5 ounces milk chocolate, chopped, or 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped, and 1 tablespoon cocoa
Caramel: Lightly butter 6 (4 ounce) ramekins or custard cups. Stir together
water, lemon juice and sugar in a heavy pot over medium-high heat.
Using a pastry brush dipped in water, brush sides of the pot just
above the sugar every 30 seconds to prevent crystals from forming.
Cook the sugar until a rich dark color is achieved.
Immediately set the pot into a bowl of ice. Spoon cooled custard
into prepared cups. If the caramel becomes too thick or sets up
completely, warm it over very low heat until it is pliable again.
Pour 2 teaspoons of caramel into each mold and turn the molds to
evenly coat the bottom.
Custard: Heat oven to 300 degrees F.
Combine milk, banana peels and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring
milk to a strong simmer and turn off heat. Let milk cool for at
least 30 minutes.
Combine eggs and egg yolks in a bowl and whisk in the sugar until
the mixture is blended but not foamy. Melt chocolate in a bowl over
simmering water until it is just smooth. Do not overheat it. Strain
milk through a fine sieve into the chocolate, pressing the banana
peels with the back of a large wooden spoon to extract all of the
milk. Discard peels. Whisk milk into the egg mixture to blend well.
Pour custard into prepared cups and place in a water bath. Place
flans into preheated oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until
firm. Carefully remove flans from the water bath and chill for 4
hours or overnight before serving.
When ready to serve, loosen flans from the edges of the cups with
a sharp knife pressed firmly against the edges of the cup. Unmold
individual flans directly onto their serving plates. If making one
large flan, put the serving plate on top of the mold and invert
them in tandem. Lift mold off carefully. Drizzle reserved caramel
around, if desired, and serve at once.
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