3 cups whipping cream
8 ounce squares of semi-sweet chocolate
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
Chantilly Cream, for serving
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Heat cream and chocolate in a heavy 3-quart or larger saucepan over medium heat until it just starts to steam and chocolate is melted. Stir frequently. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Set aside for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar. When cream has rested for 5 minutes, transfer chocolate cream into a glass measure with a pouring spout. Add 1/2 of cream to eggs, pouring in a thin, slow drizzle and whisking constantly. Then slowly add remaining chocolate cream to egg mixture, stirring lightly to prevent large bubbles.
Pour into 8 (5-to-6 ounce) ramekins or custard cups. Place cups into two 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dishes and fill outer dishes with water until it rises to 1/3 of way up sides of cups.
Place baking dishes in oven and bake 45 minutes or until custard is just set in center, firm yet still jiggly, a pudding-like consistency. Remove from oven, and remove ramekins from baking dish. Discard water. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate at least 2 hours or until ready to serve. Top with Chantilly Cream, if desired.