We served this dessert at our wedding over three years ago, and it’s high time to share the recipe with you! Our family has been calling this recipe “chocolate mousse” for years but it’s much closer to a French recipe called pots de crème, which translates to jars of cream.
These chocolate pots de crème are luscious, creamy, rich, and decadent. They are such fun desserts to offer at a party in individual servings. A little goes a long way, and that’s why I love them. I’d rather have a small portion of incredible dessert than a large portion of so-so dessert.
This miniature dessert comes from my husband’s Great-Aunt Betty. I wonder how many times Betty has whipped up this recipe in her vibrant 97 years. My husband’s mom makes them now, and you’re almost guaranteed to find these little treats in their freezer at any given time. We were thrilled when our wedding bakery agreed to make the family recipe to serve alongside our wedding cake!
This foolproof recipe comes together quickly in the blender—no baking, no straining, no fussing. Blend it up and chill it (you can even freeze these cups for the months ahead). I hope this recipe becomes one of your family traditions, too.
Pots de Crème Ingredients
Chocolate chips make this recipe super easy. I prefer darker chocolate, so I like semi-sweet chocolate chips or darker. If you prefer milk chocolate, choose milk chocolate chips. If you have chocolate bars, you can chop them for this recipe.
Betty’s original recipe calls for heavy cream. I haven’t tried half-and-half or anything lighter, but heavy cream will certainly yield the richest, thickest, creamiest texture. It’s decadent, and that’s how we like it!
Betty uses good old-fashioned sugar, and it produces ideal results. You know I try to use natural sweeteners like honey when possible, but I don’t recommend them for this recipe. They will dominate the flavor and interfere with the mixture setting.
A splash of liqueur offers subtle, complex flavor—it’s why these pots de crème taste so interesting. You have options.
Betty likes crème de cocao best, which is a sweet chocolate liqueur (you can also use it to make chocolate martinis or grasshopper cocktails). My favorite common liqueur is Kahlua, for a light coffee undertone that ramps up the chocolate flavor (you can also use Kahlua to make White Russians). Amaretto tastes like almonds, which is delicious! For a minty treat, try crème de menthe rather than peppermint schnapps.
You might find another good option in your liquor cabinet, but definitely choose a lower ABV liqueur rather than a full-strength liquor. For example, I tried bourbon, but it dominated the flavor and the strong taste of alcohol was unpleasant.
Looking for an alcohol-free option? Replace it with additional orange juice.
Orange juice is the second secret ingredient that makes this recipe taste so special! You’ll just need two tablespoons. I don’t usually buy orange juice, so I just buy an orange and squeeze what I need.
Eggs and Egg Yolks
This recipe uses two eggs for richness, plus two additional egg whites for extra volume. You’ll have two extra egg yolks, which you can keep in the fridge for a day or two and add to your next batch of scrambled eggs.
This recipe uses raw eggs, which has never caused our family harm, but there is always a slight risk of salmonella poisoning with raw eggs (one in 20,000). To mitigate this risk, you can buy pasteurized eggs at the store, or pasteurize your own eggs before making this recipe. Here’s the CDC’s information on egg safety.
Lastly, a splash of vanilla extract lends more complexity to this rich chocolate dessert. Vanilla and chocolate were made for each another.
Watch How to Make Pots de Crème
Serving Cup & Spoon Suggestions
Choose small glasses with some extra room inside (about 2 to 4 ounces each), should you choose to add toppings. I used Crate and Barrel’s Bitty Bite short glasses for these photos. More affordable options include disposable plastic cups (you’ll have plenty for several batches) or reusable glass shot glasses.
You’ll likely need to serve these mini cups with mini spoons, also known as espresso spoons or demitasse spoons. Here’s an inexpensive set of twelve stainless steel spoons. For these photos, I used spoons like these.
Refrigerated vs. Frozen
Both options are absolutely delicious. These photos show the refrigerated texture, which is a glossy, thick mousse that holds its shape. As shown, these cups were refrigerated for the minimum time of one hour, but they firm up a bit more in another hour or two.
The frozen option is especially great because the cups will keep for up to three months. Hosting an impromptu get-together? Dessert is ready to go! I might actually prefer the frozen texture, which is dense, firm and obviously colder. My mother-in-law says it’s easier to add toppings when the cups are cold from the freezer.
To freeze, simply place the portioned cups into a freezer-safe carton with a lid (this is easier and more protective than covering them individually with plastic wrap). Let the cups thaw briefly on the countertop or in the refrigerator while you eat dinner. The length of time will depend on your serving size, but it shouldn’t take longer than 15 to 30 minutes.
These pots de crème don’t need toppings, but it’s fun to dress them up! Generally speaking, they’re lovely with tiny sprigs of mint, raspberries, whipped cream, shaved chocolate, candied orange, or a few fun sprinkles. Here are a few holiday suggestions:
- For Christmas, try crushed candy canes, holly sprinkles or snowflake sprinkles, or tiny sprigs of mint with or without raspberries.
- For Valentine’s Day, do raspberries or a few pink heart sprinkles.
- For Easter, try a candy-coated almond or miniature chocolate egg candy.
- For the Fourth of July, try whipped cream with a raspberry and blueberry.
More Chocolate Treats to Enjoy
Craving more chocolate? Me, too—always. Here are a few more easy chocolate recipes on the blog.
Please let me know how Betty’s recipe turns out for you in the comments! I love hearing from you.
Betty’s Pots de Crème
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes (plus 1-hour chill time)
- Yield: 18 servings 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Blended
- Cuisine: French
- Diet: Vegetarian
This foolproof pots de crème recipe comes together quickly in the blender and tastes amazing. Make it for dessert, and freeze the extra! Yields 36 ounces, enough for anywhere between 36 tiny 1-ounce servings and 9 generous 4-ounce servings.
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup sugar
- 16 ounces heavy cream
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips*
- ¼ cup Kahlua or Crème de Cocao or Amaretto or orange juice
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- In a blender, combine the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla and sugar. Pour in the cream. Securely attach the lid and blend for 30 seconds, until the mixture is uniformly pale yellow.
- Next, melt the chocolate, Kahlua and orange juice in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over very low heat, stirring every minute or two. Once the chocolate chips are about 90% melted, about 4 to 6 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and stir until the mixture is silky smooth.
- Add the melted chocolate to the blender. Blend on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides halfway through.
- Divide the mixture evenly between small glasses or small ramekins/serving bowls. Either place the servings in a container with a lid or cover the tops with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until serving time (at least 1 hour, ideally 2+) or freeze for later. Refrigerated mousse will keep well for up to 5 days; frozen mousse will keep well for up to 3 months (allow the mousse to rest for at least 15 minutes at room temperature before serving).
*Chocolate note: Choose your chocolate chips based on your preferred level of chocolate intensity. I love darker chocolate and enjoyed these cups made with 54% cacao content semi-sweet chocolate chips (Whole Foods 365 brand).
Make it alcohol-free: Replace the liqueur with additional orange juice.
▸ Nutrition Information
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