A luxurious and rich dessert with simple ingredients and minimal effort. Chocolate Pots de Crème with a dairy free option, is a go-to recipe for make ahead ease. vegetarian + gluten free
It’s that time of year… suddenly the stores turn pink and red with everything Valentines day. For me, I just take an opportunity to simply enjoy chocolate. And a little indulgent homemade meal with my love.
Why I Love Chocolate Pots de Crème:
Of all the desserts I’ve ever made, Chocolate Pots de Crème is the one I come back to again and again. And for good reason.
- it’s simple and quick to whip up with just a few ingredients
- is make ahead easy
- is chocolatey rich (hello!)
- can be made as a gluten free dairy free dessert
Don’t let the fancy name dissuade you from giving this treat a go. Chocolate Pots de Crème is a custardy classic dessert loved by many and is so simple to whip up.
What Ingredients do I need for Chocolate Pots de Crème?
With only a few ingredients you can create a luxurious, rich dessert.
- Whole Milk or Full Fat Coconut Milk
- 70%-85% Chocolate
- Cane Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- Cream, Whole or Coconut for Topping
- Chocolate Shavings or a Dusting of Cinnamon or Nutmeg for the Top
To make Chocolate Pots de Crème dairy free, whole milk can be swapped with full fat coconut milk, the canned variety. When I did this for the first time, Rob was pleasantly surprised that he didn’t taste coconut flavor in the custard. We prefer whipped cream on top, but if avoiding dairy, coconut whipped cream can be enjoyed instead.
How to Make Chocolate Pots de Crème:
Making this recipe is a snap and it comes together fast. Baking takes longer and resting the custard, even longer. But the hands on time is minimal.
- First, preheat the oven, prepare the baking vessels, and pan and put a kettle of water on to boil.
- Next, heat the milk until just bubbling around the edges. Remove from heat and immediately add the chopped chocolate. Give the pan a shake so that the chocolate is covered. Set a timer for one minute and allow the chocolate/milk mixture to set. Whisk until all the chocolate is melted. Set aside.
- Whisk the eggs, and sugar in a medium bowl, then, while whisking, pour the hot chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. A little first, then, the remaining hot chocolate. Add the vanilla and salt.
- Continuing, pour the custard into the vessels, add boiling water to the pan.
- Last, bake the custard for about 20-25 minutes.
This pots de crème recipe will need at least a few hours to rest in the refrigerator before they’re set and ready to enjoy.
Simple. Easy. Delicious.
A Few Pots de Crème Recipe Notes:
- Use a high quality chocolate bar for this recipe. You’ll need one, 3 oz bar. I like 80-85%, for a rich bittersweet dessert, but anywhere from 70%-85% can be used. See notes on recommended chocolate.
- Classic Chocolate Pots de Crème is baked in little lidded porcelain cups, but ramekins or oven proof glass jars work just as well. You’ll need four, 8oz baking vessels. I like glass jars but have also used ramekins like these.
- It’s super important for proper mouth feel, and silky smooth texture to bring the little pots out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before enjoying. One hour, if you can.
- Make ahead? Yes Please! Chocolate Pots de Crème can be made up to two days in advance!
- Can I make Chocolate Pots de Crème dairy free? Absolutely! Turn this recipe into a gluten free dairy free dessert by simply subbing the milk with full fat coconut milk (from a can) and whip coconut cream for the topping.
More Chocolatey Rich Desserts to Love:
- Chocolate Decadence
- Bailey’s Chocolate Mousse with Whiskey Caramel Sauce – by Floating Kitchen
- Cheat’s Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse – by Kitchen Confidant
- Spiked Orange Hot Chocolate
- Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes – by Foolproof Living
- Chocolate Pudding – by The Bojon Gourmet
Chocolate Pots de Crème
*Make Ahead Required* A most luxurious and rich dessert with simple ingredients and minimal effort. Chocolate Pots de Crème with a dairy free option, is a go-to recipe for make ahead ease. vegetarian + gluten free
- 1 C (240g or 260g) Whole Milk or Full Fat Coconut Milk (from a can)
- 3/4 C (3oz/85g) 70%-85% Dark Chocolate chopped fine, about one chocolate bar *see note
- 1 Whole Egg
- 1 Egg Yolk **see note for leftover white
- 2 Tbs Cane Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Pinch of Fine Sea Salt
- Whipped Cream or Coconut Whipped Cream for topping
Put a kettle of water on to boil. This will be used to fill the pan 1/2 way, creating a water bath to gently bake the Pots de Creme.
If using coconut milk, sometimes the fat settles at the top. Open the can and whisk until all the fat is incorporated with the liquid, then measure out one cup. In a medium sauce pot, heat the milk until just bubbling around the edges. Whisk, then allow the bubbles to return around the edges. Remove from heat and immediately add the chopped chocolate. Give the pan a shake so that the chocolate is covered. Set a timer for one minute and allow the chocolate/milk mixture to set. After one minute, whisk until all the chocolate is melted. Set aside.
In a large spouted measuring cup or medium mixing bowl, whisk the whole egg, egg yolk, and sugar together until throughly combined. While whisking the egg mixture, add about 1/2 cup of the chocolate mixture to the eggs and whip vigorously (this is tempering so as to not scramble the eggs with the hot milk mixture). After about 10 seconds, you can pour the remaining chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Add the vanilla extract and pinch of salt. Whisk again.
*OPTIONAL* If you're concerned that there may be any bits of cooked egg in the chocolate mixture, you can run the custard through a sieve before pouring it into the vessels.
Divide the chocolate custard evenly into the four vessels (a little under 1/2 C each) being careful not to spill into the pan. Carefully fill the pan 1/2 way with boiling water, then gently transfer the pan to the oven. Lay a sheet of foil over the top of the custards.
Bake the custards for 22-25 minutes or until the custard is set but the center still juggles a bit. Remove from oven. Use tongs to transfer the vessels to a plate, then transfer to the refrigerator. Allow to set in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours so the custard has time to set. If needed, the pots can be made up to two days ahead. Once chilled, cover the pots until ready to share. Remove from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes prior to enjoying.
Share with lightly sweetened whipped cream or whipped coconut cream, sprinkle with chocolate shavings, or with a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg.
*I prefer 80-85% chocolate in this recipe. The higher the percentage, the more bitter the chocolate is. This resource lists so many excellent dairy free chocolate brands. I love Theo, and Endangered Species.
**Leftover egg whites freeze beautifully. I use leftover whites for meringues, buttercream, macaroons etc... but they can also be stored in the fridge for a few days to later be used in a fritatta or any eggy dish.
Disclosure: Theo Chocolate sent me samples of their Chocolate. They are fair trade, organic and vegan and for me, local. I've been a fan for a long time. All opinions are my own.