Chocolate Mousse

Tested & Perfected Recipes
Chocolate Mousse

This classic chocolate mousse is light yet intensely chocolate. Don’t be fooled by the French name — it’s quick and easy to make!

Chocolate mousse

Don’t let the French name fool you: chocolate mousse is one of the easiest desserts to make. Seriously, if you have a microwave, a hand mixer, and a rubber spatula, you can make a homemade chocolate mousse to rival any French restaurant’s version. And you can do it in 20 minutes.

This recipe from Tyler Florence is virtually foolproof. I have experimented with adding a hit of coffee or booze to enhance the flavor; both versions are good but the family consensus is that plain chocolate is best. Keep it simple!

For serving the mousse, you can use pretty juice glasses, martini glasses, champagne flutes, small bowls, or espresso cups. Or, if you’re hosting a party and want to give your guests a small taste, you can serve the mousse in Asian-style porcelain soup spoons. Finally, note that chocolate mousse needs to set in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving, so plan accordingly.

How To Make Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients for Chocolate MousseChocolate mousse has very few ingredients so it’s important to use the best quality chocolate — its flavor will shine through. I like semi-sweet chocolate but if you prefer your mousse with a darker chocolate flavor, use bittersweet. Remember, the higher the cacao percentage, the less sweet the chocolate.

butter and chocolate pieces in mixing bowl

To begin, place the butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Break the chocolate into small pieces directly into the bowl (no need to chop it first and dirty a cutting board). Microwave it in 20-second intervals, stirring between each bout of heat, until the chocolate is about 75% melted. Stir, allowing the residual heat in the bowl to melt the chocolate completely. This prevents the chocolate from scorching.

(Alternatively, place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan containing about 1 inch of barely simmering water. Stir with a wooden spoon until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.) smooth and shiny melted chocolate and butter mixture

Let the mixture cool for a few minutes, then whisk in the egg yolks one at a time, mixing until smooth after each addition.

adding egg yolks one at a time to chocolate and butter mixture

Set aside.

whisked chocolate and egg mixture

In another medium bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form (the peaks should be just starting to hold, and will melt back into themselves after a second).

beating the egg whites to soft peaks

Gradually beat in 1/4 cup of the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form (the peaks will stand straight up when the beaters are lifted from the mixture).

beating the egg whites to stiff peaks

Using a large rubber spatula, fold the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture.

folding egg whites into chocolate mixtureMix only until uniform, then set aside.

mixed egg white and chocolate mixture

In another bowl, beat the heavy cream until it begins to thicken up. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and the vanilla.

very lightly whipped cream with sugar and vanilla in mixing bowlContinue beating until the cream holds medium peaks.

finished whipped cream in bowl

Add the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture.

adding whipped cream to chocolate mixtureGently fold the cream into the chocolate mixture, making sure not to mix any more than necessary.

folding whipped cream into chocolate mixture

Divide the mousse between 6 individual glasses, cover, and chill until set, at least 2 hours.

spooning the chocolate mousse into serving glasses

Up to a few hours before serving, whip the cream until it begins to thicken. Add the sugar and whip to medium peaks. Dollop the whipped cream over the mousse and top with chocolate shavings.

chocolate mousse with a bite taken out of it

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Note: Like tiramisu or homemade mayonnaise, chocolate mousse is made with raw eggs. If that is a concern, try to find pasteurized eggs. Pasteurized eggs have been briefly exposed to heat to destroy any potential bacteria. Whole Foods usually carries them but call your local store to be sure before making a special trip. (Note: eating raw eggs is not advisable for pregnant women, babies, the elderly, or anyone with a compromised immune system.)

Chocolate Mousse

This classic chocolate mousse is light yet intensely chocolate. Don’t be fooled by the French name — it’s quick and easy to make!

