Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate mousse is a great dessert for entertaining because 1) it looks pretty, 2) everyone gets their own serving, and 3) you can make it a day ahead of time. In fact, you do need to make it at least several hours ahead of time. I decided to prepare chocolate mousse using the darkest chocolate I could find (Trader Joe’s has some Belgian 70% cocoa 1 lb bricks). Chocolate mousse is a little bit tricky. If you incorporate the egg yolks when the chocolate is too warm, it will cook, if too cold, it will seize up when the other ingredients are added. If you stir and not fold the egg whites and whipped cream in, your mousse will not be fluffy, but dense.

Almost all recipes I reviewed called for bittersweet chocolate. From what I can tell, bittersweet has a bit more sugar and a bit less cocoa than the 70% dark chocolate I used. If you are going to serve the mousse straight – with no added cream or fruit, and you love the taste of barely sweet dark chocolate, your mousse will be perfect with the 70%. If you layer in fruit (raspberries complement the chocolate quite well) and or more whipped cream, you’ll want either to add sugar or use bittersweet chocolate to begin with.

Chocolate Mousse Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 tablespoons espresso or very strong coffee (I used decaf espresso from a local Starbucks)
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

(Optional) Raspberries and extra whipped cream

Method

1 Whip the cream to soft peaks, then refrigerate.

2 Combine the chocolate, butter, and espresso in the top of a double boiler over hot, but not simmering, water, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool until the chocolate is just slightly warmer than body temperature. To test, dab some chocolate on your bottom lip. It should feel warm. If it is too cool, the mixture will seize when the other ingredients are added.

3 Once the melted chocolate has cooled slightly, whip the egg whites in a medium bowl until they are foamy and beginning to hold a shape. Sprinkle in the sugar and beat until soft peaks form.

4 When the chocolate has reached the proper temperature, stir in the yolks. Gently stir in about one-third of the whipped cream. Fold in half the whites just until incorporated, then fold in the remaining whites, and finally the remaining whipped cream.

5 Spoon or pipe the mousse into a serving bowl or individual dishes. If you wish, layer in fresh raspberries and whipped cream. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours. (The mousse can be refrigerated for up to a day.)

Serves 5-8, depending on the size of the servings.

Recipe from Bouchon by Thomas Keller.

Links:
Muppets Swedish Chef making Chocolate Mousse

68 Comments

  1. Nic

    Beautiful, Elise. Did you know that the TJs Pound Plus blocks of chocolate are Callebaut? It’s probably one of the best chocolate deals you can get!

  2. cara

    Thank you for this recipe. I never made mousse before, thanks to your specific directions it turned out GREAT! Thank you!

  3. lynette

    My daughter needed to make chocolate mousse for her 8th grade French class assignment. We used this recipe when we realized at 9:00 at night that we didn’t have a candy thermometer! This recipe took the scary (and the thermometer) out and kept the flavor in. We tripled the recipe and had some left for our family’s dinner the next day! By the way, she received and A+ from the teacher, and rave reviews from classmates and family!! Thank you : )

  4. Sylvia G

    I want to make a chocolate mousse cake for a child who cannot eat store or bakery made cakes because of a peanut allergy, but uncooked eggs are another problem for young children. Can I use egg substitutes or pasterized egg beaters when I make mousse? Sylvia

  5. Chef Gerald

    Sylvia-
    Yes you may use pasturized egg beaters when you make this mousse. It may come out a tad bit different, but not so much that you would have to omit this recipe all together.
    -Chef Gerald

  6. Sandy

    This recipe is amazing.The mousse turned out extra creamy and my family loved it.I served it with strawberrys instead of raspberries.But it was still great.Thanks!

  7. Alex

    For all those curious there are several binders used instead of eggs. Do a search for tofu chocolate mouse and avocado chocolate mouse, both seem strange but taste great, all with no eggs and no gelatin. Now I’m off to try this one!

  8. Angel

    Can I make the Mousse without the coffee and without using any alcohol?

