Chocolate Mousse

It has been a while since I posted a chocolate-centric recipe.  Too long.  Some might say way way too long!   So long in fact, you’d think I’m lying when I profess my devotion to all things cacao.   This cannot continue.  What better way to right this wrong than with a decadent chocolate mousse?

I love chocolate mousse.  It is the king of chocolate desserts.  One of my all time favourite desserts since I was a toddler.  But I’ve always liked my mousse to be on the dark side and very intense.  Even as a child I spurned chocolate mousse made with cream.  It just tasted too, well, creamy.  Not chocolately enough.  Gosh I was a difficult child.  Mum, shhhhh!

This is one for the purists out there, including moi.  A very traditional French mousse recipe.  Pure simple ingredients that allow the chocolate to shine.  There is so little butter and sugar in this recipe, it’s almost a health food.  Yes, decadent chocolate mousse is good for you.  Well, I believe it’s true.

The secret to a great mousse is air.  It needs as much aeration as possible to give it that rich but incredibly light texture that melts in your mouth and makes you feel as though you’re in heaven.  To get that aeration, we get as much air into both the egg whites and the egg yolks as possible, and fold the ingredients very gently to retain the maximum amount of that air.

The other secret is to use the best quality chocolate you can afford.  If you use bad chocolate, this is one dessert where you will taste the badness.  A lot.  So find a wonderful chocolate you love.  I’m a Valrhona girl, so I tend to use one of their Grand Cru couvertures usually.  Which one?  Depends on what flavourings I might add to the mousse, if any, and whether I serve it alongside fruit, or biscuits etc.

This time I chose to serve it on its own.  A while ago I bought a bag of Valrhona’s Coeur de Guanaja.  It’s a couverture developed specifically for use in creams, ice creams and mousses as it has a lower percentage of beurre de cacao and so doesn’t “harden up” as it sets, allowing creams to maintain a lighter texture.  It’s not for the faint hearted though.  Because of the lower percentage of cocoa butter, it is much more temperamental to work with and the intensity of the flavour is quite strong.  It was fun to try it out here though … note the dark colour of the mousse!  If not using it, I would have chosen either the Guanaja, the Araguani or the Gran Couva to make a lovely intense mousse served on its own.

The liqueur is optional but Cognac, Armagnac, Frangelico and Grand Marnier are wonderful in this mousse.  I added a little Cognac.  You can add some vanilla instead, or a quarter to half teaspoon of spice like cassia bark or cardamom.  Yes, you can even add a pinch of chilli.  I love to add a little chilli, but usually only when making it for myself or like-minded souls.   A half teaspoon of finely ground ancho chilli would be perfect.  It has a lovely smoky flavour but not much heat and would be perfect paired with an earthy, smoky chocolate like the Guanaja.

This recipe is easily doubled to serve 8 – 12 people.  The mousse is also great to use as a filling for cakes, as a layer in entremets or as a filling for a tart.   A great excuse to make it often.

Feels good to be back on the chocolate side of life.  MMMMMM.  😀

Serves 4 – 6 (or one chocolate-loving mousse-maker)

240 grams couverture or good quality dark chocolate (min 64% or 70% cacao)
a generous pinch sea salt
50 grams unsalted butter, softened
4 egg yolks, at room temperature
50 grams sugar
20 millilitres liqueur
4 egg whites, at room temperature

In a bowl, over a pan of hot water, melt the chocolate.  When melted, remove from the heat, add the salt, and gently stir in the butter, cut into cubes.  Stir until the butter is fully incorporated into the chocolate.  Set aside to cool to lukewarm.

In a bowl, over a pan of hot water, whisk the egg yolks with 20 grams of the sugar until pale and increased in volume, and ribbons when you lift the whisk.  Gently drizzle the chocolate over the egg yolks and fold in, along with the liqueur.  Set aside.

Whisk the egg whites until foamy.  Add the remaining 30 grams sugar and whisk until stiff peaks.  If using a heavy-duty mixer, start on a low-speed working your way up to a high-speed.  The meringue incorporates as much air as possible to give extra lightness to the mousse.   Fold a small amount of the meringue into the chocolate mixture to lighten it.  Gently fold in the remaining meringue, turning the bowl as you fold it, until no white streaks remain.  Do this gently to avoid deflating the mixture too much.

Fill some pretty glasses, ramekins or moulds with the mousse and refrigerate until set.  Leave to set for at least 4 to 5 hours, or overnight.  Remove from the refrigerator about 30 – 60 minutes before serving.

Oh yeah, I stuck a walnut on top.  Don’t know why.  But walnuts and chocolate are yummy together.  So there.