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 20 Minutes, plus at least 2 hours to chill

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, best quality
  • 3 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, cold
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Serving

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, cold
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Chocolate shavings

Instructions

  1. Place the butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Break the chocolate into small pieces directly into the bowl. Microwave it in 20-second intervals, stirring between each bout of heat, until the chocolate is about 75% melted. Stir, allowing the residual heat in the bowl to melt the chocolate completely. (Alternatively, place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan containing about 1 inch of barely simmering water. Stir with a wooden spoon until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.) Let the mixture cool for a few minutes, then whisk in the egg yolks one at a time, mixing until smooth after each addition. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form (the peaks should be just starting to hold, and will melt back into themselves after a second). Gradually beat in 1/4 cup of the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form (the peaks will stand straight up when the beaters are lifted from the mixture). Using a large rubber spatula, fold the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture until uniform. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed until it begins to thicken up. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and the vanilla and continue beating until the cream holds medium peaks (when you lift the beaters or whisk out of the bowl, the peaks will slightly droop down, but they won't lose their shape entirely). Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Be sure it is fully incorporated but don't mix any more than necessary. Divide the mousse between 6 individual glasses, cover, and chill until set, at least 2 hours.
  4. Up to a few hours before serving, whip the cream until it begins to thicken up. Add the sugar and whip to medium peaks. Dollop the whipped cream over the mousse and top with chocolate shavings.
  5. Make-Ahead Instructions: Mousse can be made up to 1 day ahead of time. Cover with plastic wrap and keep chilled in the refrigerator. Add whipped cream topping and chocolate shavings up to a few hours before serving.
  6. Note: Chocolate mousse is made with raw eggs. If that is a concern, try to find pasteurized eggs. Pasteurized eggs have been briefly exposed to heat to destroy any potential bacteria. Whole Foods usually carries them but call your local store to be sure before making a special trip. (Note: eating raw eggs is not advisable for pregnant women, babies, the elderly, or anyone with a compromised immune system.)

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 415
  • Fat: 31 g
  • Saturated fat: 19 g
  • Carbohydrates: 34 g
  • Sugar: 31 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Sodium: 55 mg
  • Cholesterol: 163 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

See more recipes:

Reviews & Comments

  • Hi Jenn,

    I made this recipe recently and it turned out grainy. What do you think I did wrong? I followed all of the steps, but I am not sure what I missed.

    • — Leah on January 20, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Leah, Sorry you had a problem with the texture. What type of chocolate did you use? Did you beat the egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks formed?

      • — Jenn on January 20, 2021
      • Reply
  • Well… made this. PERFECT, just perfect. I don’t know what else to say. Wonderful texture, fabulous taste, perfect sweetness. I went with Ghiradelli Dark bittersweet chocolate. I added my own little flare to it by making black cherry jam and putting a layer of that on the bottom — a wonderful accent to the rich chocolate taste. I stabilized the whipped cream on top with some cornstarch which worked perfectly. The directions and pictures and narrative are excellent for this recipe. I highly recommend you try this. I will definitely be making this again.

    Thank you so much for this great recipe.

    • — Jeff Chapple on January 18, 2021
    • Reply
  • Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. My wife and I made this and it’s chilling in the fridge. We didn’t have Cream of Tartar and skipped this item.

    • — Zafar on January 17, 2021
    • Reply
  • hello! can i add peppermint extract to make wintery, peppermint-chocolate mousse? if so, how much?

    thanks!

    • — Anna on January 15, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure – I’d just replace the vanilla extract with peppermint extract. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on January 15, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn
    Could I use this mousse as a filling for a chocolate mousse cake? Also, I was wondering if I could heat the egg whites up over a Bain Marie first?
    Thanks so much for your time
    Jennifer

    • — Jennifer Patzer on January 3, 2021
    • Reply
    • Yes and yes. 🙂
      Please LMK how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on January 5, 2021
      • Reply
  • Mine came out with weird lumps! Neither the cream nor the eggs were overwhipped; what did I do wrong? The lumps were like soft chocolate chunks. I’m so embarrassed to be serving this for New Years Eve but there’s no time to make something else. 🙁

    • — Mary on December 31, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Mary, Sorry you had a problem with this! Two things come to mind — perhaps you didn’t allow the chocolate to fully melt or that you added the eggs to the chocolate too soon causing them to cook a bit and create small chunks of cooked egg.

      • — Jenn on January 1, 2021
      • Reply
  • Good recipe, very rich, but a little too sweet in my opinion. Something this sweet would be best in small doses. If I make this again I would use about half the sugar, darker chocolate, or a combination of the two. Thanks!

    • — Amanda Lee on December 31, 2020
    • Reply
  • The recipe was simple easy to follow and it worked! My first attempt was a bit fluid-mousse because I had added the egg white and sugar at once instead of in quarters, but my second attempt was perfect! Thank you Tyler Florence and Jenn Segal!

    • — Sam on December 30, 2020
    • Reply
  • An instant hit! A fun change to our usual Christmas dessert. Thanks!

