2 1/2 cups (625 mL) milk
1 square bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons (30 mL) sugar (first amount)
2 tablespoons (30 mL) milk
3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup (125 mL) sugar (second amount)
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) vanilla
3 tablespoons (45 mL) sugar (third amount)
Pour 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) milk into top of a double boiler set over hot water; heat to scalding (just until tiny bubbles form around edge of pan-hot but not boiling).
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate together with 2 tablespoons (30 mL) sugar and 2 tablespoons (30 mL) milk. Gradually add scalded milk, beating gently to blend.
Beat together egg yolks, 1/2 cup (125 mL) sugar and vanilla until frothy and lemon-coloured. Add chocolate mixture in small quantities, beating gently but thoroughly.
Return mixture to top of double boiler and let stand over hot water, heat turned off, until it thickens.
Beat egg whites with 3 tablespoons (45 mL) sugar until stiff.
Serve in small soup bowls, teacups or demitasse cups, heaped with meringue, and, if desired, a dusting of cocoa powder or grated chocolate on top.
Makes 3 to 4 servings.