Filed under All Recipe Posts, Chocolate, Desserts, Special Diet

44 responses to “Chocolate Mousse

  1. This looks too good! I LOVE chocolate mousse

  2. have you seen a recipe by Herve This for chocolate mousse? he uses only chocolate and water

  3. We’re having mousse (!) for dinner! Mousse! for dinner! – Would you believe I used to sing this when I was a little girl, I would get so excited if there was chocolate mousse promised? It’s all true. And do I make it ever these days? No. Why? Because of the salmonella in eggs risk, small, but ever present in the UK at least. But I am being a bit chicken here and I really should… Your mousse and your chocolate notes sound divine and I am licking the screen…. x Joanna

    • hey Joanna, DON’T PANIC! This is why the gods invented sugar syrup and italian meringue and stuff … if you suspect you are buying dodgy eggs do one of two things: a) buy eggs in which you have confidence OR if that’s hard 😉 then b) make the mousse this way …
      Make a sugar syrup buy adding the 50g sugar with 15ml water until it reaches about 110C. Use half of this, poured in a thin stream into your egg yolks as you whip them up as per the recipe. Use the other half to make an italian meringue with the egg whites. Keep beating the meringue until it cools to lukewarm. Ditto the egg yolk mixture – you beat it until it doubles in volume and it quite pale and ribbons. The heat of the sugar syrup should help deter pesky bacteria by “cooking” the eggs. Where there is chocolate, there is always a way … I can hear singing: Chocolate mousse for dinner!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀

      • I was just looking through tweets and I saw you singing my song – hee hee – so I’ve scuttled back here to see what you said. I will try to do it your way soon and let you know how it goes. I’m 99.99 per cent confident in the eggs I get. Thanks for all the advice ! 😀

      • hehe…I’m still singing it…I have a little bit left over for tonight 😛 hope you try it and enjoy it … would be a pity not to!!

  4. Lovely chocolate mousse recipe, look forward to trying and sharing. Thanks for posting.

  5. Thanks so much for posting this! I was totally thinking mousse for tomorrow night, too. And this works perfectly, since I don’t have any heavy cream on hand. Great minds!

  6. Madelyn

    So, you whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks! All along, I’ve been following recipes that say soft peaks, so I’m always scratching my head thinking “why’s my melted chocolate separating like this” when I add the egg whites. And you whisk the egg yolks too! That makes sense, getting the air in the yolks as well. I’m going home and making a new batch following your steps. Thanks for knocking sense into my thick head 😀 wish me luck!

    • Wow, I hope this recipe works for you Madelyn … soft peaks is OK but the texture will be different. No need to beat the whites until dry though. Good stiff peaks but not overbeaten to a dry meringue. It really comes down to how light and airy you like your mousse 🙂 good luck!!

      • Madelyn

        I made the your choc mousse and oh-my-lord! It’s the most chocolaty mousse i’ve ever tasted, and the salty note’s just heavenly! Love love love it! Thank you so much! I’ll never make it another way anymore 🙂

      • Really? That’s wonderful!!! I’m so pleased…spreading the love and good food. That’s what it’s all about. You have made my day! *happy dance* 😀

  7. You are speaking to the choir. I’m with you all the way. I’ve been a dark chocolate gal since I used to sneak my mother’s secret stash. One of the benefits of being an adult is being able to buy and eat all the chocolate a girl wants! I agree 100% that the quality of the chocolate and air are the secrets to a great mousse. Congrats on making Top 9.

  8. I love anything chocolate centric. Your king of dessert made me drool like crazy. Just printed the recipe and I am off to get ingredients.

  9. Maria Malzzoni

    Por favor enviarme receta en español porqque algunas cosas no ls entiendo y me interesa mucho la receta.

  10. This mouse looks more the delicious!! I would love to prepare it.

  11. Taz

    Mm, this looks tasty. I love how you’ve piped it into the glass. I always just plonk my mousse into the serving dish and it never looks quite so pretty!

    • Hehe I usually plonk it into serving dishes too … but I like to think of it as delicately scooping the mousse into a nice serving dish 🙂 The swirls look pretty for photos…not necessary for hungry punters 😀

  12. If this tastes as good as it looks. . . geez. I can’t even imagine.

  13. I love chocolate mousse too. My favorite recipe is from ‘norecipe’ but he called it chocolate pudding. It is really good. I would like to try your recipe too. this looks fantastic! Congratulations on top 9! Do you like mango? I just posted mango cheese cake recipe on my blog.

  14. that chocolate mousse looks absolutely divine!

  15. Hello there!
    That chocolate mousse looks great! I especially love dark chocolate

  16. Ingrid C

    i love a rich chocolate mousse pie…do you have a snazzy shell recipe for it maybe. something light like italians do up? the gingerbread marzipan is on the next xmas agenda right with a double batch of my mouth melting linzers, i am austrian by the way living in california so know what you are talking about. we had a german/austrian dinner at my friend’s which i did all the work for…. yeah after all those years to see it again, the german ideology that dessert is actually the main course ….don’t be shy with the freshly whipped cream either, it goes on the plate with the sweets and on top of the coffee.

  17. This looks so yummy! I am going to make it this weekend. Did you pipe it after refrigerating it or pipe it first and then refridgerate?

  18. Michael Okusa

    Mmm 🙂 I’ve been looking for just this type of chocolate mousse recipe. No heavy cream to distract from the chocolate flavor and salt to intensify the flavors.

    One question: how have you come to learn so much about different types of valrhona chocolate, and WHERE do you find it?

  19. Pingback: Chocolate mousse marathon finale: third runner up…! | Gourmantine's Blog

  20. Hi Viviane! I have come here from Gourmantine’s blog to meet the person who has made such a perfect-looking chocolate mousse! Congratulations! I love your recipe and the the amazing result it gives. I see I need more patience and accuracy with my chocolate mousse making… I am happy to have found your wonderful, inspiring blog!

  21. Liz

    Just spectacular!!! I must make this soon~

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