An easy and delicious recipe for Chocolate Creme Patissiere (Chocolate Pastry Cream) – a rich, creamy custard with deep chocolate flavor, that can be used in many types of dessert. This recipe is gluten free and dairy free friendly.
If you’re looking for basic Vanilla Creme Patissiere, check out my post right here.
Learning how to make pastry cream is a basic skill that any type of baking requires because Pastry Cream is the basis for many desserts. I’ve talked about all of that and covered the basic tips and the recipe for Vanilla Creme Patissiere (Vanilla Pastry Cream) in this post right here. Today I’m sharing the recipe for Chocolate Creme Patissiere (Chocolate Pastry Cream), perfect for chocolate pudding, eclairs, profiteroles, and other types of pastry.
I have used both cocoa powder as well as bittersweet chocolate to make to make this chocolate pastry cream. The cocoa powder adds a deep chocolate flavor, while bittersweet chocolate enhances that flavor. The cocoa butter in bittersweet chocolate makes the chocolate creme patissiere richer. So the combination of the two types of chocolate ensures that your chocolate pastry cream has great depth of chocolate flavor as well as creamy richness.
Because of the bittersweet chocolate in the pastry cream, this recipe yields a slightly thicker chocolate pastry cream than its vanilla counterpart which I previously shared. That’s due to the cocoa butter in it, which is a solid at room temperature. I also add extra milk (compared to the classic, vanilla pastry cream) to keep the custard creamy and smooth.
I also made something quite similar to chocolate creme patissiere in this no bake chocolate and raspberry pie that I shared before. The filling for that pie is a chocolate pudding which is basically a chocolate creme pat, BUT richer (with more egg yolks and butter), and made with more chocolate and no cocoa powder.
You can use either of these two recipes for chocolate pudding. The chocolate creme patissiere that I’m sharing here is thicker and therefore can be piped on or used to fill any type of pastry. It’s perfect for trifles, chocolate cream puffs (profiteroles filled with chocolate pastry cream), eclairs, and even no bake pies.
And with a few additional ingredients, you can transform your chocolate creme pat into other delicious flavors as well. This chocolate pastry cream recipe is the base of mocha pastry cream, bourbon/rum chocolate pastry cream, cinnamon chocolate pastry cream, and jaffa pastry cream (chocolate orange pastry ream). All of these variations are included in the recipe below.
Chocolate creme patissiere (Chocolate pastry cream)
- 2 ¼ cups milk (Or a plant based milk like coconut or almond)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 egg
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 ½ tbsp cornstarch
- ¼ tsp salt
- 6 oz bittersweet chocolate
- 2 tbsp butter, softened (Or vegan butter)
- Add the milk and vanilla into a saucepan. Heat the milk over medium high heat and bring it to a boil.
- While the milk is being heated, place the sugar, egg and yolks, cornstarch, cocoa powder and salt in a bowl. Whisk until you have a thick, smooth mix. Place this egg mix on top of a towel or napkin (to prevent it from slipping), and then set it aside until the milk comes to a boil.
- As soon as the milk starts to boil, remove it from the heat. Slowly pour about one half of the hot milk in a thin stream, into the egg mix, WHILE WHISKING CONSTANTLY to temper the egg mix. When the eggs have been tempered, add the egg mix back into the hot milk in the saucepan.
- Heat the custard base, over medium heat, while whisking vigorously until it starts to thicken - this should take about 2 - 5 minutes (depending on the heat level).
- While whisking, let the custard release some bubbles (come to a boil gently). When the first bubbles break the surface, lower the heat to low and immediately add the bittersweet chocolate chips. Whisk until the chocolate is completely melted.
- Remove from the heat and add the butter. Whisk in the butter, until that too is completely mixed into the custard.
- Pour the custard into a bowl and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap is touching the whole surface. This is to prevent a custard skin from forming on top.
- Let the custard cool down to room temperature and then let it chill in the fridge for a few hours, until it’s completely chilled.
- Use as needed after the chocolate pastry cream has been chilled. You may need to whisk the pastry cream to make it smooth again before use.
Tips & Tricks
- For a richer creme patissiere, you can substitute the whole egg with 3 egg yolks (6 egg yolks in total).
- For a thicker consistency add only 2 US cups (480 mL) milk. This consitency is even thicker and is good for piping shapes that are stiffer than this recipe.
- Mocha Pastry Cream - Instead of the vanilla (or in addition to the vanilla) - add ½ tsp of instant coffee granules. Allow the instant coffee to dissolve in the milk and then proceed with the recipe.
- Bourbon Chocolate Pastry Cream - Use ¼ cup less of the milk/half and half for the custard. Add 3 tbsp of bourbon along with the butter and whisk it in until well mixed with the custard.
- Jaffa Pastry Cream - Add 1 tsp orange extract along with the vanilla extract and then proceed with the recipe.
- Cinnamon Chocolate Pastry Cream - Add ½ tsp cinnamon along with the vanilla into the milk and then proceed with the recipe.
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