Pots de Creme au Chocolat - What went wrong?!

Joined Feb 24, 2010
Okay, I'll preface by saying that I have issues with custards...

I made Pots de Creme au Chocolats... And when I pulled them out of the oven, it was a DISASTER!

It was like.. They'd boiled maybe? Or foamed up? I don't know if this is curdled, but... They look like the inside of Aero bars! All bubbly and foamy! They taste good...

I baked them in a bain marie at 300 for 40 minutes, checking every 10 min. to make sure the water wasn't boiling... Could this have been caused by my using a dark non-stick pan for the bain marie base?

Is this a heat issue? Or did I whip things too much?

Joined Mar 16, 2005
The simple fact that you asked if you whipped things too much may imply that it was the primary reason for your problems.  I generally use a spatula for mixing baked custards.  However, there are other possible reasons for your failure.

Instead of relying solely on time you should also learn to look at the correct consistency of a perfectly cooked custard.  When you shake it it should jiggle but not ripple.  Also the cooking time depends on the size of your custard, smaller custards require less cooking time than larger ones.  If your bain marie didn't boil then heat may not have been the culprit though you may still want to check your oven temperatures.  What's your recipe?
Joined Feb 24, 2010
1 egg, 1 yolk, 1 oz sugar, pinch salt, whisked until pale yellow.

170 ml whole milk, 115 ml heavy cream, 3 oz chocolate (used Green and Blacks 85% dark). Bring milk and cream to a boil over med-high heat. Add chocolate and stir until melted/combined.

Whisk 1/2 chocolate mixture into egg mixture. Whisk egg/chocolate mix into remaining chocolate mixture. Strain and take foam off the top. Pour into ramekins. Bake in a bain marie for 40 min at 300 degrees, checking every 10 minutes to make sure the water isn't boiling...

Okay, I know this sounds silly, but I did blog it... And there are a few pictures, if it might give a clue?


Thanks so much!!
Joined Jan 10, 2010
I'm not a Pots de Creme expert yet, but from what you said and the pics on the blog, my guess is that you added too much of the hot chocolate mixture too quickly to the eggs.  The technique, as I understand it, is to s-l-o-w-l-y add the chocolate mixture a little at a time, and then, after the eggs have tempered, more chocolate mix can be added at a faster rate.
Joined Feb 13, 2008
If the eggs weren't properly tempered they would have scrambled, when you combined them with the chocolate; and you would have seen it when you "strained" the mixture.  If they didn't scramble, they were plenty tempered.

How fine a sieve did you use to strain the chocolate?  Perhaps it was too coarse to break up the bubbles.

By the way, you're not going to see water visibly boil in a 300F oven.  Or, at least not very often.  As a general rule the water will evaporate rather than boil.  That it did not boil does not mean your oven wasn't too hot.  But as a first guess, I'm going sieve.   

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