4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a medium saute pan, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt. The mixture will be fairly thick. Slowly whisk in the milk. Place pan over medium low heat and slowly heat. Stir near constantly so that the milk does not burn and the eggs do not cook. When mixture just comes to a boil it will quickly begin to thicken. Remove from heat and continue whisking until thick and smooth. The mixture will be the consistency of cold pudding. Add chocolate chunks, butter, and vanilla extract to the warm chocolate mixture and stir until all is melted and well incorporated. Transfer hot pastry cream to a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap so the plastic wrap touches the surface of the cream. Chill for about 2 hours.
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