    • — Rachel on December 25, 2020
    • Reply
  • This looks wonderful! Can it simply be doubled to serve extra guests?

    • — Anne on December 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yep 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 22, 2020
      • Reply
      • Great! Thanks for your speedy reply. I am sure my family will be happy to hear the good news! Happy Holidays to you and your family!

        • — Anne on December 23, 2020
        • Reply
  • This looks delicious! I would like to make this for Christmas dinner – how far ahead can I make it? Would it be ok to make it the night before?

    • — Meaghan Molinini on December 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure – see the bottom of the recipe for make-ahead instructions. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 22, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi there Jenn, May I pick your brain? I would like to utilise this recipe as a filling for a chocolate roulade (to make a Yule log); should I add a little gelatine powder (dissolved of course) Into the recipe, to help stabilise the mousse in the roll? Thank you so much, I really appreciate your help! ❤️

    • — Caroline Ng on December 15, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Caroline, Without trying it myself, it’s hard to say, so I’d be hesitant to suggest it — sorry!

      • — Jenn on December 16, 2020
      • Reply
  • I used 85% dark chocolate and decorated the mousses with whipped cream and pitted cherries – delicious! My guests raved about them and not a drop left over – many thanks for the detailed recipe😋

    • — Pamelajane on December 11, 2020
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious! This website never fails to impress me 🙂

    • — Nikki on December 10, 2020
    • Reply
  • Any baking recipe that starts with creaming butter using a microwave… I just can’t trust it. Convince me I’m wrong

    • — Keri on December 5, 2020
    • Reply
  • Over the past few months I have made this dessert at least a half a dozen times. It is my family’s absolute favorite and always gets rave reviews at get togethers! I always use ghirardelli dark chocolate for a sinfully rich and decadent flavor. Sometimes we’ll add raspberries on top if we find them fresh. This comes together really easily and my littles love helping to fold everything in. Thank you for another family favorite; we love your recipes!

    • — Katie Jenkins on November 26, 2020
    • Reply
  • Too much sugar. I was not able to finish more than a third of it. The next time I would go for half the sugar and bitter chocolate.

    • — Lenka on November 14, 2020
    • Reply
  • I was wondering if this could be made into a chocolate silk/mouse pie? Would it be thick enough to hold the shape? Looking for a French Silk Pie recipe and this looks close. I prefer a lighter filling than regular chocolate pie.

    • — Deb Crompton on November 11, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Deb, I think the slices would be a bit wobbly, but that it should work. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on November 13, 2020
      • Reply
  • I made it and it turned out. amazing these directions really helped me make this chocolate mousse. thank you.

    • — Emily Willis on October 7, 2020
    • Reply
  • Made this today for our family’s Yom Kippur break fast dessert. I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfectly. Everyone loved it, especially my husband who grew up in a house with delicious homemade chocolate mousse (no pressure!). Can’t wait to make it again. Thanks so much!

    • — Steph on September 28, 2020
    • Reply
  • Husband accidentally bought bittersweet instead of semisweet chocolate. Can I adjust the recipe or should I just run back out to the store? Thanks

    • — Meryl on August 23, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Meryl, Bittersweet chocolate will work here; the mousse will just have a more intense chocolate flavor. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 24, 2020
      • Reply
    • I hate this. I tried this recipe for my daughters birthday. The next day my daughter is sick. Come to find out the mousse has raw eggs so please dont try this.

      • — Ashley Heise on November 3, 2020
      • Reply
      • So sorry you had a problem with this, Ashley! Did you use pasteurized eggs?

        • — Jenn on November 4, 2020
        • Reply
      • How did you “come to find out” a recipe that you made had raw eggs after the fact??

        • — Missy on December 29, 2020
        • Reply
  • Yum! I had purchased some mousse from Wegmans last week but wanted to make my own. Wow! This was easy to make. I would dare say it’s better than Wegmans. 😉 Pretty darn rich but worth it.

    • — Julie on August 15, 2020
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this twice already❣️ It’s such a quick, easy and yummy dessert to throw together! (I just omitted the chocolate shavings.)

    • — Dorothy on August 13, 2020
    • Reply
  • I don’t have an electric beater/mixer. I’ve always just used an oversized serving fork to beat my mixes. Will that make a huge difference in this mousse creation?

