Preheat oven to 300°.
Bring half-and-half just to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from heat
and add the chopped chocolate along with the sugar. Let it stand for about
five minutes; stir to melt chocolate.
In a large bowl, stir
together the egg yolks, vanilla, cocoa powder, salt and liqueur. With a
whisk, mix in a small amount of the melted chocolate and cream mixture. Add
the remainder of the chocolate gradually to the egg yolk mixture and stir to
blend. Pour mixture through a fine sieve into a glass measuring cup.
Place 4 ramekins or small
ovenproof mugs in a shallow roasting pan; divide chocolate mixture among
them. Pour hot water into the pan so that it reaches about half-way up the
sides of the ramekins.
Bake for 30 minutes;
carefully remove ramekins from the water bath and allow them to cool
slightly. The custards will set up more as they cool.
Cover ramekins with plastic
wrap and refrigerate – just before serving,
sprinkle each custard with a small amount of
cayenne pepper and then
top with whipped cream and raspberries or other garnish as
*Adapted from a
Martha Stewart recipe