No Bake Chocolate Puddings (crème au chocolat)


An easy, no-bake recipe for German Chocolate Pudding – a light dessert inspired by Germany’s Black Forest chocolate cherry cakes. I’ve taken a basic French crème au chocolat, topped it with Chantilly cream and cherries and served it with tuiles, financiers or chocolate cherry macarons.

German chocolate creams with cherries and cream

Inspired by the German Black Forest with Cherries

Do you really think a sweet tooth determines family holiday destinations? Well, perhaps it does, as it inspired these individual Chocolate Pudding Desserts. It has been over 40 years since I last visited Germany and the same, embarrassing amount of time since I practised my rusty high school German. Mein Deutsch ist nicht gut!  It was high time to visit.

We headed to the medieval town of Staufen, south of Germany’s Black Forest, a jewel nestled in between lush mountainous forests, vines, cafés and bakeries.

The Heart of the Black Forest

What amazed us most about the region, is how clean and tidy the towns are. Everything is immaculate, even down to the neat stacks of wood piled outside geranium window-boxed freshly painted houses. It’s also the first time I’ve seen kids paddling about in the gutters! (Well, one of them was mine – was ist das?) The Germans seem particularly eco-friendly: bikes are the norm, an impressive amount of houses have flashy solar panels and their signposting is nothing short of perfection.

We stayed at the Gasthaus Krone (meaning ‘crown’), which is an excellent address in Staufen – including their Michelin ‘Bib Gourmand’ restaurant – they have again been awarded by Michelin in their 2021 guide.

Luckily the friendly owner spoke some French, since my painful phrases embarrassingly resembled a mix of German vocabulary, French grammar and stuttering English fillers-in. I am determined to return after doing some homework next time, but at least communication through food is easier!

The city crest is a shield with 3 wine glasses so when in Staufen, it would be rude not to taste; their welcoming barrels proudly strut their tasting offerings.

Local Wine Varietals of Staufen

This is what holidays are made of: sitting back, people-watching, nibbling on a salted bretzel and sipping the local traditional grape varieties – including the oldest, Gutedel. Personally, I preferred the dry Muscat for white wines but their red wines shone high above the rest with some stunning Pinot Noirs, bursting with jam-like cherry fruits.

Staufen Castle, although now a ruin (built in 850), can be visited to admire the breathtaking vista of the Black Forest and Rhine Valley. Looking out the arched window, we’re reminded by such an enormous cherry tree that we’re in black cherry country.

After such a climb during the heatwave, it was time to follow the tempting signs dotted around the town to the nearest cake shop.

It didn’t take us long to discover the Café Decker, undoubtedly the best cake shop and tea salon in Staufen. It was so deliciously decked in cakes that we (admittedly) returned three times.

Black Forest Cakes, küchen, more chocolate cakes, redcurrant meringue pies and macarons were just some of the treats that would make anyone go off their sweet trolley. I think I put on three kilos during the week!

So, switching to ice cream seemed a lighter idea: teasingly steeped in Kirsch liqueur, it made an ideal excuse for an afternoon nap by the snoring river.

What is Black Forest Flavour?

The Black Forest cake consists of layers of chocolate sponge, whipped cream and cherries. So desserts referring to Black Forest has chocolate, whipped cream and cherries. In this case, the chocolate creams are minus the sponge, making them gluten free. Moreover, it’s a no-bake dessert recipe, easily made in advance.

Black Forest chocolate cream desserts

French No-Bake Chocolate Creams with Cherries

Back home, the Black Forest German trip made us crave chocolate and cherries for dessert. So I whipped up these gluten free chocolate puddings. I call them German, as they’re inspired by a Black Forest cake with chocolate and cherries but the basic recipe is more French in style: crèmes au chocolat.

This recipe is ideal for using up egg yolks and for serving with your chocolate macarons. What’s more, it’s holiday style: quick, easy, tasty and no bake! Check out the egg yolk recipe collection for more ideas!

ingredients for making no-bake chocolate creams

German chocolate cream desserts in wine glasses served with tuiles and macarons

Chocolate Pudding Desserts with Cherries

German chocolate creams with cherries and cream
5 from 2 votes

No Bake Chocolate Pudding Desserts

Author: Jill Colonna
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Chilling Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course : Party Food, Dessert
Cuisine : French
Keyword : no bake chocolate desserts, dinner party desserts, chocolate cherry desserts, German chocolate creams
Servings : 4 people
Calories : 266kcal


A light, no bake recipe for Chocolate Pudding. An easy dessert inspired by the beauty of Germany's Black Forest chocolate cherry cakes. Basic French crème au chocolat topped with Chantilly cream and cherries.


  • 1 @2g gelatine sheet
  • 200 ml (7fl oz) whole milk
  • 300 ml (10.5fl oz) whipping cream (30% fat)
  • 3 egg yolks organic
  • 50 g (2oz) sugar
  • 150 g (5.5oz) dark (bittersweet) cooking chocolate 60% cacao, broken into bits
  • 1 tbsp Kirsch liqueur


  • 16 cherries or jarred cherries soaked in Kirsch (e.g. Griottines)
  • 150 ml (5fl oz) whipping cream (30% fat) chilled


  • Soak the gelatine in cold water. Meanwhile break up the chocolate into pieces in a large bowl. In a saucepan, boil the milk and cream.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the yolks and sugar until light and creamy. Pour over the hot milky cream, mix and transfer back to the saucepan.
  • Whisk vigorously over a medium heat until the cream thickens. Take off the heat then pour over half of this hot cream on to the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts, add Kirsch (if using), the gelatine (squeezed of any excess water) and then whisk in the rest of the hot cream.
  • Transfer to 8 mini serving dishes (or 4 larger wine glasses if you’re greedy like us), cool and chill for at least an hour.
  • Whip up the cream and pour on top*. Decorate with fresh cherries and/or Griottine cherries soaked in Kirsch - or roast cherries with a splash of Kirsch and tablespoon of sugar.


