Chocolate crémeux, or crémeux au chocolat, is the perfect dessert for Valentine's day, date night or just to spoil yourself.
Rich, creamy and totally delicious, this is a homemade custard, flavoured with Baileys, and mixed with dark chocolate for a truly decadent dessert.
It's perfect if you want to get ahead and make it in advance, and lasts for a few days in the fridge, (but it won't!)
If you like chocolate mousse, you will love this recipe.
Crémeux simply means creamy in French, and a chocolate cremeux is the combination of crème anglaise, or pouring custard, mixed with chocolate.
The chocolate can be milk, white or dark chocolate, however dark chocolate is the most stable.
It's rather like making a ganache icing, as the hot cream mixture is poured over chopped chocolate and left to melt. However, with a crémeux, it is hot custard poured over the top.
Dipping your spoon into this dessert is a very decadent affair. It's extremely creamy, chocolatey but not overly sweet. It's definitely one to make for the chocoholics in your life.
However, if you are on your own, or your other half isn't keen on desserts, (my husband isn't), this is the perfect dessert as it makes 4 delicious portions that you can even freeze for later.
You can even use this for filling sweet tart shells or icing a cake too.
❤️ Why you will love this dish
- Make in advance.
- Perfect idea for entertaining.
- Vary the flavours easily.
- Serve with fruit or biscuits or just on it's own.
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- Cream - double or heavy cream.
- Sugar - caster sugar.
- Milk - normally whole milk is used, however, I used semi skimmed and it makes no difference to the taste or texture.
- Baileys - or other Irish cream liqueur, or leave it out and add the same amount of milk instead. A standard ration would be the same amount of milk and cream.
- Egg - free range egg yolks.
- Chocolate - for the best flavour use chocolate which is around 75% cocoa. 85% is far too bitter. Obviously, the lower the percentage of cocoa solide, the less flavour will be in the dessert.
💭 Top Tip
- I normally store my eggs at room temperature, but if you put your eggs in the fridge for an hour or so before you are ready to use them, then they will be easier to separate.
- Separate each egg putting the yolk and whites in separate bowls, using the half shell or your hand to let the egg white drain away. This makes it easier in case you come across a bad egg without wasting the rest.
- If you don't need the egg whites straightaway they can be frozen. The easiest way is to pour them into a small container or ice cube tray, then transfer into another container when frozen. They will keep for up to 12 months.
- Eggs whites are often used in cakes. Try Nutella Chocolate Meringues, Gluten Free Friands , Almond Financiers, or how about Macarons?
The printable recipe card with full ingredient quantities and instructions can be found at the bottom of the article.
- 2 mixing bowls
- wooden spoon
- 4 ramekins or small bowls
Finely chop the chocolate or use the coarse side of a box grater, then chop any remaining pieces.
This is important to make sure that the chocolate melts in the hot cream without further heating.
Place the chocolate in a large bowl.
Put the egg yolks and sugar in another mixing bowl and whisk together for a minute until foamy.
Add the cream and milk to a saucepan and place over a low to medium heat.
Bring to a simmer then turn off the heat. Leave to cool for a minute.
Pour the hot milk mixture slowly onto the egg yolks, whisking continuously until combined.
Start with a small amount. This helps to temper the mixture so that the eggs don't cook too quickly and turnto scrambled eggs.
Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan over a low heat.
Stir continuously for about 5 minutes until the custard has thickened.
💭 Top Tip
- The custard will be thick enough when it coat the back of the wooden spoon. You can check this by dipping in the spoon then drawing a horizontal line in the custard with your finger. If it stays clean then the custard is thick enough.
- Alternatively, use a thermometer to check. The custard will be ready when the temperature reaches between 82 - 84 degrees C or 180 - 184 F.
Remove the custard from the heat and pour over the chopped chocolate.
Leave the mixture for a few minutes then stir to combine.
The chocolate crémeux should be smooth and silky.
Transfer to ramekins and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Remove from the fridge about 20 minutes before eating.
This makes sure that the chocolate flavour is at its best.
🥗 Side Dishes
Serve this chocolate dessert on its own or with a dollop of whipped or clotted cream.
Crème fraiche is a really good accompaniment as it has a slight tang that cuts through the richness.
Serve with an extra grating of chocolate and fruits such as strawberries, raspberries or peaches.
Alternatively, it is nice to serve a small portion with a small cake or biscuit with an espresso. This is known as a café gourmand. This is typically served in a restaurant as an after dinner coffee served with 3 small desserts, which are designed to counteract the bitterness of the coffee.
Try some of these ideas
- Nutella Macarons
- Chocolate Meringues
- Chocolate Mendiants
- Sable Biscuits
- Linzer Cookies
- Viennese Finger Biscuits
- Chocolate Shortbread with Hazelnuts
- Caster sugar - use granulated sugar instead
- Chocolate - use milk or plain chocolate if you prefer. Keep in mind that white chocolate can be unstable and the end result may be different.
- Orange - use a few drops of orange flavouring to the chopped chocolate or the zest of half an orange.
- Coffee - use 4 teaspoons of espresso powder mixed with a little hot water from a kettle and add with the chocolate.
- Refrigerator - cover the dish with cling film and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- Freezer - freeze in airtight containers for up to a month. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
🍱 Prepare in Advance
- Make up to 3 days in advance and store in the fridge.
More chocolate desserts to try
- 2 mixing bowls
- wooden spoon
- 4 ramekins or small bowls
- 150 ml double cream
- 50 g caster sugar
- 100 ml semi skimmed milk
- 5 tablespoon Baileys
- 3 egg yolks
- 150 g chocolate dark, at least 70 % cocoa solids
- Finely chop the chocolate or use the coarse side of a box grater,
- Put the egg yolks and sugar in another mixing bowl and whisk together for a minute.
- Add the cream and milk to a saucepan and place over a medium heat.
- Bring to a simmer then turn off the heat. Leave to cool for a minute.
- Pour the hot milk mixture onto the egg yolks, whisking continuously until combined.
- Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan over a low heat.
- Stir continuously for about 5 minutes until the custard has thickened.
- Remove the custard from the heat and pour over the chopped chocolate.
- Leave the mixture for a few minutes then stir to combine.
- Add the Baileys and stir.
- Transfer to ramekins and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article.
More French desserts
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.
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