You’re only 5 minutes and 4 ingredients away from a ridiculously easy no bake chocolate dessert that impresses every time. They’re rich and smooth, and a perfect make ahead dessert for dinner parties!
Why it’s the best chocolate pots recipe
I love discovering and posting ‘cheat’ recipes that impress guests but take literally minutes to throw together.
Take these very quick and easy Scrummy Lane dessert favourites, for instance:
- 6-ingredient gooey Swedish chocolate cake
- easy magic lemon pudding (just 5 ingredients)
- 10-minute no bake chocolate truffle cake
But I really think these 5-minute chocolate pots (otherwise known as pots de crème) give all of these a run for their money!
In fact may I suggest that this is the best recipe for chocolate pots de crème? Why?
- It’s a no bake recipe with no cooking required (apart from boiling the kettle and microwaving the chocolate, which doesn’t count).
- It’s made in (literally) 5 minutes.
- It’s a perfect make ahead dessert.
- With only 4 simple ingredients, it’s also egg free and gluten free.
- It’s a rich and creamy crowd pleaser. But the added water reduces the actual amount of cream you need to add.
The 4 ingredients
chocolate (of course!)
There’s a lot of flexibility here.
My favourite thing to do is to use a mixture of dark and milk chocolate, in a ratio of about 2 to 1. But you can use all dark chocolate or all milk if you prefer.
On the whole it’s best to use good quality chocolate with at least 40% cocoa solids in. If you use a poor quality chocolate there’s a chance the desserts won’t set as well.
The recipe even works with flavoured chocolate such as mint or orange. Just don’t use white chocolate as you need a different recipe for that! (see below if you’d like it!)
Just less than half a cup (about 0.4 of a cup or 95ml). It might seem like too much as you’re adding it, but just trust me. It’s OK!
Use double or heavy cream, or even thickened cream if you’re in Australia. If you use thickened cream, you’ll find your desserts will set quite fast.
Otherwise just be patient. Make the desserts well ahead of when you need them – either in the morning or the night before. Cover and pop in the fridge until you’re ready to serve dessert.
Note that you can even make a delicious dairy free version of these by using coconut cream! For a naughty and very luxurious version, how about Bailey’s Irish cream? 😉
Vanilla or other flavouring (if you like)
Just a teaspoon. I usually add vanilla essence, but mint, orange or even a teaspoon of instant coffee added to the boiling water would work well too. But this isn’t essential!
How to make them
I spotted this recipe in a little cookbook by an organic chocolate company called Green and Blacks years ago. I thought about jotting it down, but didn’t even need to.
The recipe’s so easy, I just remembered it.
5 steps, 5 minutes:
Step 1: Melt chocolate in the microwave (2 MINUTES at the most).
Step 2: Stir just under a half of a cup boiling water into it (1 MINUTE). It goes stiff and grainy when you first start adding the water. Don’t worry! Just keep stirring until smooth.
Step 3: Whisk in just under a half of a cup double cream (about HALF A MINUTE).
Step 4: Pour into shot glasses or espresso cups or similar (1 MINUTE tops).
Step 5: Leave to set in the fridge and … enjoy!
These desserts are a perfect make ahead dessert for a dinner party. Ideally, make them in the morning for an evening dinner party. Or make them the night before. They’ll keep well covered in the fridge for up to a week.
What do they taste like?
This is a rich dessert, as you can imagine. But not overly so. Chocolate pots are like a chocolate ganache, but with the bit of added water they’re more like a luxury smooth chocolate pudding.
They’re not super thick or super thin either – they’re somewhere in between. How thick they are will depend on the exact type of chocolate and cream used. And that’s completely OK!
Keep them plain, or add flavours!
Adding a teaspoon of vanilla essence works well. Other flavours you can add include:
- peppermint essence (or use mint flavoured chocolate)
- orange zest (or use orange flavoured chocolate)
- instant coffee (add a teaspoon into the boiling water)
- a large pinch of sea salt
How to serve them
I usually keep things simple. When the desserts are set, I sprinkle a tiny bit of grated chocolate on the top, just to make them look pretty.
But if you like you can be a bit fancier:
- Serve the desserts with a dollop of whipped cream on top.
- Serve with a piece of fancy shortbread. Store bought is fine. Alternatively, there’s a beautiful recipe for macadamia shortbread in this post for lemon posset!
- Pile some fresh raspberries or blueberries on the top.
- Sprinkle some crushed caramels and a little sea salt on the top.
