Chocolate Sponge Custards

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  • Ingredients
    3 EGG WHITES, room temperature
    1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
    3 EGG YOLKS
    1-1/4 cups milk
    1/3 cup chocolate-flavored syrup
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    3/4 tsp. vanilla

    Yields: 6 servings

  • Nutritional Information

    Per Serving

    Calories: 130

    Total Fat: 4 g
    Saturated fat: 1 g
    Polyunsaturated fat: 0 g
    Monounsaturated fat: 1 g

    Cholesterol: 96 mg
    Sodium: 68 mg
    Carbohydrates: 18 g
    Dietary Fiber: 1 g
    Protein: 6 g
    Vitamin A: 219.2 IU
    Vitamin D: 43.4 IU
    Folate: 25.5 mcg
    Calcium: 76.4 mg
    Iron: 0.9 mg
    Choline: 67.3 mg

Directions

  1. HEAT oven to 350°F. PLACE six 6-oz. greased custard cups in 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan.

  2. BEAT egg whites with cream of tartar in mixer bowl with whisk attachment on high speed just until whites are stiff but not dry and no longer slip when bowl is tilted; transfer to large bowl.

  3. BEAT egg yolks, milk, syrup, flour and vanilla in clean mixer bowl on high speed until smooth. Gently but thoroughly FOLD into beaten whites until color is uniform. POUR into custard cups, dividing evenly.

  4. PLACE pan on a rack in the center of a 350°F oven; pour very hot water into pan (hot-water bath) to within 1/2 inch of top of cups. BAKE until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. REMOVE cups from water bath at once; COOL on wire rack at least 10 minutes.

Insider Info

This rich chocolate sponge custard can be served warm or cold. Garnish with berries or top with marshmallow fluff or whipped cream.

Sponge custards: unlike basic baked custard, for sponge custards, egg whites are beaten separately and folded into the batter. During baking the batter separates, to form a creamy custard on the bottom with a sponge-cake-like top.

Don’t skip the hot-water bath. A hot water bath, or bain-marie, insulates the custard from the direct heat of the oven and promotes even cooking so the edges don’t overcook before the center is done. Very hot tap water will do.

Keep the yolks separate from the whites. Fat from egg yolk will prevent egg whites from beating up properly. When separating eggs, take care that no yolk gets in the whites. To avoid an accident, separate each egg white into a cup or small bowl before transferring it to the mixer bowl. Discard any white that has even a speck of yolk in it.

Equipment: Beaters and bowl should be spotlessly clean. Any residue of fat will prevent egg whites from beating up properly. Use a stainless steel or glass bowl. Plastic bowls can retain a film of grease.

Egg temperature: It’s easiest to separate eggs cleanly when they are refrigerator cold. However egg whites whip up to greater volume when they’ve had a chance to warm up a bit, 20 to 30 minutes. Always begin by separating the eggs. Let the whites stand at room temperature while you prepare the other ingredients.

Beat egg whites just until they are stiff but not dry and no longer slip when the bowl is tilted. When underbeaten, whites will not achieve full volume. Overbeaten whites form clumps of dry puffs which don’t hold air well, are difficult to incorporate when folding and do not expand properly when baked.

Gentle folding is the key to maintaining volume. Combining heavier mixtures with beaten egg whites can knock the air out of them. To prevent this, begin by pouring the egg yolk mixture over the beaten whites, not vice versa. Then gradually and gently combine the mixtures by folding, rather than stirring. Using a rubber spatula, start with a downward stroke into the bowl, continue across the bottom, up the side and over the top of the mixture. Come up through the center every few strokes and rotate the bowl often as you fold. Fold just until the color of the mixture is uniform, with no streaks of white remaining.