    Note from Elise: There is no alcohol in this recipe, and you can skip the coffee.

  9. Lisa

    This recipe looks wonderful. I have been searching all over for a good chocolate mousse recipe, and I finally found one. I just have a couple questions: 1) Can I substitute Splenda for the sugar and 2) Can I melt the chocolate on a lower power setting in the microwave? That is how my mom always melts chocolate for candy during the holidays and it turns out great.

    I have no idea on both counts. Perhaps someone else has an idea? ~Elise

  10. anon

    I have tried this recipe twice before and it was great. The last time I did it, I couldn’t stop the chocolate from seizing up on me. I tried 4 times, but kept having the same problem., I don’t know what I am doing wrong I am not doing anything differently that I know of. I must of had beginners luck the first two times.

    From what I’ve know about chocolate, make sure that absolutely no water gets near the chocolate. Make sure you are using heavy cream. ~Elise

  11. ds1w

    Part 4 mentions “when the chocolate is at the right temperature”. I’m unclear what temp that is. Are you referring to the lip test of just slightly warmer than body temperatures?

    Yes. ~Elise

  12. Christine

    Wow, that was amazing! Thanks so much for the recipe, was dead easy to make and went down really well with my friends! :o)

  13. Beth

    Blunder Woman- I made this mousse once before, and I carefully microwaved the chocolate. So, yes is can be microwaved.

    I made this for a party last fall and people raved about it, so I am making it for a chocolate party next weekend! I’ll make 35 foodies very happy!

  14. Stella

    Hi Elise,
    I tried your recipe the other day & it was a hit!
    Thanks for sharing this amazing chocolate mousse recipe, it’s one of my favs now!:)

  15. Big cook & little cook

    This recipe is fantastic, and simple enough that my 4-year-old daughter could help me make it (she did all the whipping). We had a great time making it. The only thing I noticed is that maybe I got the metric conversion for the weight of the chocolate wrong, because it seemed like rather little chocolate, and the mousse turned out quite pale. Still delicious though. :)

  16. jhon smith

    Hey, this looks great! I was wondering: do I use an electronic mixer or just a fork/spoon? and does the “raw egg” factor effect anything, because you dont cook the eggs, right?

    It’s easiest to whip egg whites using an electric mixer of some sort, either a standing mixer or a hand-held one. You can whip them by hand, but it’s pretty challenging. Regarding the raw egg factor, this recipe calls for raw eggs. If raw eggs are an issue for you, you may be able to find pasteurized eggs in your grocery store. ~Elise

  17. yulissa

    I used dark chocolate,and i had to add 1 1/2 cup of sugar to get the correct sweetness.
    I liked a lot the body, best results cooling it for 24 hrs!

  18. fong

    I’m just a beginner. Please don’t be shocked if I ask a stupid question. What’s the difference between heavy cream, whipping cream and fresh cream? Can I use fresh cream instead of heavy cream?

    Usually fat content. Heavy whipping cream has the highest proportion of fat, which makes it the most stable and easiest to work with in the recipes that call for it. ~Elise

  19. sue

    Is it possible to use cocoa powder instead of chocolate?

    Doubtful. This recipe is tricky enough as it is. But if you try it, do let us know how it turns out. ~Elise

  20. Mike

    Sorry if this is a dumb question, but what does it mean when it says to whip something to “soft peaks”? If anyone could clarify I’d really appreciate it!

    Soft peaks means that when you lift the whipping element out of the egg whites, the whipped egg whites form a peak, which just lightly holds its shape, sort of bending over at the top. If you continue to whip, you’ll get a hard peak or a firm peak, which doesn’t bend and strongly holds its shape. ~Elise

  21. Mike

    Thanks Elise. Once I started whipping the cream I could tell what you meant. If this helps anyone – I don’t have a double boiler so I put the chocolate (I used “special dark” hershey’s chips) and butter in my slow cooker on the high setting and stirred it every couple minutes until it was well blended…It turned out really well because I didn’t have to wait for it to cool, it was already just warm to my lip. The eggs didn’t cook and the mixture didn’t seize, and the mousse turned out great! Awesome recipe.