    • — Hiba Ulfat Mukhtar on June 18, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Hiba, I think it would be really difficult to achieve the right texture for the egg whites with a fork. if you have a whisk, that would work.

      • — Jenn on June 19, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hello

    I tried the chocolate mousse recipe and it was delicious! Do you know if the same recipe can be substituted for white chocolate instead of regular? I plan to use a good quality white chocolate like Ghirardelli!

    • — Nikunja on June 13, 2020
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked it! For the most predictable results for white chocolate mousse, I’d look for a recipe intended specifically for that.

      • — Jenn on June 13, 2020
      • Reply
  • This mousse was easy enough to make, but the taste was far too sweet for my liking. I was unable to finish a small portion and was hit with a strong taste from the vanilla and too much sugar. Perhaps consider reducing the sugar if you do not want a mousse quite as sweet.

    • — Bethany on June 4, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yes , my family said the same thing, I was going to try half dark chocolate and half semisweet but I am worried it might be too chocolatey.

      • — Charlotte on November 3, 2020
      • Reply
  • made this this morning for my husband with dark chocolate. Beautiful recipes…very easy…I had never melted the butter and chocolate in the microwave, what a great discovery…recipe worked perfectly…love it thank you from New Zealand

    • — Judith Blades on May 31, 2020
    • Reply
  • It was amazing!! Everyone loved it!!

    • — Emily on May 8, 2020
    • Reply
  • This is just what I’ve been looking for. Most chocolate mousse recipes are unnecessarily complicated or the ones labeled simple are just straight up whipped cream with chocolate stirred in. This will definitely be my go-to.

    • — Kate on May 6, 2020
    • Reply
  • To the author of this article,

    You have a nice camera. When attempting to make this recipe I enjoyed viewing the photos. However your instructions utterly failed to mention the amounts of ingredients used to create this dish. As a layman, and not a frequent peruse-er of this site, I found the location of the actual recipe, below the ads and suggested other pages, infuriating. Furthermore I am frustrated by you embracing the trend of many recipe websites where the majority of the page is taken up by anecdotes, flowery language, or overly stylized images rather than useful instructions. The recipe tab at the bottom of the page is concise and contains all of the pertinent information. I would suggest putting this at the top of the page, or at the very least repositioning your advertisements to below the instructions.

    Best,

    A reader

    • — Barry McCockiner on May 1, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Barry, thanks for your note and your honest feedback. I’m sorry that you were frustrated by the placement of the recipe. For future reference, if you’re looking at the very top of the page right under the recipe titled there is an orange box that says “Jump to Recipe.” If you click on that, it will take you directly to the full recipe. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on May 1, 2020
      • Reply
  • hi! i wanted to try & make this. Just curious as your recipe/ ingredient list states heavy cream but you picture is showing Heavy Whipping Cream. Is there a difference in using the different type of cream/

    • — Vena on April 26, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Vena, Sorry for any confusion! Heavy cream and heavy whipping cream are slightly different but totally interchangeable here. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 27, 2020
      • Reply
  • Excellent recipe! Fast, easy, delicious, and a real show-stopper dessert. Thanks!

    • — P. Hudson on April 19, 2020
    • Reply
  • This mousse recipe came out denser than what I would’ve liked.

    I also used chocolate with 50% cocoa and this mousse was wayyyyy too sweet. I would recommend adding half the sugar.

    • — Julia on April 15, 2020
    • Reply
  • Very good recipe. It is a little sweet so i added brownie chunks and raspberries. This added a nice texture and balance. I recommend that if you make this to add other textures and less sweet add ins like fruit, nuts, cookie or brownie chunks. I will make this recipe again.

    • — Madeline Essendrup on April 10, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi,
      I’ve never made mousse before and I was wondering if your recipe could be used as a cake filling? It seems like a good recipe and I would love to use it it in a layered chocolate raspberry cake.
      Thanks.

      • — Destiny on August 2, 2020
      • Reply
      • Hi Destiny, I think it should work. Hope you enjoy!

        • — Jenn on August 3, 2020
        • Reply
  • Is it okay if I leave out cream of tartar?(I don’t have any at home.)

    • — mkILoveToBake on April 10, 2020
    • Reply
    • You can just replace the cream of tartar with an equal amount of white vinegar or lemon juice. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 12, 2020
      • Reply
      • Thanks Jenn – saved me buying something I won’t use anywhere else.

        • — Loretta Nash on August 19, 2020
        • Reply

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