Silky Vanilla, Chocolate And Caramel Custard Trio
For the caramel: 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon, unsalted butter, 3/8 cup heavy cream, warmed slightly
For the custard: 6 egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 cups whole milk, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 whole vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out (and saved for another use), 2 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with two tablespoons water, 1 ounce dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
For the caramel: Pour sugar into small, deep saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar melts and becomes a dark caramel color. Immediately remove from heat and quickly whisk in the butter. Add the cream immediately and whisk until blended. Scrape the caramel into a small bowl and set aside.
For the custard: Put the egg yolks and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Set aside. Put the milk, cream, vanilla bean and cornstarch/water mixture in a large, heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, just until mixture starts to simmer. Gradually whisk all of the hot milk mixture into the reserved egg mixture. Scrape the milk and egg mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until one single bubble rises and the custard has thickened. Do not let custard simmer or boil. Pour the custard through a fine sieve into a bowl. Discard the vanilla bean. Put the chocolate in a small bowl. Add one third of the custard and whisk until the chocolate is melted and blended into the custard. Put three tablespoons of caramel sauce into another small bowl. Add half of the remaining custard and stir until blended. Allow the custards to cool.
Cover the three bowls with plastic and refrigerate overnight.
To serve, divide the vanilla custard evenly among six champagne flutes or 8-ounce glasses. Top with layer of chocolate custard, and then caramel custard.