Creamy, no bake coffee chocolate custard cups fill my need for some decadence on my birthday.
This mocha custard recipe is dairy free, gluten free, paleo, and low carb. Rich in chocolate flavor with just a touch of full-bodied coffee equals chocoholic heaven!
What’s the difference between custard and pudding?
Classic pudding (we’re not talking about the instant-powder packets here!) and custard are extremely similar. Both are typically made with milk or cream, sugar, and eggs.
The biggest difference is the thickening agent. Though many puddings do use eggs, the primary thickening agent is usually a starch — like cornstarch or flour.
Custard, on the other hand, thickens thanks to the egg itself — usually using the egg yolk, but sometimes the whole egg is used. Custards can be baked or made on the stovetop, and they’re usually thicker than puddings.
I think of custards as dense, rich, and decadent, whereas puddings are silky, creamy, and sweet.
How to make no bake custard
Generally, people shy away from making treats like this coffee chocolate custard at home. But with a little patience, this decadent dessert will leave you feeling like a kitchen champ — with quite a prize at the end!
My favorite way to make custard is using a double boiler. In my experience, I’m less likely to cook the egg yolks that way — but if you’re in a pinch, you can *carefully* make this custard without the double boiler, too.
If you don’t have a double boiler, you can create a makeshift version! Set a metal colander or strainer over a pot. Then put a heat-safe bowl (I use a glass bowl) in the colander to serve as your top pot. Your cook time may be a little longer this way, as some heat escapes out the sides, but it works just fine in the end!
Once you’ve got your double boiler set, you’ll heat the milk (here, we’re using full-fat coconut milk) just to a simmer. You never want the custard to boil!
Then, pour the heated milk, carefully and slowly, into the egg yolks as you whisk. This is called tempering the eggs. Essentially, you’re gently increasing the temperature of the eggs so they don’t instantly cook when you add them to the milk.
Some recipe skip egg tempering and simply heat the whole mixture in a pot at once. I like including the tempering step, as I am less likely to cook the custard too quickly.
Then, you’ll slowly and steadily heat the custard until it thick enough. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until the mixture’s smooth. Refrigerate the chocolate custard, and you’re good to go!
How do you know when the custard is done?
You’ll know to turn off the heat when the custard coats the back of a spoon.
This is a pretty universal method for testing pudding, custard, pots de creme, and all sorts of sauces. If it coats the back of a spoon, it’s thick enough!
Is my custard ruined if some of the eggs cooked?
Not at all! I’ve made this mistake a number of times.
Essentially, the eggs got too hot too fast. This means you either had the heat too high or didn’t temper the eggs before adding them to the rest of the mixture.
That said, you don’t want egg chunks in your finished chocolate custard cups.
Simple pour the custard through a fine-mesh strainer before pouring into their own individual cups. That should get any pieces of egg out of there!
Looking for more dessert inspiration? Here you go!
- Dark Chocolate Pots de Crème with Marshmallow Crème
- Chocolate Tahini Spread
- Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Flourless Plantain Skillet Brownie
- Chai Hot Chocolate (Dairy Free)
This decadent no bake coffee chocolate custard recipe is dairy free, gluten free, paleo, and low carb! You’ll love every bite of this rich, easy dessert.
- In a medium heat-safe bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and honey. Set aside. Prepare a double boiler by filling the bottom with water to 1 inch below the top level pot. Add coconut milk, sea salt, and coffee to the top pot. Bring the water in the double boiler just to a boil, then reduce heat to low to keep at a simmer.
- Gradually pour 1-2 cups of the coconut milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture while whisking continuously to temper the eggs. Be careful here — you want to pour in slowly so the egg yolks don’t cook! Once the mixture is smooth, pour back into the double boiler.
- Continue to cook over low heat, whisking frequently, for about 15 minutes. You’ll know the custard is ready when the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla extract. Separate 1 cup of custard and set aside.
- Add the chocolate to the remaining custard, whisking constantly, until the chocolate has completely melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy.
- Pour the chocolate custard into cups, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Remove from the fridge and spoon the reserved vanilla custard over each cup as a topping. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
Keywords: custard, no bake, chocolate custard