Total Calories: 262
1 Prepare the caramel: In a small heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. When the mixture begins to boil, stop stirring and cook until the syrup starts to brown around the edges. Then gently swirl the pan over the heat until the syrup is an even golden brown, about 2 minutes more. Protecting your hand with an oven mitt, immediately pour the caramel into an 8- or 9-inch layer cake pan. Tilt the pan to coat the bottom and part of the sides with the caramel.
2 Place a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place a roasting pan large enough to hold the cake pan in the center of the oven.
3 Prepare the custard: In a large heavy saucepan, heat the milk over low heat until small bubbles form around the edge.
4 Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar just until blended. Stir in the cocoa, cookie crumbs, rum, and vanilla. Gradually stir in the hot milk.
5 Pour the custard mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into the prepared pan. Place the pan in the center of the roasting pan. Carefully pour very hot water into the roasting pan to a depth of 1 inch.
6 Bake 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the top is set, but the center is still slightly jiggly. (Protecting your hand with an oven mitt, shake the pan gently.) Have a wire cooling rack ready. Transfer the pan to the rack to cool for 15 minutes. Cover and refrigerate 3 hours up to overnight.
7 To unmold, run a small knife around the inside edge of the pan. Invert the custard onto a serving plate. Cut into slices to serve immediately.
From "1,000 Italian Recipes." Copyright 2004 by Michele Scicolone. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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