Chocolate Crème Anglaise

 My dad loved custard and so do I. He used to make it for an simple dessert for my brother and I so it makes me a miss him when I make it for my kids. I’ll take custard in any form it wants to come but the crème de la crème of custard is crème anglaise. It’s luxurious and can be served hot or cold, over pie, with sweet cookies, or cake. If there’s any leftover, make sure you serve yourself a cheeky bowl for breakfast. 


Crème anglaise wants your full attention and love. It doesn’t take long to make so don’t get distracted. Instead, relax and enjoy the meditative continual stirring of the custard until it’s silky. What you’re looking for is what the French call nappè: when the custard coats the spoon, and if you run your finger over the back of it, a line should remain. By adding cornstarch it helps protect the egg yolk from overcooking and thicken the custard.

Makes: approximately 1¾ cups: enough for 6 to 8 side servings
Preparation: 15 minutes


1 ¾ cups (420ml) whole milk
4 egg yolks
⅓ cup (65g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon  pure vanilla extract
¼ cup (40g) semisweet chocolate chips

1—In a heavy saucepan over low heat, gently heat the milk until little bubbles start to appear around the edge of the pan; do not boil.

2—Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch for a couple of minutes, until pale in color.

3—Take the milk off the heat and slowly pour it onto the egg and sugar mixture, whisking constantly. Return all of the mixture to the saucepan. On low heat, continuously stir the custard using a wooden spoon. Slowly bring the custard’s temperature up to between 175° and 180°F. This should take approximately 8-10 minutes. When cooked, crème anglaise will look silky— not thick. Remove from the heat immediately so it doesn’t continue to cook. 

4—Add the vanilla and chocolate chips, stirring until the chocolate melts.

5—Pour the custard through a fine mesh strainer.

Photo: Hallie Burton

Odette Williams is a cook,
writer & author of best selling
cookbook Simple Cake.

© 2020 OW