A rich, intense, decidedly grown up chocolate custard, the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Fill a kettle with water and boil the water, turning heat off when water has boiled.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk to a simmer. Add the chocolate and xylitol. Reduce heat to low. Whisk until the chocolate and xylitol melt completely and mixture is completely smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool a couple of minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and vanilla. Pour a tablespoon of the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, whisking vigorously. Keep pouring the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, very slowly, constantly whisking. This technique is called tempering and it helps make sure the eggs won’t turn into scrambled eggs.
- Place six small (4 oz) ovenproof ramekins in a shallow baking dish. Pour the custard mixture through a strainer into a measuring glass (just in case you have a few bits of cooked eggs in there). Pour the mixture into the ramekins. Pour the still-hot water that you have previously boiled into the pan so it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. This hot water bath insulates the custard from the direct heat of the oven and promotes even cooking, so the edges won’t overcook before the center is done.
- Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the pan, place on a cooling rack, and allow to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.