Chocolate pots de crème are an elegant dessert that comes together easier than you think! Serve this creamy, rich chocolate custard with a dollop of whipped cream on top for the perfect finishing touch.
French Pot au Chocolat Recipe
I don’t make a lot of what I call fancy desserts. You won’t see many complicated baked goods or intricately decorated cakes here. What I prefer—and I think I’m not alone—are desserts that are simple to prepare and a pleasure to eat. Desserts and baked goods that we, as home bakers, can easily achieve without a lot of fuss. You might be surprised to learn that chocolate pots de crème fall into this category!
These little chocolate pots are one of those magical desserts that are embarrassingly simple to make, but elegant enough to be worthy of a very special occasion.
What Is Pot de Crème?
If you aren’t familiar with the term, pot de crème means pot of custard. If you want to sound all French about it, it’s pronounced po-duh-crem. Basically, it’s a cooked custard made with just a few ingredients that you most likely have in your kitchen right now. If you call yourself a chocolate fan but have never had a chocolate pots de crème, then you have done yourself an injustice. Trust me.
Pots de crème are simply a pleasure to eat. They’re smooth and creamy and so very chocolate-y. You can serve them at room temperature, but I love them still a bit chilled. And, I just have to have that dollop of sweetened whipped cream on top.
What You’ll Need
Scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions.
- Heavy cream – There’s no cutting calories here—half-and-half or whole milk just won’t do.
- Bittersweet chocolate – Or your favorite dark chocolate.
- Granulated sugar
- Egg yolks – Cold eggs separate more easily than room temperature, so this is one instance in which you’ll want to make sure your eggs are chilled.
- Coffee-flavored liqueur or vanilla extract
- Hot water
- Sweetened whipped cream – Although this is optional, I highly recommend it!
What Is Considered a Coffee Liqueur?
Kahlua and Tia Maria are the two most widely available coffee liqueurs. I use Kahlua to add a little extra flavor and richness, but feel free to use another liqueur or simply substitute vanilla extract. You can also omit the liqueur or extract altogether.
How to Make Chocolate Pots de Crème
Pots de crème are baked in a water bath, similar to what you might use for baking a cheesecake. Don’t worry, though—it’s not complicated at all.
Prepare. Preheat your oven to 300°F and set eight 4-ounce ramekins in a shallow baking dish.
Heat the cream. Place the cream in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Once the cream begins to simmer, remove it from the stovetop.
Melt the chocolate in the cream. Add the chocolate to the pan with the heavy cream. Stir until the chocolate has melted smoothly.
Mix the remaining ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, egg yolks, and liqueur until the mixture has thickened and appears lighter in color.
Finish the custard mixture. Slowly whisk about a third of the chocolate/cream mixture into the bowl with the egg yolk mixture. Then, add the remaining chocolate and cream while stirring constantly. Continue to stir until well-combined and smooth.
Fill the ramekins. Pour the custard mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, then divide it evenly into the ramekins. Pour enough hot water into the baking pan to reach 1 inch up the outsides of the ramekins.
Bake. Carefully place the pan in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the centers are almost set.
Cool. Remove the ramekins from the pan and place them on a cooling rack to cool for an hour. (Learn more: Why Every Baker Needs Wire Cooling Racks)
Chill. Cover the cooled ramekins with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days before serving.
Serve. Serve pots de crème chilled or at room temperature. Garnish with sweetened whipped cream, if desired.
Tips for Success
Here are some simple tips for perfect chocolate pots de crème.
- Use the best chocolate you can afford. As I often do, I will implore you to use a very good quality chocolate. Pick one that you enjoy eating on its own. I’ve listed bittersweet chocolate in the ingredients, but use any favorite dark chocolate.
- Adjust accordingly for different ramekin sizes. Feel free to use different size ramekins. You’ll have a total of about 32 ounces of custard, so just keep that in mind when calculating how many ramekins you’ll need. Larger ramekins will take a few minutes longer to bake.
- Removing the hot ramekins from the pan. A jar lifter, like the kind used in canning, works well for removing the ramekins from the hot water. A silicone oven mitt or something else with a bit of gripping power will work, too.
A dollop of whipped cream is perfection on a pot de crème, but you can take things to the next level with chocolate shavings or curls—white, dark, milk, or a combination. A ripe strawberry or raspberries are the perfect complement to the rich chocolate, or dust the whipped cream with espresso powder or cocoa powder.
