Chocolate hazelnut pots de crème

Chocolate hazelnut pots de crème

And for this year, my wish for each of us is small and very simple.

And it’s this.

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever. – Neil Gaiman

Muscovado sugarCacao nibsChocolate hazelnut pots de crèmeChocolate hazelnut pots de crème

Notes: The hazelnut flavor of the custard is super subtle; if you prefer a stronger hazelnut tone, add an additional tablespoon of hazelnut liqueur. If you don’t have coconut milk, you can substitute equal amounts of soy cream. If using non-dairy milk (almond, soy, etc.) you’ll want to increase the the tapioca starch to 5-6 tablespoons. The best thickener for custards tend to be those of the root variety, so feel free to use potato or arrowroot in place of the tapioca. I used muscovado sugar because it’s super rich and helps to deepen the flavor of the custard, but feel free to use cane sugar, brown sugar, sucanat, etc. If you’d prefer to skip the baking step, knock yourself out. But you’ll still need to refrigerate the custard until set.The consistency of canned coconut milk varies greatly. If using Thai Kitchen (one of the higher quality coconut milks, in my opinion), you’ll want to boil the mixture for only 5 minutes instead of 10. If using Native Forest, follow the instructions as laid out below. Unfortunately, I have not tested any other coconut milks.

Update: I tried making this with a cheaper variety of dark chocolate and it did not turn out properly. It is important that you use the best quality chocolate you can find – I’ve used Valrhona le Noir 61% chocolate and Whole Foods 56% cacao with great results.


4 oz good quality dark chocolate
1 3/4 cups full fat coconut milk
2 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 tbsp hazelnut liqueur
3 tbsp tapioca starch

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line the bottom of a shallow baking pan with a small towel; set aside. Chop the chocolate and place it in a large mixing bowl; set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the coconut milk, sugar, and hazelnut liqueur; bring to a boil and let rumble for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat, pour over chocolate, and let sit for 5 minutes; whisk to combine. Sift in the tapioca starch and whisk vigorously until all clumps have disappeared. To reduce the number of air bubbles (or leftover starch clumps, if any), pass the mixture through a fine mesh strainer.

Divide the creme between four 4 ounce ramekins and place them in the prepared baking pan. Fill the pan with warm water, just until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. If you don’t want a thin layer of “skin” to form atop the custards, cover the pan with foil. However, covered custards will take considerably longer to set. Bake at 325˚F for 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool (room temperature), then chill in fridge for at least 4 hours to set. Top with cacao powder, whipped cream, toasted hazelnuts, and cacao nibs, if desired.

Yield: 4 pots


  • Reply Ashley January 4, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    THOSE words. You nailed it. That should be my mantra for the year. Thank you. And this recipe? KILLER.

  • Reply la domestique January 4, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    Pots de crème is one of my favorite desserts of all time. :) Your recipe looks truly decadent. Such wonderful words too. Happy New Year!

  • Reply Richa January 4, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    insane i tell ya.. these are a perfect start to 2013!!

  • Reply Erin January 4, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    Those words are absolutely perfect and I’m convincing myself not to stop working just so I can make this recipe. Lovely, Ashlae!

  • Reply Cara January 4, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    Um, I love this and even more, I love you. I think I made lots of mistakes last year so I am ready to reap the benefits this year. PS Take me with you to Europe, no? ;) xo

  • Reply Kasey January 4, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    I love this goal. Making mistakes is a part of life and the more we make, the more we learn about ourselves and each other. Beautiful recipe to welcome the New Year! Chocolate and hazelnut is my favorite combination. x

  • Reply Laura January 4, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    These pots de crème. Are they even real? Am I even here? So brillz, girl.

    Also I plan to rage on with my love/hate relationship with mistakes + failure this year. Trying hard and learning rules (working on my motivational speaker strategy duh).

  • Reply Jackie @ Vegan Yack Attack! January 5, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    These look delectable, and not too hard to make, either! :)

  • Reply herbivoretriathlete January 5, 2013 at 12:54 AM

    Wonderful words of wisdom. Perfect pots de creme. Love it.

  • Reply Nicole | Eat This Poem January 5, 2013 at 1:23 AM

    If I hadn’t just abandoned dessert (at least for a week or two), I would make this immediately. Planning to tuck it away until Valentine’s Day. Looks divine!

