Tuesday 8 June 2010

Chocolate custard crumble

I was taken with a recipe for Baked Chocolate Custard with Pecan Crumble in a recently purchased magazine. It was unlike my usual desserts, being full of eggs and milk but I was tempted by the promise of chocolate with a smattering of prunes.

When I first tasted it, I was disappointed. It was not as creamy as I expected and the prunes didn’t give the lift I expected. On the other hand, it was so rich that it made me wonder at how the magazine could suggest it would serve 4 people. A small serving was more than enough. There were a lot of servings in it. Which was just as well because it got better for sitting overnight and even better after a few days. E was poorly when I first made it but he had recovered after a few nights and was quite impressed.

We ate it without embellishments. However in the future I would like to serve it with some fruit (maybe a winter compote) and even maybe some ice cream or other creamy accompaniment. It was very rich but I did find myself occasionally sneaking a spoonful out of the fridge over the days it sat there.

In fact I was congratulating myself on making a baked custard for the first time when I realised that quiches and bread and butter puddings are mostly custard. However, I usually draw the line at 4 eggs. It is too many for me but I felt uncertain enough with this recipe to follow it closely. I liked the idea of custard and crumble but if I tried such a dish again I would be more tempted to make the vegan pumpkin and chocolate custard from this bread pudding.

Meanwhile I have a few links to people who might appreciate this pudding:

  • On the weekend we watched a quirky and/or silly 1960s psychedelic movie with the wonderful name The Bliss of Mrs Blossom. Mrs Blossom (Shirley MacLaine) meets a young man who – unbeknown to her husband – takes up residence in the attic. She initially gets his attention by offering home made cake. I am sure this pudding would have done just as well.
  • I recently heard about a blog by Sally Heath called A Season of Sundays in which she cooks her way through Sunday Reed’s cookbook. Sunday Reed was a patron of the arts in the middle of the Twentieth Century. The home she made with her husband, John Reed, is called Heide and is now a modern museum of art in Melbourne. I suspect this pudding would have gone down well with Sunday as it combines custard, prunes and crumble, all of which seem a little old-fashioned.
  • In May, The Cookbook Chronicles had a Meatless Week and Stone Soup had a Vegetarian Month. I found it quite interesting to read CC reflect in an interview with Kim O’Donnell and Jules reflect on SS. Both are interesting reading. Both mentioned being initially low in energy on giving up meat and I think this dessert, being full of milk, eggs, oats and nuts, could help to provide some of the proteins and other nutrients they are used to getting from meat.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Teatowel Interlude
This time two years ago: Who gives a fig about dried cherries? (fig and almond bars)
This time three years ago: Sentimental Baked Eggplants

Chocolate Custard Crumble
From Recipes Plus May 2010
serves 6-8

  • 1 cup finely chopped pitted dried prunes
  • 2 cups milk
  • 100g dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup castor sugar
  • ¼ cup golden syrup (or maple syrup)


  • ¼ cup plain flour
  • ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 50g butter
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup pecans (I used walnuts), chopped
    ½ tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 160 C. Grease a medium ovenproof dish (the recipe said a shallow 6 cup dish but I am not sure what size that is). Place dish in a large roasting pan. Sprinkle prunes over the base of the dish.

Place flour and sugar into a medium bowl. Rub the butter in with your fingertips. Add rolled oats, walnuts and cinnamon and rub in gently. Set crumble aside.

Heat milk in a medium saucepan. Once it comes to the boil, remove from the heat. Add chocolate and stir until it melts into the milk.

Whisk eggs, sugar and golden syrup in a large heatproof bowl. The recipe says to whisk till thick and creamy but I whisked for ages till I got a sore arm and yet it was still more frothy than creamy. (My mum said that eggs just need a bit of beating for custard - if I really wanted it thick and creamy I would use electric beaters but it seemed ok despite this). Gradually whisk in chocolate milk. Pour milk and egg mixture into prepared dish.

Pour boiling water into roasting pan up to approximately halfway up the edge of the dish (actually I didn't have anywhere near halfway up the dish). Place roasting pan in oven and bake for 30-45 minutes until custard is just set. I think I left mine in for 45 minutes as I was worried about the custard not being set.

Sprinkle crumble over top of custard and then return dish in roasting pan to the oven til crumble is golden brown. I think I did this for 30 minutes rather than the 15-20 minutes in the recipe and even turned up the heat towards the end of this. Serve warm or make it the day before serving as it is even better on the second and third day.

On the Stereo:

The best of Rolf Harris


  1. The idea of a crumble without fruit is an odd one (prunes aside), but it's growing on me the more I think about it. I've long been wondering how I could use chocolate in a crumble and I think you might have come up with the answer. If I do get around to making it, I'll remember to make it the day before

  2. LIke you, I think this dessert is a fascinating concept (and reminds me that I have an apple custard crumble in my "to make" list), particularly as it's rare to find recipes that make use of prunes. It definitely looks rich and sweet and yummy... but must admit I am more pulled towards your pumpkin custard too :)

  3. I would definitely be tempted to try this custard. I'm intrigued by the dates inside.

  4. Thanks Choclette, it is worth a try - I dreamt of a darker more chocolatey custard so maybe there are other versions out there

    Thanks Hannah - I hope you might post the apple custard crumble - sounds delicious - and while I agree that prunes aren't as popular as other fruits there are some great recipes with them and I tend to put them in mixed fruit recipes whenever I can because I love them - but this not a great prune recipe, sadly, though at least it add to the iron in the dish

    Thanks Joanne - don't try this just because of the prunes - they don't star - but try it if you want rich creamy custard with crunch!

  5. Interesting! I don't think I've seen a non fruit crumble. The chocolate custard reminds me of Yogo which I used to eat a lot when I was a kid after school :)

  6. This looks delicious - chocolate and prunes are a wonderful combination. I must check out A Season of Sundays - I like old-fashioned cookery, as it reminds me of my Mum's cooking (she was a country girl and never used recipes - she is ashamed of me!).

  7. What an interesting dish! I must say that I do love custard - and I do love crumble - so I think this dish could be right up my alley!!!

  8. I'm in heaven right now, as I love chocolate and custard, putting it with crumble is a great idea. My mum used to make something similar when we were kids. Lovely photos too!

  9. This looks delicious but very indulgant. I've tasted something similar once before and it also had baked pears in the base which helped contast the richness. Will give this a go

  10. I am so very intrigued by this dessert!! I've never seen anything like it. Of course I've seen baked custards and I've seen crumbles but never a crumble on a baked custard!! Yum.


Thanks for dropping by. I love hearing from you. Please share your thoughts and questions. Annoyingly the spammers are bombarding me so I have turned on the pesky captcha code (refresh to find an easy one if you don't like the first one)