  22. David

    Add a couple of teaspoons of vanilla to the heavy cream to layer the flavor even more. Gives the whipped cream an incredible “home-made” taste.

  23. michelle

    this looks like a very good recipe and i have to make this for about 15 of these for my french class and I don’t think I can use coffee so would I have to use milk?

    You could swap out the 2 Tbsp of coffee for milk if you wanted to. ~Elise

  24. sam

    Hi Elise,

    Sorry if this sounds stupid but I’m not much of a cook and this will be my first ever dessert. I’m a bit confused about the coffee part. What kind of coffee are you referring to here? As in coffee powder or like already drinkable espresso? Can I skip it altogether or should I use milk as a substitute? Again powdered or liquid milk?

    Thanks

    Hi Sam, Just use espresso or very strong coffee (liquid). I think I picked up a single espresso at Starbucks to use in this when I last made it, as I don’t have an espresso maker at home. The espresso/coffee really perks up the chocolate flavor, so I wouldn’t skip it. (FYI, this is sort of a tricky recipe to cut your teeth on.) ~Elise

  25. Kevin

    This looks like a great recipe, and I’m excited to try it out for Sunday’s dinner. However, I will be cooking for a group of about 20 and I’m therefore planning on tripling the recipe. So my concern is this: I’ve never whipped 9 egg whites at the same time. I assume it is no different? They can sometimes be a bit finicky, so I just want to be sure. I suppose I could do it in two batches in the mixer if I need to. Any suggestions?

  26. Kevin

    …I didn’t receive an answer in time for the dinner, so I went ahead and proceeded with the triple batch as usual, and it went perfectly. The dessert was wonderful. With just a simple garnish of spearmint, it was really a hit. Thanks a lot! This will now be a staple dessert in my recipe box.

    *one note, I added the strong coffee to the butter/chocolate mix for melting, but the water in the coffee did finny things to the melting chocolate. I proceeded as usual, and when I added the eggs it smoothed out pretty well. Just a side-note.

  27. Harsh

    Hey…your recipe was awesome and extremely simple for me to follow being an amatuer in cooking and the fact that this was my first time trying a make a chocolate mousse. Thanks again for this great recipe… Bravo!

  28. tamara

    I love this recipe, I try it all the time and the love it. The coffee is a bit too much, but other than that it’s pure heaven on earth.

  29. will

    Served this same night as your Turkey Tetrazini hoping to totally WOW my boys. Turned out great. have to say though I think I prefer my mousse to be a bit thicker/denser. I used 70% chocolate also but think maybe next time I will skip the egg white or maybe just add a bit less whipped cream. Any way still very tasty like everything else on this site!!

  30. Jenny

    This recipe was fantastic!

    * as is: awesome

    * minus alcohol and used vanilla bean scrapings, instead of extract: awesome

    * vegan: skip the eggs and cream, make cashew milk: pulverize 1 1/4-1/2 c. raw cashews with 1 1/2 cup water

  31. Calleigh B. D. Awari

    This is just amazing!
    I made it for my brother’s birthday and everyone loved it ^^ I’m def. going to make it again

  32. Hannah

    I though I would say after a bit of searching I found out that in the UK we know “Heavy Cream” as Double cream, I hope this helps a few UK people like me. I am gonna try this recipe for a dinner party I am having soon as it looks amazing!

    I know you reccomend using 70% chocolate but could I use a very good quality milk chocolate as some of my guests really hate dark chocolate? or is there anyway to make it taste like its milk?
    thankyou very much for your time
    Hannah

    You could try it and see. I’ve only made this with dark chocolate. ~Elise

  33. Brian

    The last time I made this, I did not use liquid coffee, but rather powdered espresso and it came out a bit thicker, but the taste was definitely still there. I’m planning on making it again today and don’t think I’ll do it any differently.