  • Reply julie January 5, 2013 at 4:28 AM

    yum yum and yum. will definitely be making this soon! thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Anonymous January 5, 2013 at 5:30 AM

    Looks beautiful! I can’t have the hazelnut liqueur but would love the hazelnut flavor. In your opinion if I left out the 2tbsp of liqueur, and added a couple teaspoons of hazelnut extract, would the lesser amount of liquid cause it to not set right do you think? I suppose I could add a little extra coconut milk. Thank you for sharing! Happy new year.

    • Reply Ashlae January 5, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      Hello! The measurement for the hazelnut liqueur was wrong; it is supposed to be 1 tablespoon. If you leave it out, there won’t be much of a difference in consistency (if any). Feel free to omit or replace it with a different type of extract/flavoring.

  • Reply Willow January 5, 2013 at 7:08 AM

    Gorgeous pots de creme! I adore chocolate and hazelnut together, and it’s refreshing to see a recipe that actually uses hazelnuts… not just nutella or the like. Also, I’m a huge fan of Neil Gaiman, and I might just have to use that quote myself!

    Happy 2013!

  • Reply london bakes January 5, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    Everything about this is perfect – the words, the pictures, the recipe. Happy new new!

  • Reply Selina Supper January 5, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Tonight, i dreamed of this recipe… i think i have to make it! :D

  • Reply lysa jordan January 5, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    chocolate and hazelnut, in a pot de crème…you are amazing. This looks so delicious! I hope you make a lot of new mistakes too, Ashlae. Happy new year:)

  • Reply Kimberly C January 6, 2013 at 1:02 AM

    Oh wow. This is incredible.

  • Reply Anonymous January 6, 2013 at 4:50 AM

    Is the hazelnut liqueur a liquor or extract?

  • Reply iz January 6, 2013 at 7:34 AM

    beautiful mistakes make a beautiful life.
    kind regards

  • Reply Cookie and Kate January 6, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    Happy new year, Ashlae. Love your resolution. I’m a perfectionist and hope to get over my fear of making mistakes in 2013. Perfection is overrated, anyway. :)

  • Reply sara forte January 6, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    that looks so crazy good. I need to subscribe to one brand of coconut milk because I find, like you said, the results are inconsistent. I love the bits of yum crumblies on top, looks perfect and easy and I’ll have to try. Cheers to you resolution, I love it.

  • Reply thelittleloaf January 7, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    Great quote, gorgeous photos, delicious recipe. I need to try this now!

  • Reply Kelsey January 9, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    Oh baby, mistakes WILL be made. Lordy.

  • Reply Averie @ Averie Cooks January 12, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    I can only imagine how rich, intense, dark, smooth and just truly divine these babies are! Beautiful and the fact you kept something so luxurious vegan, even more impressive!

    Thai Kitchen IMO is always the thickest and most consistent coconut milk (I have a giveaway coming up!)

    And I’d be curious to know what brand of chocolate was a fail. I use 72% TJ’s chocolate b/c it always works for me very well and based on price, it’s even better :)

    • Reply Ashlae January 12, 2013 at 11:36 PM

      Thai Kitchen is certainly the most consistent – my only complaint is that the cans are lined with BPA. I read something a while ago about them trying to find an alternative lining, but haven’t heard an update.

      As for the chocolate, I tried Enjoy Life semi-sweet chocolate chips and Chocolove 70% dark chocolate – the Enjoy Life pots de crème wouldn’t set, and the Chocolove pots de crème turned into mousse. I’d say stick with a 50-60% chocolate bar and you’ll be golden :)

  • Reply Elenore January 14, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    Hey gorgeous, why can’t I comment on your Vanilla Extract post? I wanted to say a big big cheers! Those bottles are such stunners I want to buy em all!

    Huge truckload of love from up north

  • Reply Christie {Pepper Lynn} January 15, 2013 at 6:14 AM

    A good word for this perfectionist. Also, this pots de creme looks just stunning!

  • Reply Kristy January 16, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    I used to work in a fancy french restaurant that would, on special occasions, serve a chocolate pot de creme. The first time I had one, I almost screamed (the waiter/my co-worker had to hold my mouth). Your version looks even better!

    I love making mistakes. I love being wrong. When you discover the right answer/way, those are always the biggest growing moments. :-)

  • Reply Rebecca W. {veganverite} January 18, 2013 at 11:39 PM


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