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© Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
(4 individual custards)
Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter bottom and 1 inch up the sides of four 6-ounce ovenproof star molds or custard cups. Sprinkle molds or cups lightly with sugar, shaking out excess; place in a shallow baking dish; set aside.
In a medium saucepan, stir together milk, 3 tablespoons sugar, chocolate and vanilla bean (if using). Cook and stir over medium heat until chocolate is melted. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, vanilla (if using) and orange extract. Remove vanilla bean from milk mixture if using. Gradually whisk the milk mixture into the egg mixture. If necessary, spoon off and discard foam from surface of mixture.
Place baking dish on an oven rack. Pour egg mixture into molds or custard cups. Pour boiling water into the baking dish around molds or custard cups to a depth of 1 inch. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a knife inserted near the centers comes out clean.
Remove molds or custard cups from water. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or until ready to serve. To unmold custards, loosen edges with a knife, slipping its point between the custard and cup to let in air. Then invert a dessert plate over each custard; turn cup and plate over together. If desired, garnish with chocolate shavings and/or kumquat slices.