Mocha pots de crème

Total Time
40 min
15 min
25 min
Rich and creamy, this lighter take on the classic French dessert makes no sacrifices in flavor and texture. Pots de crème (POH-duh-crehm), French for pots of cream, is the term for both the custard and the decorative small lidded pots they are often baked in. The classic flavor for pots de crème is vanilla, but renditions for coffee, chocolate, maple, and even pumpkin are equally popular. It’s important to add in just ½ cup of the hot half-and-half mixture to the eggs to start with before adding in the rest to prevent scrambling them. Add four whole coffee beans, for garnish.


Fat-free half-and-half

1 cup(s)

Semisweet chocolate

4 oz, or bittersweet, finely chopped

Instant espresso

1 tsp

Vanilla extract

½ tsp

Regular liquid egg substitute

½ cup(s)

Packed brown sugar

¼ cup(s)

Table salt



  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Bring the half-and-half just to a boil in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the chocolate, espresso powder, and vanilla; whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  3. Whisk together the egg substitute, brown sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in 1⁄2 cup of the half-and-half mixture. Add the remaining half-and-half mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl.
  4. Divide the custard evenly among four 5-ounce ramekins or 6-ounce custard cups and place in a 9-inch square baking pan. Put the pan in the oven and add enough boiling water to the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Loosely cover the pan with foil to prevent a skin from forming on the custards. Bake until the custards are barely set around the edges and jiggle in the center, about 25 minutes. Do not overbake; the custards will continue to firm up as they cool.
  5. Carefully transfer the ramekins to a rack and cool. Refrigerate, covered, until thoroughly chilled and set, at least 3 hours or up to 1 day. Garnish each pots de crème with a coffee bean (if using). Yields 1⁄2 cup custard per serving.