Place a fine mesh strainer inside of a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, off the heat, whisk together your dry ingredients: sugar, cornstarch, and cocoa.
In a measuring cup, combine almond milk with egg yolks and vanilla extract.
While whisking, drizzle your milk mixture into the saucepan. Try to get the lumps out the best you can.
Place saucepan on medium high heat. Whisking constantly, cook until boiling. It will start to thicken up considerably. Cook 30 seconds longer while whisking. Remove from heat.
Immediately strain the hot mixture into a bowl. This will remove all the bits of egg, cornstarch clumps, etc. ALTERNATIVE – if you want a cream pie, strain mixture directly into a ready-to-eat pie crust.
Wait 5 minutes and cover the pastry cream with plastic wrap directly on it. This will prevent a “skin” from forming.
Cool 2 hours and use to fill cream puffs, eclairs, or a cream pie.