This chocolate pot de crème recipe is perfect for beginners! It’s so smooth and creamy, thanks to my simple, carefully tested technique. Recipe includes a how-to video!
A Perfected Pot De Crème Recipe
A classic French dessert, chocolate pot de creme has a rich, silky smooth texture and luxurious taste. I like to think of it as the chocolatey, un-bruleed cousin to creme brulee.
If you’ve ever wanted to make pot de creme but felt too intimidated to, this recipe is for you! I’ll walk you through each step of the way and provide plenty of tips and tricks so you can make this impressive dessert with ease.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Fancy, yet approachable. If you love desserts that look impressive, but are actually quite simple to make (like profiteroles or cheesecake bars!) you’ll enjoy this recipe, too.
- Incredible creamy texture. While I avoid using water baths where possible, a water bath (bain-marie) proved to be essential to preserving the creamy texture here.
- Great for making in advance! Make it the day before, then add any toppings and serve the next day.
- Smooth, never grainy results, thanks to my tested technique. I talk a bit more about this below.
Many recipes will have you finely chop your chocolate and pour steaming cream overtop to melt it. This method works fine… sometimes, but unfortunately it can also leave you with tiny, unmelted grains of chocolate. These end up making an appearance in the final product, which ruins the silky smooth texture we’re aiming for.
I found a work around by first melting the chocolate by itself, then gradually adding the steaming cream mixture to it. It’s simple, effective, and results in the perfect texture.
This pot de creme recipe keeps the ingredients to a minimum with just seven required.
- Chocolate. The quality of your chocolate is so important here – don’t use chocolate chips! High quality baking chocolate is best. I recommend 60% cacao, but you can use semisweet if that’s all you can find (your chocolate pot de creme will just be sweeter!).
- Cream and milk. I like to use a combination of milk and heavy cream for a perfect texture; I found that using all cream made the resulting custard a bit too thick for my liking.
- Eggs. Ideally these will be at room temperature, but if you forget, use my trick for bringing eggs to room temperature quickly. If you don’t want to waste your egg whites, save them to make my angel food cupcakes or lemon cake!
- Toppings. Fresh berries, mint sprigs, edible flowers, a dusting of cocoa or powdered sugar, or whipped cream and chocolate shavings – all are great toppings for this chocolate pot de creme recipe.
SAM’S TIP: For an even darker/more bitter flavor, add a pinch of espresso powder when you pour the cream and milk over the chocolate.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Chocolate Pot De Crème
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave until smooth, then set aside.
- Heat the heavy cream, milk, and salt until steaming, then gradually pour this mixture into the chocolate.
- Whisk until smooth. This might look a bit separated at first, but as long as you add the cream gradually, it will come together!
- Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a separate bowl. Don’t be too aggressive (we don’t want to whip a lot of air into the mixture); just make sure they are combined.
- Slowly drizzle the chocolate mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly until combined.
- Pour the custard through a fine mesh strainer. This step is important for catching any bits of cooked egg or unmelted chocolate; it preserves the smooth texture and helps prevent air bubbles that might’ve formed while whisking.
- Place your ramekins in a roasting pan, then add the custard. I like to use a liquid measuring cup or ladle for this.
- Add water to your roasting pan and make sure the ramekins are not touching each other so the water can circulate around them while they bake.
- Bake until the edges are just set and the center is still jiggly (but not liquidy). You can also use an instant read thermometer and look for a temp of 165F. Don’t over-bake; this makes chocolate pot de creme gritty or grainy!
- Let the ramekins sit in the water bath a bit before (carefully!) removing to a cooling rack. Let sit at room temperature, then cover and chill.
- When ready to serve, pull the ramekins out of the fridge and let sit for a few minutes to soften (this helps with the texture, too). Add your desired toppings, then enjoy!
SAM’S TIP: Since this is a rich dessert, feel free to use smaller ramekins (I use 8oz). Just note that your baking time will likely be reduced. You could also use glass jars or espresso cups.
Frequently Asked Questions
Assuming you followed the steps in the recipe to avoid graininess (melting the chocolate separately first, straining the custard, letting the ramekins sit at room temperature before serving), then the custard was unfortunately most likely over-baked. I provide tips above and in the recipe for knowing when your chocolate pot de creme should be removed from the oven.
A darker color often develops on the surface of the custard while it bakes in the oven. This is pretty typical, especially if you cook the custard to 160F as I do (to make sure the eggs are cooked enough) and doesn’t bother me enough to go through any effort to prevent it. If you’re not a fan, try baking for longer on a lower temperature or covering the ramekins with foil while baking.
Chocolate Pot De Crème
- 8 oz (226 g) 60% chocolate finely chopped (see note)
- 2 cups (475 ml) heavy cream
- ⅔ cup (160 ml) whole milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 large egg yolks
- ⅓ cup (70 g) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Whipped Cream (optional)
- ¾ cup (177 ml) heavy cream cold
- ¼ cup (30 g) powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325F (160C).
- Place finely chopped chocolate in a large heatproof bowl and microwave in 20-second intervals, stirring in between, until completely melted and smooth. Set aside.8 oz (226 g) 60% chocolate
- In a medium saucepan, combine heavy cream, whole milk, and salt. Heat over medium-low heat until steaming.2 cups (475 ml) heavy cream, ⅔ cup (160 ml) whole milk, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Remove from heat and, very slowly, while whisking, gradually pour into the melted chocolate, whisking until smooth.
- Meanwhile, in a separate dish, combine eggs and sugar and whisk gently until well combined (try not to incorporate too much air or whisk too vigorously, as this could make your pot de crème rise and fall in the oven).6 large egg yolks, ⅓ cup (70 g) granulated sugar
- While whisking the eggs, slowly drizzle the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until combined.
- Stir in vanilla extract.½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl or large measuring cup, then pour evenly into ramekins (each ramekin will need a little less than ⅔ cup of the mixture).
- Place ramekins in roasting pan then carefully pour water around the ramekins, filling ⅔ up the sides.
- Transfer roasting pan to center rack of oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, until mixture is just set on the edges. It should be a bit jiggly in the center if jostled but should not slosh in the ramekin like liquid. (if using a thermometer, an instant read thermometer inserted in the center of the custard should read 160F/73C)
- Carefully remove roasting pan from the oven and allow ramekins to cool in the water for about 15 minutes.
- Once slightly cooled, use tongs or a towel to carefully remove from the water and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.
- Cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2-3 hours, until completely chilled.
- To serve: Remove from refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes to soften slightly (if served straight from the refrigerator, you may notice a mildly grainy texture). While they soften, prepare whipped cream, if using.
- Whipped Cream: Combine heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Use an electric mixer to beat on high speed until thick and fluffy. Dollop evenly over pot de crème before serving. If desired, garnish with chocolate shavings or fresh fruit before serving.¾ cup (177 ml) heavy cream, ¼ cup (30 g) powdered sugar, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
ChocolateSemisweet chocolate could be used but will yield a sweeter end result. I like to stick to chocolate between 60-70% cacao for best , most balanced taste. Use quality baking chocolate bars – chocolate chips are not ideal.
StoringStore ramekins tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To freeze, once they have cooled completely wrap tightly with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and place in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 1 month. To serve, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.