This delicious chocolate pots de creme is a cup full of velvety, rich, chocolatey custard topped with whipped cream. This no-bake dessert has seven simple ingredients and is perfect for making ahead.
But when planning something fancy to serve at dinner parties or date nights, I return to mini treats like avocado chocolate mousse, banana pudding, creme brulee, good old panna cotta, or these delicious pots de creme.
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What are pots de creme?
Pots de creme translates to a cream or custard baked in small pots like ramekins. It is a classic French dessert made with vanilla custard.
While you can make many variations of this pudding, I have made this recipe with semisweet chocolate. Unlike the light and airy chocolate mousse, pots de creme is usually thick and luxurious. Here are some reasons why you’ll love this recipe:
- Minimum prep. Like a lemon mousse, this recipe requires little to no prep. And because you’ll have most ingredients at home, you can make it anytime.
- Customizable. You can play around with toppings, chocolate types, and flavors to make it to your liking.
- Texture. You’ll love the soft and creamy texture that melts in your mouth. This recipe hits just the right notes.
- Perfect for making ahead. Because they store well in the refrigerator, you can make these chocolate custard pots 1-2 days before the event.
I love that this recipe is ridiculously straightforward to make and looks like a million bucks. Whether it’s a fancy dinner or a festive lunch, you cannot go wrong with these classic pots de creme.
This pots de creme recipe uses everyday pantry staples. If you consider chocolate a staple, you’re good to go. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Bittersweet chocolate. I use 55-60% dark chocolate for this recipe for an intense taste. For sweeter pots de creme, use milk chocolate instead. Chop it into fine pieces before blending it with the rest of the ingredients.
- Egg yolks. An essential component for custard.
- Whipping cream. Use heavy whipping cream for this recipe. When chilled, it sets perfectly.
- Whole milk. To achieve the perfect consistency.
- Sugar. If you use sweetened chocolate, you can skip adding additional sugar.
- Salt. To taste.
- Vanilla extract. Complements the chocolate flavor well.
How to make the best pots de creme
To make these silky smooth pots de creme, you only need to mix and cook the ingredients briefly, blend, and chill.
Step 1- Cook the egg yolks
Combine egg yolks, milk, whipping cream, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan. On medium heat, cook the mixture for 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly. When it just starts boiling, remove the pan from the heat. To check the consistency, try coating the spoon with it. If it coats well, move to the next step.
Step 2- Blend with chocolate
Add chopped bittersweet chocolate to a high-speed blender and pour the hot custard over it. Blend until you don’t see any chocolate flecks. The chocolate melts quickly, and you get smooth chocolate cream in no time.
Step 3- Portion and chill
Pour the chocolate cream mixture into individual ramekins and transfer them to the refrigerator for a few hours or until set.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Don’t burn your custard. If left unattended, the cream, milk, and eggs will stick to the base of the saucepan and burn. You can easily avoid this by stirring the pot constantly.
- Be patient. Always cook the cream mixture at medium heat. Don’t increase the heat to expedite cooking; you could scramble the eggs.
- Use good quality ingredients. This recipe uses only seven ingredients. Use only good-quality cream, chocolate, and vanilla for an authentic taste.
- Chop the chocolates. Chop the chocolates into fine pieces so they blend easily. You don’t want an unpleasant grainy custard.
Flavor and recipe variations
Classic pots de creme are pretty much a blank canvas that can be adapted to suit your preferences or easy to change up for some variety! Here are some ideas:
- Use sweeter chocolate. Although I prefer using bittersweet chocolate for this recipe, you may use milk or white chocolate. And if you are a choco-freak, go for 70-80% dark chocolate for an even strong flavor.
- Substitute for ramekins. If you don’t have ramekins, you can set the dessert in bowls, stemmed, or shot glasses.
- Add a dash of coffee. To bring out the intense chocolate flavors, add a few shots of espresso to the chocolate cream while blending it.
- Make them boozy. Add café or chocolate liquor, or rum to the custard to make an adult version of these classic treats.
- Decorate with berries. Add fresh raspberries or sliced strawberries for a sweet-tart element to these creamy desserts.
To store. You can make pots de creme in advance and keep them covered in a refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Recommended tools to make this recipe
- Blender. To make the smooth and silky custard.
- Saucepan. Always choose a quality non-stick saucepan to prevent the custard from burning.
- Ramekins. These are perfectly portioned for individual servings.
Frequently asked questions
I don’t recommend freezing pots de creme as it doesn’t freeze well. It will separate when you defrost and will have an unpleasant texture.
This recipe is traditionally made with raw egg yolks and is unsafe for pregnant women and children. My recipe uses cooked eggs; children and pregnant women can happily enjoy it.
Creme brulee are pots de creme with caramelized tops.
The custard becomes chunky if the egg yolks get partially scrambled during cooking. Keep constantly stirring custard at medium heat to avoid unpleasant textures.
Pot De Creme Recipe
- In a medium saucepan, add the heavy whipping cream, milk, egg yolks, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. Whisk until combined. Cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until steamy and almost boiling. Stir constantly. The cream mixture should coat the back of a spoon.
- In a blender, add the chopped chocolate then pour the hot cream mixture over it. Blend everything together until smooth.
- Pour the chocolate mixture into six small ramekins. Let it chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
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