* If you have a siphon, fill it up half way with chilled cream (no less than 30% fat) and splash in a couple of tablespoons of Kirsch or cherry syrup, fit with the gas canister, shake and chill for a few minutes. Instant, homemade lighter-than-air cream!
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: 266 calories per one bigger portion (served in 4 wine glasses) or half in mini verrine shot glasses (serves 8).

Disclaimer: None of the establishments mentioned in this post are sponsored. This was a private family trip and I’m sharing these addresses as we personally found them to be excellent. This post was first published 13th August 2013 but text is now updated with new photos and a printable recipe.

From the market

From the kitchen

23 responses to “No Bake Chocolate Puddings (crème au chocolat)”

    • Glad you like it, Emma. Agreed – cherries like this make it accessible all year around. Cheers x

  1. What a marvelous holiday for your family! It’s no surprise you sniffed out the best bakery in town. And then you returned home to make a marvelous dessert than may outshine it’s namesake! So beautiful, too!!! xo

  2. Jill, I’ll have to mark this dessert under ‘Favorites’ – it looks so good!

  3. I love this Black Forest blog Jill. I would love to visit these places too sampling your choice of hotels and wonderful places to eat . Yes, you would be a great asset to the German Tourist Board. I’d love to read your Black Forest cookbook if this is a sample.

    • You would love it, Thomasina, I’m sure. Black Forest cookbook? No plans, no, but perhaps I should get my act together with the other manuscripts!

  4. Hi Jill, you should work for the German tourist board. It may be how it is sold here, but it never grabs me as a holiday destination but this post makes me want to hop on the next plane to Staufen (A city with wine glasses in its crest, I have got to visit!)

    I love the makeover you have given the Black Forest Gateau – what a stunning dessert!

    • Hehe, thanks Hester. Would be lovely to have a paid job for a change! Yes, lots of tastings are awaiting your visit.

  5. I’m TOTALLY jealous of your holiday! And the elegant lady in the third picture must be you. 😀 Love looking at your holiday photos and wish I could visit there one day! And the cherry and chocolate dessert (and no bake!!) is a wonderful treat.

  6. Oh, Jill, what a stunning holiday! I have never visited that region of Germany (have seen almost none of Germany, period!) but it does look and sound like the best vacation spot. Simply beautiful. And the desserts sound like what we discovered when we visited Budapest and which was maybe the best part of the trip 😉

    I adore your dessert!!! I have to make this (and oddly enough have a lovely jar of boozy griottines in my cabinet)! Stunning! Chocolate and cherries and a shot of whipped cream is heaven!

    • Well, Jamie, sounds like you need to add this to your future plans. Only 30 mins drive from Colmar, so you can have your fix of chocolate, cream, cherries and boozy delights!

  7. what a gorgeous little dessert. Lekker! I love those little towns in the Black Forrest. Looks like you had a delightful holiday.

    • We did, thanks, Lora. Loved the wee towns but this was by far our favourite. Sehr classy!

  8. Beautiful photographs and an awesome looking dessert. My husband has been to Germany but outside of a change of flights there, I’ve not had the pleasure of visiting. It is our hope to both visit there together one day.

  9. When I visited company HQ in the Blackforest it looked like they had just put down their paint brushes and dashed inside. Insanely tidy. Unfortunately there were NO fab pastry shops that I recall.The big company soiree was a Mediterranean theme with seafood of all things! All I wanted was German crout and all the trimmings.
    Your trip looks ever so much better!!
    And your inspired dessert is as usual to die for.

    • Sounds like you’ll just have to return, Carol. You can make up for your lack of pastries from last time!

  10. Wow…they look delicious! I’m always wondering what to do with my egg yolks!

    I think that it’s a shame that not many people consider Germany for a holiday destination especially if you are travelling by car rather than by air. We have driven all the way to the south west of France without giving the distance a moments thought, but never really thought about driving to Bavaria or the Black Forest that probably wouldn’t take as long to get to.
    I spent most of my teen years summers in Austria which in many ways is similar to southern Germany. I learnt the language there and more importantly learnt to love cake! My mum didn’t make cakes and we couldn’t afford the shop brought variety. How wonderful it was then to be introduced to the likes of kuchen mit sahne every afternoon with cup after cup of real coffee. And to piles of freshly made apricot filled dumplings, kugelhopf and of course apple strudel. A trip to the konditorei was heaps better than the much inferior equivalent here at home, But that was in the 70’s and thankfully things have improved here in the UK. The French have their wonderful patisserie, but give me a slice of Black forest gateau or Sacher torte any day.

    • Brigitte, agree with you entirely. I couldn’t find a travel agent here in France that did Germany apart from weekend trips to Berlin or Munich, so ended up organising myself on the internet. In the end, it’s only 30 mins drive from Alsace, another wonderful spot with Black Forest pastry versions which are just as sublime. Apricot dumplings? Missed those – we’ll have to return!

  11. Thank you Jill. Funnily enough I am trying to refresh my German at the moment with downloads from Michel Thomas – great fun and my German is very laughable! Really love this post and the recipe and the pics of Staufen – it looks like you all had a wonderful, sunny time. And that cafe! Wow. Black Forest cookbook by Jill?
    All best and thank you, Liz

    • Thanks, Liz. Would recommend you popping by this place if you want to brush up on your German, then. Even if it’s just the sweet vocabulary! 😉

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