Chocolate Pots de Crème Recipe

5 from 1 vote

Pots de creme are a dreamy, rich dark chocolate dessert that’ll have your dinner guests cleaning their bowls! Velvety, creamy, and dense, the balance of bitter and sweet in this luxurious custard will have you hooked in a heartbeat.

closeup: chocolate pot de creme with whipped cream on top

This one is for chocolate lovers everywhere! It’s surprisingly easy to make — the key is timing and a little patience.

Pots de creme hail from 17th century France and are a dessert that transcends time and distance. It’s found itself on tables in Europe and America for hundreds of years with only minor changes to the recipe. 

The original pots de creme recipe was served in a delicate crust as a small custard pie. Nowadays, if you order a pot de crème off the menu, it will be served to you in a small cup, mason jar, or bowl. While the serving size is small, I promise it’s plenty. This dessert is so rich and dense, you’ll be more than satisfied with a single serving.

closeup: chocolate pots de creme recipe in a small white ramekin with whipped cream on top

While we’re on the subject of chocolate, let me make a few more fudgy recommendations: balanced, bready chocolate babka, chewy tahini brownies, and luscious tahini chocolate bark.

Tip From Kevin

Pots de Crème – a custard or mousse

Pots de crème is a custard and uses egg yolks, not the whiles, to get a very dense and creamy texture. A mousse is not cooked and with the addition of air to the mixture leads to a fluffier consistency and lighter texture. Mousse is typically served chilled or frozen. Custards are made by cooking the milk and sugar base and adding whole eggs to thicken the mixture.

overhead: my pots de creme recipe with chocolate shavings on top before being chilled

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Dark Chocolate The chocolate needs to be in small chunks: chocolate chips, chopped, wafers, and so on. I use dark chocolate because the rest of the pot de crème is so sweet, but you’re welcome to use milk or semi-sweet — just know it’ll be very sugary!
  • Whole Milk & Heavy Cream Unfortunately, skim or low-fat milk options aren’t the best for making custard. You need full-fat milk to get that thick, creamy consistency. 
  • Egg Yolks – The yolks, not the whites, are what give the pots de creme that very smooth, rich consistency. 
  • Sugar – Avoid using liquid sweeteners so that the liquid ratio isn’t thrown off, otherwise the custard may not set properly. You can, however, use brown sugar. It melts just as well and adds a slightly different, more caramel-like flavor to the dessert. 
  • Kosher Salt A little salt is important to heighten every other flavor in this pots de creme recipe. Desserts without salt always fall a little flat, so don’t skip it!
closeup: a pot de creme with fresh raspberries on top

How to Make Pots de Creme

  1. Prepare Chocolate for Melting. Add the chocolate chips to a large, heatproof bowl that’s well suited for pouring — a large measuring bowl, for example.
  2. Heat the Custard. Add the milk, cream, yolks, sugar, and salt to a heavy-bottom saucepan. Heat on medium-low and stir regularly with a heat-proof spatula. Keep the temperature stable and the liquid moving to ensure you don’t overcook and curdle the mixture. 
  3. Melt Chocolate & Chill. Pour the liquid over the chocolate right away, as soon as it leaves the stovetop. Immediately stir with the spatula to thoroughly incorporate the chocolate. Transfer the mixture to ramekins or similar serving cups and refrigerate for at least two hours. 
  4. Serve Chilled. This dessert can sit at room temperature for a short while — and some even prefer the slightly softer texture — but should not be left out for an extended period of time. Top the ramekins with chocolate shavings or whipped cream just before serving.
  • Heatproof Measuring Bowl – A large measuring bowl will make your life way easier in the kitchen, and choosing one that’s heatproof is even better. Making soups, custards, cakes, crepes, and pancakes will be a breeze! 

Storing

Cover leftovers with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days. It’s very important to use an airtight container so that a skin doesn’t form on the surface of the custard.

I do not recommend freezing because custard tends to separate once thawed, ruining the smooth texture.

closeup: a hand holidng a spoonful of pot de creme over a white ramekin with more inside

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make pots de creme ahead of time?


Yes, though I will say that pots de creme are 100% best fresh, as soon as the custard sets. However, chilling for a day or so in advance is perfectly fine.

Hold off on adding any toppings — whipped cream, chocolate shavings, fruit, and the like — until just before serving to ensure the cream doesn’t weep, fruit doesn’t sweat, and shavings don’t lose their freshness.

Are pots de creme the same as mousse?


No — pot de crème is a custard, while mousse is something else entirely. 

You’ll see in my pots de creme recipe that we use egg yolks, not the whiles, to get a very dense and creamy texture. Also a mousse is not cooked and with the addition of air to the mixture leads to a fluffier consistency and lighter texture. Mousse is typically served chilled or frozen. Custards are made by cooking the milk and sugar base and adding whole eggs to thicken the mixture.

Why did the chocolate harden at the bottom of my pot de crème?


Timing is absolutely crucial. The hot cream mixture does all of the work melting the chocolate down, so it needs to be piping hot, right off the stove.

And you need to stir all the while to make sure no chocolate chunks are left at the bottom of the bowl. If the chunks are too large, they may struggle to melt and instead sink back to the bottom and harden.

extreme closeup: a spoonful of my pots de creme recipe with chocolate shavings showing

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Chocolate Pots de Crème

5 from 1 vote
Creamy pots de creme are a decadent French treat. It’s a simple dark chocolate custard recipe with no frills or fuss — simply delicious!
Servings: 8
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl or large measuring bowl for easy pouring.
  • In a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan whisk together the milk, cream, egg yolks, granulated sugar and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until mixture thickens and easily coats the spatula, about 5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the custard otherwise eggs might curdle.
  • Immediately pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and carefully stir with spatula to incorporate thoroughly. Pour the chocolate mixture into ramekins or small cups and refrigerate, about 2 hours minimum, to set.
  • Top the chilled chocolate pots de creme with optional chocolate shavings, shards or whipped cream.

Nutrition

Calories: 445kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 203mg | Sodium: 115mg | Potassium: 354mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 937IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 127mg | Iron: 4mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: desserts
Cuisine: French
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
chocolate pots de creme with whipped cream

Kevin

I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

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