This chocolate custard is dark, rich, and intense. Its texture is wonderfully smooth and silky.
It's surprisingly easy to make, and it's definitely one of my favorite chocolate desserts!
Do you love chocolate? I think most of us do. There's something about it that's more than its sweetness. People really do crave chocolate.
It's no wonder I have so many chocolaty desserts on this website! From chocolate pie to chocolate cake, and even - for my snack - chocolate yogurt. I love them all. But this custard is one of my favorites. It's very grown-up - rich, decadent, and intensely chocolatey.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty dessert. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Milk: You should definitely use whole milk in this recipe.
Dark chocolate: The darker you can go and still enjoy it, the better.
Sweetener: I use stevia, but you can use any granulated sweetener instead.
Egg yolks: See the suggestions below on what to do with the leftover egg whites.
Vanilla extract: Try to use the real thing - pure vanilla extract - and not the artificially flavored stuff.
Making this chocolate custard is surprisingly easy. Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
First, bring the milk to a simmer, then add the chocolate and sweetener.
Whisk the mixture until very smooth. Remove from heat and allow to slightly cool, then whisk the egg yolks and vanilla.
Very slowly, whisking constantly, add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture.
Pour the mixture into a measuring glass, then pour it into four ramekins that you've placed in a baking dish.
Pour hot water into the pan to create a water bath for the custard.
Bake until set, 25-30 minutes at 300°F.
The step of very slowly whisking the warm chocolate mixture into the eggs is called tempering. The idea is to try and prevent the eggs from cooking in the warm liquid and turning into scrambled eggs.
Technically, you would first whisk some of the chocolate into the eggs, then whisk that mixture back into the chocolate mixture. I do it a little differently, as you can see in the instructions and in the video below. But the idea is the same.
Still, it's not a bad idea to strain the mixture before pouring it into the ramekins, because tiny bits of cooked egg might be in there. If your mixture isn't too thick to strain, I highly recommend you do it.
Frequently asked questions
Not really. You just need to follow the steps methodically, much like any baking recipe.
I used to be scared of making custard. It seemed so complicated - tempering the eggs, baking in a water bath. But in reality, making it is quite easy.
Just follow the simple instructions below and you'll be rewarded with a rich, velvety, and chocolaty dessert.
I don't recommend that. When you pour hot water halfway up the sides of the ramekins, you create a water bath.
This hot water bath insulates the chocolate custard from the direct heat of the oven and promotes even cooking, so the edges won’t overcook before the center is done.
Many people use the same technique when baking a cheesecake, which is, in fact, a type of custard too.
I use stevia when making this recipe. You can use a granulated sweetener instead (such as erythritol), and you can use sugar if you don't mind the carbs. The nutrition info below assumes stevia.
The best way to vary this recipe is to use different flavor extracts. So instead of vanilla extract, you could use almond extract, coconut extract, or orange extract.
If you opt for any of these flavors, I recommend using just one teaspoon of them, not an entire tablespoon.
This rich dessert is excellent all by itself. If you'd like to add something, you can top it with some whipped cream and berries. It's also good with a drizzle of warm peanut butter.
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days. But this custard is best when served fresh.
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- 1 cup whole milk
- 5 oz dark chocolate such as Lindt 85%, broken into pieces
- ½ cup granulated sweetener (or the equivalent in stevia)
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Fill a kettle with water and boil the water, turning the heat off when the water has boiled.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk to a simmer. Add the chocolate and the sweetener. Reduce the heat to low. Whisk until the chocolate and sweetener melt completely and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool a couple of minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and vanilla. Pour a tablespoon of the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, whisking vigorously. Keep pouring the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, very slowly, constantly whisking. This technique is called tempering and it helps make sure the eggs won’t turn into scrambled eggs.
- Place four (4 oz) ovenproof ramekins in a rimmed baking dish. Pour the custard mixture (ideally through a strainer) into a measuring glass (just in case you have a few bits of cooked eggs in there). Pour the mixture into the ramekins. Pour the still-hot water that you had previously boiled into the pan so it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. This hot water bath insulates the custard from the direct heat of the oven and promotes even cooking, so the edges won’t overcook before the center is done.
- Bake the chocolate custard, uncovered, until set, 25-30 minutes. Carefully remove the ramekins from the pan (they'll be very hot), place them on a cooling rack, and allow them to cool to room temperature for about 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate the custard for at least 1 hour before serving.