  34. MBC

    Hi! I’m wondering if I need to make any alterations to the recipe for high altitude (5000 ft). Thanks!

    Great question. I’m not familiar with high altitude cooking, so don’t know what to tell you. ~Elise

  35. Q.

    Making this for my New Year’s Eve dessert!!! I think it will be lovely with a glass of champagne when we toast to 2010 at midnight! Thank you so much for the great recipe!

  36. Q.

    Elise – it turned out beautifully! Posted a couple photos on my blog. I added a thin layer of raspberry coulis to the top, then whipped cream and chocolate shavings. My friends loved it and my boyfriend did, too! My new go-to recipe for choc mousse:)

  37. Hayley

    Chocolate mousse came out beautifully! thank you so much for this recipe! however, I put the sugar in the whipping cream as opposed to the egg whites. I was afraid to do anything to the egg whites since they are so temperamental. it tastes rich and wonderful and I’m layering the chocolate mousse, whip cream and raspberries in wine glasses!

  38. Yoko

    made this for a party – it was a hit :)
    you can actually make this with tofu (medium firm) & gelatin for a dairy-free, low-calorie alternative.
    – Puree the tofu in food processor with sugar
    – add melted gelatin
    – add melted chocolate / cocoa powder
    – pour into individual containers & refrigerate
    You can even make ‘whipped cream’ for decorating by putting some of the tofu mixture (before adding the chocolate) in a piping bag.

  39. Yan

    I was just wondering about Bittersweet chocolate substitute other than Semisweet chocolate? Could I use Milk Chocolate instead?

    It won’t be as chocolatey. ~Elise

  40. Amber

    I don’t have heavy cream handy. Could I use a Heavy Cream subsitute recipe or just normal cream instead? Which one will turn out better? Thanks.

    Great question. This is a pretty particular recipe, that even if you follow it precisely can be touchy. So, I would say no on the substitute. Plain cream is harder to whip than heavy whipping cream, but if you can whip your cream, then I would try that path. ~Elise

  41. Yoko

    Hi Elise,
    I sort of did a fusion of this recipe and Garret’s hot chocolate recipe (substituted the espresso with cayenne pepper powder & cinnamon) – turned out great :D gonna have it tonight w/ your baked corned beef & fingerling potatoes. thanks!

  42. Beth

    I used this recipe for dessert yesterday – for Mother’s Day dinner. It was my first experience with chocolate mousse AND a double boiler. It was a grand success, my mom wanted to lick her glass! And she has her own baking business! I served with rasberries and blackberries. Thanks again, Elise, for another fantastic recipe.

  43. Renee

    I just made this for my sister who is visiting. Hopefully there will be some left when she gets here!

    Regarding the use of cocoa instead of chocolate – here’s how I did it (since I didn’t have chocolate): 1 oz unsweetened chocolate is 3 tablespoons cocoa + 1 tablespoon butter. Then I add 2 tablespoons sugar for each oz of chocolate, but you can add more or less depending on sweetness. Then I added the butter and milk the receipe calls for, and carefully melted everything together in the microwave (stir often!) until it looks like melted chocolate. I had to add a little bit of extra milk to make it smooth. Another plus point is that this avoids the double boiler, which I have never been able to do successfully.

    Thanks for the awesome receipe Elise!

  44. Liz

    Think I’ve died and gone to heaven! Just finished making it and put in the fridge to set. Just licking the bowl was enough yumm.

  45. Ariane

    All I can say is WWWOWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I followed the recipe to THE letter, and I would NOT change a thing.

    Merci Elise!

  46. Melissa

    Hi Elise,

    2 questions: Do I need to use coffee in the recipe? Also, does this recipe call for ground coffee beans or actual drinking coffee?

