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chocolate pastry cream in a glass bowl on a marble surface

Chocolate Pastry Cream

Full of Chocolate flavor this thick and creamy recipe for chocolate pastry cream is the perfect filling for pastries and cakes! Both melted chocolate and cocoa powder ensure the best chocolate flavor!

  • Total Time: 3 Hours 20 Minutes
  • Yield: Roughly 4 Cups 1x


Units Scale
  • 24oz (3 Cups) Half and Half
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Espresso Powder, optional
  • 150 grams (3/4 Cup) Granulated Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 7 Large Egg Yolks
  • 2 Tablespoons Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
  • 4.5 Tablespoons Cornstarch/ Cornflour
  • 4oz (3/4 Cup) Dark or Semi-Sweet Chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, cold and cubed
  • 2 Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract


  1. In a medium saucepan over low-medium heat add the half and half and espresso powder. Let cook for a couple of minutes to warm it up - do not boil the cream. 
  2. While half and half is warming, in a medium bowl whisk together the egg yolks, corn starch, salt, cocoa powder, and sugar. Whisk for two minutes, the mixture should be much lighter in color.
  3. Once the liquid mixture is warmed slowly add a little bit to the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Then add all of the cream very slowly and whisk to combine. If you do this too quickly you will scramble the eggs, ruining the custard. 
  4. Add mixture back to the pot and cook over low-medium heat for another couple of minutes, whisking constantly. The mixture will thicken up. You want it quite thick, the mixture will "burp" bubbles will pop on the surface- this shows it is done. Don't turn up the heat and rush this process.
  5. Take off the heat and immediately add the chopped chocolate, whisk until all of the chocolate has melted and combined with the pastry cream. Add the cold butter whisking vigorously to combine. Then pour into an air-tight container, place plastic wrap on top and push directly on top this helps prevent a thick skin from forming. Let chill in the fridge for at least three hours or up to three days. Rewhisk the pastry cream before serving.


  • You can half the recipe (use 4 yolks)
  • If you want a thinner pastry cream reduce the cornstarch to 3.5 tablespoons
  • Author: Elizabeth Waterson I Confessions of a Baking Queen
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: chocolate pastry cream, chocolate creme patisseriere, chocolate cream filling

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