Thick, creamy, hazelnut custard. The perfect accompaniment to any chocolate dessert, or simply poured over ice cream.
Ok, so before I gave up dairy, making custard from scratch seemed like a completely pointless exercise. Why make it when it’s so readily available, in all it’s thick, vanilla-y, custard-y goodness?? And then I realised how much I had taken this for granted when suddenly these options were gone!
It’s not that you can’t buy dairy free custard – you can, it’s quite good and I eat a lot of it, but sometimes it just doesn’t go with everything. Custard is also a wonderful ‘base’ ingredient that has lots of different uses (ice cream, creme patisserie, the list goes on…), and the dairy free shop bought stuff just doesn’t always cut it.
I started by trying to make a good vanilla custard, however I have to admit that this recipe is still in development – soy is a strong flavour to try and cover up! But it was in the midst of these failed custards that I found hazelnut custard… Here, there’s no covering up; this is all about letting the hazelnut flavour shine.
The next few week’s recipes will focus on using this hazelnut custard in a different ways; there’s an ice cream coming up that is a particular highlight. So use this week to get perfecting your custard. It’s really not difficult to make at all, and a great excuse to have a few sneaky puddings – try it warm, poured over these classic brownies to start with.
Takes 20 minutes. Serves 8.
- 440g hazelnut milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 level tsp cornflour
- 90g golden caster sugar
- Over a low heat, warm up the hazelnut milk in a pan until almost simmering.
- Meanwhile, in a heatproof bowl, whisk together the eggs, cornflour, and sugar until light and airy – this should take you a few minutes by hand.
- When the milk is almost simmering, pour slowly over the eggs whilst whisking constantly. Whisk until all the milk is in the eggs.
- Pour the costard back into the saucepan, and heat very very gently until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. At first, the custard will have an airy foam on the surface, but slowly as it cooks the bubbles will disappear and the custard will thicken.
- Sieve the custard into a jug and either serve immediately, or reheat in 30 second bursts in the microwave until warm.
The only thing that can really go wrong with custard is the mixture curdling. It looks a little something like this:
It will happen for one of two reasons – either the hot milk is poured too quickly over the eggs, or you put it back over too high a heat. If you pour the milk slowly and whisk constantly – and you put the custard back over the lowest heat possible – this is very very easily avoided!!