I want to make a creme anglaise au chocolat for tart filling. I used the recipe of my best pastry chef Pierre herme:

125g milk

125g cream

3 egg yolks

70g sugar

90g chocolate (70%)

I first mixed the yolks with sugar then added the milk because I used only 250g milk instead of using cream to reduce the amount of fat.

The I cooked it as creme anglaise to 84C and added them to chocolate and mix until melt.

Then I poored the mix into tart shell and let them rest to the next day.

The next day I saw the chocolate cremeux still not set properly and it is like runny chocolate sauce (100% liquid).

Why that happened ?

  • 5
    The answer is in your question itself - you substituted milk for cream. Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 7:17
  • The cream here is playing the role of gelatine ? How ?
    – alim1990
    Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 7:48
  • @droidnation - Cream is thicker and more viscous than milk, so it isn't a surprise the result is thinner - its like adding extra water, or, specifically, having much less stuff in your water. Also, if a recipe fails after any substitution, you should probably consider the substitution at fault unless the recipe is retested, ingredients (like fat in this creme) can play non-obvious structural roles, not just add flavoring. [ps: using "@" in front of a username alerts the username you're replying to them. Otherwise, only the post writer gets notified]
    – Megha
    Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 9:22

1 Answer 1


What went wrong is that you mixed up your terms and made the wrong recipe.

There are many custards. The common thing is that they are all a liquid thickened by mixing it with egg yolks and cooking them until they are just right. But from there on, you get countless variations, and they can have different names.

The name "crème anglaise" is used for a liquid custard. It is somewhat thickened (not as liquid as pure cream), and is used as a kind of sweet sauce, poured over pastries. A typical use would be to eat it with an apple strudel.

Yours turned out more liquid than in the original recipe because you had 40 g less fat and 40 g too much liquid. But even if you had not done that, the recipe is still expected to stay runny.

If you want to fill a tart, I suggest that you use a different custard, for example a crème pâtissière. It is a cooked custard (not baked like a flan) and sets as a spreadable/pipeable mass. It will use the same ingredients as a crème anglaise, but in different proportions, so the taste will be very similar.

The "don't do substitutes" thing still applies. In baking, the amount of fat and sugar in recipes is what creates the final texture, and cannot be changed due to dietary considerations. If you try, you will end up with food which is too dry, or too runny, or in some other way different from the original.


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