How to Store
Store pots de crème covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Can This Recipe Be Frozen?
Wrapped pots de crème can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator before serving.
26 Comments on “Chocolate Pots de Creme”
This recipe was made just for me and my chocolate addiction, right? haha
That big scoop of whipped cream on top of the chocolate custard looks divine! I notice the whipped cream and my husband would be drooling over the chocolate. Don’t disown me as a blog friend when I tell you this….but I don’t eat chocolate. (I like white chocolate though) I still think this looks divine and I have made this many times for my hubby! I love all your recipes with chocolate and I have made a few of them, if I’m eating it I just substitute but, if it’s for family it’s totally loaded with chocolate! I challenge you to a white chocolate Pots de Creme…for me of course! 😉 PINNING!
I could totally go for one of these right now! Looks delicious!!!
Love very smooth, creamy desserts that are eaten with a spoon. Individual-sized portions are great for us single people, too.
I love both my fancy and desserts and the more everyday ones. And these are kind of a cross between the two! Definitely fancy and decadent but totally doable!
These look SUPER pretty and fancy and um oh yeah also DEEEELICIOUS!! chocolateyyyy
Oddly enough, I was looking at Chocolate Pots de Creme recipes last night! Pondering which recipe to try. Aaaaaaand then I scroll down in my feedly and find this! Yay! This look perfectly lovely…
My Grandma loved Pot de Creme and I will always think of her when I see them on the menu at a restaurant. I love the simplicity of this recipe and more important that it can be made ahead by three days. I think this just made it onto our Christmas Dinner menu! Pinning:)
sounds rich and delicious!
These are beautiful! There is nothing so simple and comforting as warm chocolate custards. But you are right…they look so elegant! Lovely photos!
These do look so fancy. I’d like to try making them too– Sounds like a good excuse to buy some cute little ramekins!
i made this recipe last night. i halved the recipe because it is just for 2 of us. tiny portions! i feel like i could eat all 4 in one sitting 🙂 here’s my question: i had to cook them about 50 mins before they were no longer runny and wondering if i didn’t whisk the egg/sugar mixture enough. did you whisk by hand and for how long? i used vanilla (didn’t have any liqueur)so it wasn’t ‘pale’. i haven’t tasted yet…it’s for dessert tonight. keeping my fingers crossed!
Hi, Jyllzie. I whisked the mixture by hand until it thickened. Even if it’s not pale due to an extract or liqueur, it should still become lighter in color as it thickens. As long as the eggs are thoroughly cooked, it will be fine even if the consistency is off a bit. Enjoy!
Sounds & looks yummy. Would it be possible to experiment-use caramels instead of chocolate? How much-5 ounces? or butterscotch? How to plan if use extract?
Thanks! Keep up the delicious work!
I baked mine for about 50 minutes and they were still runny. The taste is good but the consistency is not want I was hoping for.
Hi, Kate. I’m sorry you had troubles! If you didn’t change anything about the recipe, then it’s tough to pinpoint what could have happened. My first suggestion would be checking the accuracy of your oven’s temperature with an oven thermometer.
Definitely trying these for next weekend diner. However am not sure to understand this part:
“Pour enough hot water into the baking pan to reach 1 inch up the outsides of the ramekins.”.
Do we bake them with water around the ramekins? Is that a cooking technique and why do we do that? excuse my little knowledge in baking. Thanks
Hi, Samia. Yes, that’s called a water bath. It adds moisture to the baking process and helps the custards bake evenly and have a smooth texture.
This sounds delicious! I have never made pots de creme before, but am curious if I could use milk chocolate instead and omit the sugar? Or just use less sugar if it’s needed for something besides sweetening the chocolate you use?
Hi, Jessica. I’d be hesitant to change it. Keep in mind that 1/2 cup of sugar for 8 servings, so there’s very little sugar in each one.
This is an excellent recipe! Easy, delicious and so.easy to modify- I like.a.bit.of fresh raspberry in the bottom of the dish. Fresh cream and mint are a great garnish.
Thanks, Natalie! I like your flavor twists, too!
Folks that needed a longer bake time may have had too cool water in their water bath. Many revenues suggest boiling water half way up the ramekins.
I don’t have any ramekins. Can this recipe be cooked/baked in one dish?
Hi, Sandra. These are designed to be baked individually in a water bath. If you have oven-safe glasses this size, that could work.