Vanilla Bean & Chocolate Custard

Prep. Time: 30 min. (For 3-4 Servings)


  • 6 tablespoons cold water
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons unflavoured gelatin
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeded and scraped
  • 1 3/4 cups whipping cream
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons unflavoured gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 oz quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar


1. Vanilla bean custard layer: Pour cold water into a small bowl and sprinkle with the gelatin. In a medium saucepan, heat the whipping cream, half-and-half, sugar, and salt over medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved and mixture comes to a boil, about 5 minutes. Remove saucepan from the heat and pour mixture through a fine strainer into a 4-cup measuring cup with spout. Stir in vanilla bean seeds, followed by the gelatin mixture, and stir until the gelatin has completely dissolved. Divide among 8 individual serving glasses, custard cups or ramekins and bring to room temperature. Place on a flat surface in refrigerator for at least 5 hours, or overnight.

2. Chocolate custard layer: Once the vanilla custard layer has set, make the chocolate layer. Pour 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the whipping cream into a small heatproof bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let sit for 10 minutes. Place the bowl into a larger bowl with hot water and stir mixture until gelatin has completely dissolved. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the remaining cream, sugar and salt just to a boil and remove promptly from heat. Whisk in the chocolate until completely incorporated and smooth. Add the gelatin mixture and stir until well combined. Pour mixture through a fine strainer into a 4-cup measuring cup with spout and let sit until it reaches room temperature, stirring occasionally. Divide among the well-chilled/set vanilla Bean custard layered cups, cover loosely and let chill in refrigerator for another 5 hours or overnight. Chilled custard will keep well for 2 days.

3. Unscrew the top off the dispenser, then screw on the tip of your choice while holding in place the valve stem under the cap. Be sure to screw the tip on tightly. Make sure that the gasket is firmly in place on the underside of the head.

4. Pour in one pint of well-chilled heavy whipping cream in a pint dispenser. Do not exceed recommended amount. Add powdered sugar. Screw the top evenly and firmly onto the bottle. Do not cross-thread. Place N2O cartridge in the holder with the small end visible. Twist charger holder onto head until gas is released.

5. Shake the dispenser 3-6 times. Dispense whipped cream onto custards.