Chocolate Pastry Cream

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about

    3 cups

Appears in

The principle used to make a ganache, in which hot cream melts and then combines with chocolate, also works with a custard to make chocolate pastry cream.


  • 2 cups/480 milliliters half-and-half
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup/90 grams sugar
  • 8 ounces/225 grams bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ cup cornstarch mixed with ¼ cup water or milk
  • 4 tablespoons/60 grams unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces


Pour the half-and-half into a small saucepan. Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the pan; add the scraped pod. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then remove from the heat and allow the pod to steep for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the pod halves and discard them (or put them in your sugar bowl to perfume your sugar). Add the vanilla extract.

Combine the yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk till they’re uniformly combined.

Put the chopped chocolate in another bowl. Return the cream just to a simmer over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Pour about ½ cup/120 milliliters of the hot half-and-half into the egg-sugar mixture, whisking as you do. Then pour that egg mixture into the remaining half-and-half in the saucepan, whisking to combine it all. Add the cornstarch slurry and turn the heat to medium, stirring continuously until the pastry cream has thickened to the consistency of pudding. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter, stirring continuously until the butter has melted.

Pour the hot pastry cream mixture into the bowl of chocolate, stirring and folding the chocolate into the pastry cream as it melts. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.