Chocolate Crème Anglaise

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 own 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 a wooden spoon, and if a line remains when you run your finger over the back of it, it's ready. Adding cornstarch helps protect the egg yolk from overcooking and thickens the custard.

Photographs: Hallie Burton


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.