Chocolate Pots de Crème with Espresso Cream

You’ll need something chocolate tomorrow, yes? How about a few chocolate pots de crème? (Pots is pronounced po, being French and all.) It’s just like crème brûlée, only without the crackly caramelized sugar top, which can be tricky without a blowtorch. And I’m guessing most kitchens don’t come equipped with blowtorches.

Why settle for straight-up chocolate when it can be gently transformed with cream and egg yolks into a pot of silky smooth deliciousness you can eat with a spoon? These little baked custards are completely divine, require little to no skill, and can be done tonight for dessert tomorrow. If you don’t have ramekins, the dollar store sells them – two or three in a pack for a dollar. No lie.

Baked custards – like pots and crème brûlées – are generally done in what’s cheffily referred to as a bain marie – which sounds fancier and more complex, being French and all, than water bath. So really, you just need to toss them in a tub. That’s something you do to yourself almost every day, isn’t it? If you can bathe a baby, you can totally bathe a crème brûlée. The water acts as insulation, allowing it to bake gently and evenly, without producing scrambled eggy bits.

For chocolate-orange pots de crème, add a little orange zest. These pots are easy to play with, flavour-wise. And doesn’t it sound fancy when you add a pinch of espresso (or plain old coffee) powder to the cream as you whip it? You could sweeten it with pure maple syrup instead, or booze. Or mash raspberries and swirl them into whipped cream, making a sort of raspberry fool to dollop on top.

There are no rules – except try to share. Just do your best.

chocolate pots de creme 6
chocolate pots de creme 6

Chocolate Pots de Crème

Recipe link


February 13, 2012

From Bon Appétit.


2 cups heavy (whipping) cream

4 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 tsp. instant espresso or coffee powder

6 large egg yolks

3 Tbsp. sugar


1Position rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Arrange six 3/4-cup ramekins in a roasting or 9x13-inch pan.


3In a medium saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat until it's steaming; remove from the heat and add the chocolate and espresso powder. Let sit for a few minutes, then whisk until smooth.


5Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. When the chocolate mixture has cooled a bit, whisk it in. Divide the custard between the cups, and pour warm water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the cups. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the custards are set but still just slightly jiggly in the middle. Cool, then refrigerate until well chilled - at least 2 hours, or up to a day or two.


7Serves 6 very happy people.


9Espresso Whipped Cream: whip 1 cup chilled heavy (whipping) cream with sugar to taste and about a 1/2 tsp. instant espresso or coffee - again, you can add more or less according to your preference. Taste as you go.


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28 comments on “Chocolate Pots de Crème with Espresso Cream

  1. Vivian
    February 13, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Lovely photos, as always…they just draw you in and push you to make the dish! A crackly burnt sugar topping would be wonderful…I’ve had one of those tall blue torches in the pantry for a while now and it may be time to haul it out and experiment. Thanks for a Valentine’s Day inspiration, Julie!

  2. Barb
    February 13, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Sounds wonderful! I hope someone makes one for me!

  3. CathyH
    February 13, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    I am droooooooooooling!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Lori E
    February 13, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    I would sit and eat them all and then sit there with a guilty look on my face….and a small trace of chocolate.

  5. emmycooks
    February 13, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    How delicious. But I was a little confused by the beginning of the post: I’ll need something chocolate tomorrow? Well, of COURSE! And the next day, and the day after that, and…I look forward to trying these.

  6. margo
    February 13, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Okay, I’m definitely going to try this. I’ve made a no baked (ie. raw eggs) version which is so wonderful, except for the responsibility of the raw eggs. This sounds very easy, thank you!!
    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  7. Angie
    February 13, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Okay… I hate to be a downer, but is there a way to make these a little more “figure friedly” or is the whipping cream necessary? Homogenized milk or 2% evaporated milk, maybe? What do you think, Julie? My husband is on Weight Watchers and although I know he would LOVE this, I’m not so sure I would be very supportive if I made this :)

    • JulieVR
      February 13, 2012 at 11:28 pm

      I’m sure there are ways to technically lighten it, but it wouldn’t be the same.. rather than a pot de creme it would be a pot de evaporated milk.. the upside is they are very small portions. I truly believe it’s not all or nothing – it’s what you do most of the time that counts, not the occasional chocolate cream dream! And I love that they are in individual ramekins, so you can’t plow your way through half the pan, like it’s so easy to do with brownies!

