unsweetened cocoa powder
jumbo egg yolks, lightly beaten
OPTIONAL TOPPING INGREDIENTS
heavy cream, whipped
chopped blanched pistachios
In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and gelatin, pressing out all lumps.
Add the half and half, evaporated skim milk and whole milk; whisk vigorously to blend.
Set the pan over moderately low heat and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden, until the mixture just boils and is thickened and smooth, about 10 minutes.
Blend a little of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks, then stir the warmed egg yolks back into the pan.
Cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes.
The mixture must not boil or the eggs will scramble.
Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Set the saucepan on a rack to cool for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent a skin from forming on the surface.
Ladle the mixture into 6 decorative 4-ounce white porcelain ramekins and let cool completely.
Cover each cup with plastic wrap, then refrigerate at least 5 hours, or overnight.
Serve as is or top each serving with a little of the whipped cream and a scattering of pistachios.