Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Bring milk, cream, sugar and salt to a simmer.
Remove from heat and add chocolate. Whisk well to melt chocolate.
Whisk the yolks with the orange juice and vanilla extract.
Slowly add one ladle full at a time of the hot chocolate mixture to the eggs to temper them (raise their temperature so that they do not scramble).
Pour the mixture through a strainer over a spouted pitcher.
Place the ramekins in a roasting pan and fill them with the chocolate mixture.
Pour steaming hot water in the roasting pan so that it goes halfway up the ramekins.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until the custards are almost set in the center. They will continue to thicken as they cool.
Carefully remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and allow to cool to room temperature.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. They taste delicious cold.
Before serving, make the orange whipped cream by whisking the cream, vanilla extract and powdered sugar until thick and fluffy. Fold in the orange zest.
Note: the cream whips up much faster if the cream, bowl and whisk are very cold, so you can stick everything in the freezer for about 15 minutes before whipping.
Dollop some whipped cream over the custards and either shave some chocolate on top or sprinkle some cinnamon over the whipped cream.
- Makes 6 (4 ounce) Ramekins:
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 6 ounces good quality semi sweet chocolate (you may substitute dark or use half dark half semi sweet)
- 5 egg yolks at room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- a pinch of salt
- For the Orange Whipped Cream:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled very cold
- 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract