Indulge in pure chocolate bliss with this decadent Pots de Crème for Two recipe. The delicately smooth and silky chocolate custard is simple, yet elegant, and the perfect dessert to celebrate a special occasion and Valentine’s Day.
Chocolate Pots de Crème For Two
It’s Valentine’s Day and what to make, what to make? I could take the time to whip up a nice Souffle or a Baked Alaska, but the thought of these just makes me tired. Plus, I just don’t want to work that hard for dessert on this special occasion!
So, I dove into my specially curated list of 20 Valentine’s Day desserts and selected the ever-popular chocolate pots de crème.
The baked chocolate custard is easy to prepare and the velvety dessert is pure decadence. All the ingredients I want for my Valentine’s Day dessert. With only a few ingredients needed (you may have all of them on-hand already!), and a little time to let the chocolate treats chill, you’ll have an impressive dessert to share with your sweetie!
Chocolate Pots de Crème
So, what is a pots de crème exactly? Sounds pretty fancy.
A pot de crème (or pots de crème for plural) is a baked pudding/custard. It translates to ‘pot of custard’ or ‘pot of cream’. And the pot refers to the cup it is served in – usually a porcelain ramekin.
The Difference Between Pots de Creme and Pudding
Both are considered custards, but the difference is in the way the custard is thickened. Pudding – like my butterscotch, chocolate or pumpkin pudding – are thickened with cornstarch. While pots de crème are gently thickened with egg yolk and baking.
The result is a an extraordinary texture that is decadent and silky.
Ingredients To Make Chocolate Pots de Crème
- Milk – For creamy custard, I recommend whole milk, but 2% will also work.
- Heavy Cream – The heavy cream is necessary to make a silky custard that will set.
- Chocolate – Since this is a special occasion dessert (Valentine’s Day!), I recommend a quality chocolate baking bar. Bittersweet is my preference for true chocolate decadence, though semi-sweet will also work.
- Egg Yolks – The egg yolks are what makes the pots de crème silky and smooth. For the leftover egg whites, make a batch of flourless chocolate cookies and/or meringue frosting to go with the pots de crème!
- Granulated Sugar – White granulated sugar or cane sugar work great for the recipe. Depending on the chocolate you use, you may want more or less sugar. Taste test before straining and add a little more as needed.
- Vanilla Extract – A little vanilla will enhance the chocolate flavor.
- Salt – We use salt to balance the flavors and sweetness in the custard.
- Toppings – Strawberry whipped cream would be divine on top of the custards. Or, homemade caramel sauce!
Tips For Success
- Use good quality chocolate – Since the pots de crème are on the fancy side of desserts, and likely to be served for a special occasion, a little decadence is warranted. Good baking chocolate is pure, whereas chocolate chips have other additives that may not melt as smoothly.
- Sweeten to taste – If you use semi-sweet chocolate, you may not want all (or any) of the sugar.
- Whisk! – Whisking is very important when making pudding/custard. When you are pouring the warm milk over the egg yolks, whisking prevents the eggs from scrambling.
- Strain the custard – Even with all of the whisking, it may be possible to end up with a few little lumps.
- Use hot water for the water bath – This is important so the water doesn’t have to take more time to get to temperature in the oven.
- Don’t overbake – To keep the custards from getting too firm and rubbery! The edges should be firm, but the center should still jiggle when shaken.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, the recipe is easily doubled to 4 individual servings.
You could try canned coconut milk for a dairy free version.
You can, but my preference is a chocolate baking bar because they don’t contain additives. If you use chips, I recommend quality chocolate chips and would also stay with a semi-sweet or bittersweet.
Two things may have happened: the egg mixture did get heated enough or the custard needs to refrigerate longer.
Cover and refrigerate the custards for 3 to 4 days.
Chocolate Pots De Crème For Two
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 300F degrees. Set two 1/2 cup (4 ounces) ramekins, or other small ovenproof dishes, in a deep baking dish.
- Chop the chocolate bar into small pieces. Note – You can use chocolate chips and my recommendation is to use quality chocolate chips.2 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
- In a medium saucepan, add the milk and cream. Heat over medium heat until small bubbles appear along the sides of the pan. Add the chocolate and stir with a spatula until the chocolate melts and dissolves. Remove the saucepan from the heat.½ cup whole milk, 6 tablespoons heavy cream, 2 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
- In a medium bowl, add the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk until the sugar dissolves. Slowly drizzle half of the the warm milk into the egg yolks while whisking constantly – this avoids scrambling the eggs. Note – If using semi-sweet chocolate, you may not want to add all of the sugar. Start with a tablespoon. Taste the custard before your strain it, and add the second tablespoon if desired.2 large egg yolks, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Pour the warmed egg mixture back to the saucepan with the remaining milk. Add the vanilla and salt and whisk the custard over low heat for 1 more minute until it is smooth.1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Place a fine mesh strainer over a glass measuring cup and strain the custard into the measuring cup. Spoon off any foam from the surface of the custard once poured into the measuring cup.
- Divide the chocolate custard evenly between the two ramekins. Pour hot water into the baking dish until it reaches half-way up the sides of the ramekins. The hot water bath will help the custards to bake evenly.
- Cover the baking dish loosely with foil to prevent a skin forming on top of the custards. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the custards are firm just at the edges and the centers are still jiggly when gently shaken.
- Carefully remove the ramekins from the water and place on a wire cooling rack. Cool completely. Then cover the custards with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight, to set.
- Serve the custards chilled. Top with your topping of choice – whipped cream, caramel, fruit or chocolate shavings.Whipped Cream, Caramel Sauce
- Serving Size – This recipe is intended to be a small batch recipe for two. However, it is easily doubled and prepared in individual dishes.
- Serving Dishes – Keep in mind this is a small batch recipe when selecting your serving dishes. Additionally, the dishes must be oven safe!
- Milk – For a silky and creamy custard, I recommend whole milk. 2% will also work.
- Chocolate – As a special occasion dessert, I would recommend a quality bittersweet or semi-sweet baking bar. You can use quality chocolate chips if you can’t find the baking bars.
- Sugar – If you use semi-sweet chocolate, you may not want all (or any) of the sugar. See recipe for instructions on how to adjust the sugar.
- Chill – Even though we cool the custards after baking, we still want to refrigerate them for at least 2 hours so they continue to set.
about the author ...
I'm Erin and I'm all about desserts - and a little bit of butter!
I've tested, written, and photographed hundreds of recipes on my website. Here you'll find the tastiest small batch gluten free and traditional desserts - all homemade, all simple, and all for you!