The desserts are very silky and rich so they’re best served in small portions. These whiskey shot glasses (affiliate link) would be perfect for serving! Cute espresso cups work well too.
What people are saying and FAQ
This is one of my older recipes that I’ve updated several times after feedback from readers.
Just made this recipe and it was amazing. Thank you so much, Helen. I used 70% chocolate, double cream, and a touch of satsuma zest. They set perfectly after a little while in the fridge and are absolutely smooth and wonderful.Julie *****
This is a fabulous way to get a quick chocolate fix. Love the dark and milk chocolate combination. Perfect for a dinner party!Sandra *****
Generally people love this recipe, but here are some commonly asked questions that might help you to make chocolate pots perfectly the first time… and every time after that!
I usually make chocolate pots with either good quality dark chocolate or a mixture of dark chocolate and milk chocolate. On the whole, these work with any kind of chocolate, but try to choose good quality with at least 40% cocoa solids. 70% is even better.
No. The ratio of chocolate to water and cream is different. If you’d like to make some white chocolate pots, use this white chocolate pots de creme recipe instead.
Sometimes the chocolate mixture is quite thin when you pour it into the glasses or cups. Other times it’s a bit thicker, depending on the type of chocolate and cream you use. Don’t worry! Just leave them to set for longer. All day or overnight is perfect.
Once again, the ‘thickness or thinness’ can depend on the exact type of chocolate and cream. If they seem a bit ‘too’ thick when you take them out of the fridge, especially if you’ve let them set overnight, just take let them sit out on the counter for a while before serving. But remember they’ll be delicious anyhow, even if a little thicker than you were expecting/hoping.
Use double cream (UK) or heavy cream (US) for the best results. In Australia there’s also a type of cream called thickened cream, which is perfect! Using this helps the desserts to set faster. For a dairy free version use coconut cream.
Nope. They usually need time to set. Make them in the morning for an evening dinner party. This way they have all day to set in the fridge. Alternatively, make them the night before. just cover and leave in the fridge until you’re ready to serve them. On the other hand, if you’re a little short on time, cover well and pop into the freezer for an hour or two.
Actually, you can! Cover really well with plastic wrap and aluminium foil, and freeze for up to a month. Let defrost in the fridge overnight. In fact, frozen chocolate pots are also a thing so you could even try eating them frozen if you like.
Give them a try! There’s no way your guests will realise they only took you 5 minutes, you sneaky thing.
More recipes using double cream!
- 15-minute creamy pesto chicken (this is a delicious midweek meal, and only uses a little cream so it isn’t too heavy)
- creamy garlic parmesan potatoes (dauphinoise potatoes)
- 6-ingredient mini quiche lorraine (perfect for parties, and freeze really well!)
- white chocolate baked cheesecake (another super easy but impressive dessert)
More impressive but easy desserts
- 5-minute chocolate banana ice cream (healthy nice cream!)
- 6-ingredient gooey Swedish chocolate cake (you’ve got to try this!)
- Easy magic lemon pudding (the most controversial recipe on my blog!) or its little sister recipe aka this chocolate self saucing pudding (lower sugar recipe!)
- No bowl chocolate pecan bars (magic bars!)
- 2-minute healthy peanut butter mug cake
- Or check out this post listing all of the above and more in one easy list, or see ALL of my easy desserts here.
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5-minute chocolate pots (only 4 ingredients!)
Ingredients (UK/Australia? Click below for grams/ml)
- 7 ounces chocolate (save 1 piece to grate over at the end)
- 0.4 cups boiling water (just under ½ cup or 95ml)
- 0.4 cups heavy cream (again, just under ½ cup, so about 95ml) heavy cream = double cream (UK), thickened cream also works well (Australia)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence (optional)
to serve (optional)
- whipped cream just a little, for the top
- fancy shortbread
- Break all of the chocolate except for 1 piece up into a medium bowl, then melt in the microwave in 30-second spurts. I find 1.5 minutes is about right.
- Add the water little by little, stirring until you have a smooth paste.
- Whisk in the cream and vanilla or any other flavouring (if using).
- Pour into shot glasses or similar and let set in the fridge (for at least 6 hours or overnight). Take them out of the fridge for a while to 'warm up' a little before serving if they seem really solid. They'll keep in the fridge for up to a week.
- Just before serving, grate the piece of chocolate you saved finely. Top each chocolate pot with a small sprinkle. If you like add a spoonful of whipped cream to the top of each chocolate pot, and then sprinkle over the chocolate (optional).