For a quick version of this dessert, line pretty cups with ladyfingers, fill with chocolate ice cream, and top with whipped cream.
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whipping cream, divided
2 (3-ounce) packages ladyfingers, split
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
Garnish: 8 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
How to Make It
Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup cold water; stir and let stand 1 minute. Set gelatin mixture aside.
Beat granulated sugar and eggs at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 to 3 minutes or until thick and pale.
Heat milk in a large saucepan over low heat. Gradually add about one-fourth of milk to egg mixture; add to remaining hot milk, stirring constantly. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, 4 to 5 minutes or until mixture coats a spoon. Remove from heat; stir in gelatin mixture until gelatin dissolves.
Whisk in chocolate morsels, coffee granules, and vanilla until coffee granules dissolve and chocolate melts.
Pour mixture into a metal bowl; place bowl over ice, and let stand, stirring often, 6 to 8 minutes or until cold and slightly thickened.
Beat 1 cup whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, and gradually fold into coffee mixture.
Line each of 8 teacups with 6 ladyfinger halves, placing rounded sides of ladyfingers against edge of each cup. Spoon custard evenly into cups; cover and chill 8 hours.
Beat remaining 1/2 cup whipping cream and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Top custards with whipped cream; garnish, if desired.