    Coffee greatly enhances the flavor of this mousse. It doesn’t make it taste like coffee, but just intensifies the chocolate flavor. You can go without it of course, but you will be missing out. The recipe calls for liquid espresso, or strong drinking coffee, not the beans. ~Elise

  47. stacey morgan

    I just made this recipe and followed the directions exactly. I have an espresso machine at home so i brewed a shot of espresso which turned out to be exactly 2 TBSP. When I went to lick the bowl to taste it all I could taste was the coffee. I can’t even detect the chocolate. I am a huge coffee lover so I don’t find coffee flavor offensive at all. However I know my kids won’t eat this. Way too strong on the coffee. Next time I will leave it out.

  48. Tom

    I strongly suggest using medium roasted coffee for this recipe, because a shot of espresso in such little chocolate can be a bit overwhelming.

    Also, I’ve made my own take on this recipe. You can easily leave up to 1 1/2 ounces of the chocolate out and replace with raspberry coulis, or my favorite, maple syrup. It will add a hint of flavour that will change the boring usual chocolate taste.

  49. Denise

    I want to serve this in individual crusts. What recipe do you recommend for that? My sweet tart crust recipe turns too dense, but my waffle recipe is too fragile. A lady brought them to a buffet in France as individual servings in a shell and they were great on a buffet table. No spoons or dishes to clean up, and easy to grab. Hope you can help!

    No idea. Your guess is as good as mine. ~Elise

  50. TheNightJar

    fabulous desert! I made this for Valentines Day and it came out perfectly. I waited for the chocolate to cool and made sure the yolks were room temperature before stirring in. Still, I got nervous after putting in the yolks and the chocolate looked weird and greasy. (i think this was normal) but when /I folded everything in everything mixed like a dream and tasted even better! cheers : )

  51. Barbara

    I made this recipe for 32 people by multiplying by 6! Except for trying to lift pots and fold in it worked. My husband helped with that. I followed the instructions using Trader Joes’s chocolate and Starbucks espresso (6 oz and no one really knew there was coffee in it) Everyone wanted the recipe so you will have many hits on this site. I would not advise using more than the called for 18 eggs and quart and a half of heavy cream because as each mixer bowlfull came to peaks it was over the top. I will definitely make this again–in smaller quantities!

  52. Jill

    Do you add espresso coffee “grounds” or actual espresso coffee? No one clarifies that I can see. I’m making this tonight and don’t want to mess up.

    The actual espresso. You could also use a pinch of instant espresso. But it’s easier to find liquid, drinkable espresso than the instant kind. The quantities are for the drinkable liquid. ~Elise

  53. Rob

    Awesome recipe! I have never made anything like this and i am not an avid cooker, baker, or anything of the sort. I dont own an electric mixer, i didnt know what “folding” the egg whites meant, and i have never beat egg whites or heavy cream to make whipped cream. Nevertheless, i just made this mousse and it is incredible and was super easy to make. It definitely competes with the best chocolate mousse that i have had in restaurants, and i have had it often. I just read above that i was supposed to add actual liquid espresso instead of the grounds, but it tastes great with the grounds, you dont notice the texture at all, and it looks nice because you can see the little black specks in the mousse. I definitely recommend this recipe for any first-timers and for all chocolate mousse lovers. I used about 3/4 of 60% dark chocolate and 1/4 of 70% dark chocolate (both ghirardelli). Next time i think ill try it with all 70% to make it even darker. Thanks for a great recipe.
    Rob

  54. nini

    Can you use this recipe if you don’t use coffee or espresso?

    Yes. The coffee just enhances the flavor of the chocolate. You don’t have to have it, and if you don’t, your mousse will simply not taste as chocolate-y as it could. ~Elise

  55. Anonymous

    The mousse was great. This is the 3rd time i tried to make chocolate mousse and this time I got it right! Thanks for this recipe.

  56. Anonymous

    This was easy to make. I used my crockpot to melt the chocolate and its large bowl came in handy to mix everything since I tripled the recipe. This recipe was gluten free.

I apologize for the inconvenience, but comments are closed. You can share your thoughts on our Facebook page ~ Elise.