz caster sugar (superfine granulated)
4 tsp vanilla essence
4 cups (1 litre) 1 3/4 pint milk
12 - 18 sponge fingers or savoiardi
6 tbsp Cognac, dark rum or alchermes liqueur
100 g mixed candied peel (candied fruit) or fruit, chopped
4 tbsp chopped almonds, toasted
250 ml whipping cream
2 tbsp icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
25 g Deluxe plain cooking chocolate, grated

accompaniments (you may need these)

method

1. Beat the egg yolks very thoroughly in a large heatproof bowl until pale yellow and foamy.

2. Gradually beat in the caster sugar and add half the vanilla essence.

3. Heat the milk until just below boiling point, then pour it slowly and gradually on to the egg mixture, beating continuously.

4. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook very slowly until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.

5. Set aside to cool.

6. Meanwhile, place two or three biscuits in the bottom of each serving glass and pour the alcohol over the biscuits to soak them completely.

7. Cover with chopped candied peel or fruit and almonds, then cover with the custard, divided equally between each glass.

8. Chill for about 2 hours.

9. Whip the cream with the remaining vanilla essence and the icing sugar.

10. Cover the custard in each glass with a thick layer of cream and chill again for about 1 hour.

11. Sprinkle with the grated chocolate just before serving.

12. Allow 3 hours chilling time.

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