    • JulieVR
      February 13, 2012 at 11:32 pm

      This chocolate creme caramel is made with whole milk and whole eggs, so would be lighter – and it looks delicious!

  8. Manon from Ontario
    February 14, 2012 at 11:39 am

    OMG…I will try these…I’ve never attempted something like this but I’m willing….or maybe it would be easier for me to move out there? Is there a house for sale beside yours?

    Looks sooooooooo good!

    Love your blog,


  9. Manon from Ontario
    February 14, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Question….do you put hot water in the pan or cold?

  10. Ashley
    February 14, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Yum it’s been too long since I made pots de creme! The recipe I used before had you cover each little container with saran wrap (before baking) which I thought was really odd.

  11. Kristy Lynn @ Gastronomical Sovereignty
    February 14, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    i made my very first pot de creme yesterday! It was vanilla though. I love the idea of doing a chocolate one now :)

    Question: i feel like maybe mine fell a little flat? it seemed to retract into itself a little once it cooled. Any ideas?

  12. akajb
    February 14, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Oh this looks yummy. Just wanted to say, I’ve been trying some recipes off other blogs recently, and so far the only blog whose recipes have *always* worked are yours. I’ve given up on most of the blogs I’ve tried, which is disappointing. I’m going to have to start searching your archives more.

    That sausage and beans one you posted a while ago? I’ve made it like 6 times since, and my sister and one friend have both made it a few times as well. It’s excellent. Same with the Molasses Crinkles.

    I hope you do some more one-pot type meals. I find those are great for someone living on their own – not too many dishes, and still hits multiple food groups.

    • JulieVR
      February 15, 2012 at 11:10 am

      Thanks – you made my day! Guess this means I should get on updating my recipe index… (blush)

  13. Angie
    February 14, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    Thanks, Julie. The creme caramel looks great… but I think I’ve decided you’re right – we’re just going to live it up! Happy Valentine’s Day! :)

  14. Magda | My Little Expat Kitchen
    February 15, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Julie, I just the word chocolate and I couldn’t help but taking a peek. The peek turned into serious craving. This is a beautiful dessert!

  15. Gemma
    February 15, 2012 at 10:59 am

    I made this for family and friends for Valentine’s Day, and we all absolutely loved the creamy, chocolate deliciousness of it. Thanks for the great reicpe, I will defintely do this one again.

    Also, I agree with akajb above, and would love to see some easy, one pot dinner ideas.

    You are the best, Julie. Hope you had a good Valentine’s Day!

    • JulieVR
      February 15, 2012 at 11:09 am

      Thanks Gemma – you too! Will get on those one pot dinner ideas.

  16. Stephanie
    February 16, 2012 at 9:09 am

    That first picture is so so drool inducing.

    Rich chocolate desserts never used to be my thing until I tried one of these chocolate pots de creme at one of the YYC places. omgsogood. I really need to try and make them at home because I cannot for the life of me remember where I tried them in the first place.

  17. Jamie
    February 19, 2012 at 7:32 am

    Hi Julie,

    I have been following your blog for some time and love it! I made the Chocolate Pots de Creme last night to follow up a pot roast and barley rissotto. It was an absolute perfect ending to the dinner and will become a dessert staple in my cooking!

    Thank you so much and keep the inspiration coming!

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  21. Lynn
    June 4, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Angie, I ran the numbers through my WW calculator…one serving comes to around 14. Easily worth it as part of your weekly allowance.

    • Julie
      June 5, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      Thanks for looking into it Lynn!

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