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.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Loved how this turned out. It was super easy, and tasted phenomenal. The second time I made it, instead of vanilla extract I used orange extract and added orange zest to the whipping cream. Ohhhhh myyyyyyy gawwwd. So. Delicious.

    • — Maggie on July 25, 2021
    • Reply
  • Is it possible for me to make this with fruit instead? I’m trying to make raspberry mousse cups for a family gathering. I’ve tried the chocolate ones before and they came out delicious, so I wanted to stick with the same recipe.

    • — Kavya Gupta on July 21, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Kavya, I think you’d need to make too many adjustments to the recipe to turn it into a fruit mousse, so I’d suggest looking for a recipe specifically for that — sorry!

      • — Jenn on July 21, 2021
      • Reply
  • I am concerned that the eggs are not cooked.

    • — Geri on July 17, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Geri, 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.)

      • — Jenn on July 17, 2021
      • Reply
  • I made this mousse with no added sugar. Used a mixture of 85% and 75% dark chocolate, and followed the recipe as is, except that I added no sugar. It is delicious, thanks!

    • — Fatima on July 16, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hello, before I make the Chocolate Mousse, I wanted to make sure I understand what I’m doing as I an not much of a baker. Regarding the 6 ounces of chocolate, would that be a total of 1 cup?

    • — Lucille Gans on July 8, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Lucille, the 6 ounces is the weight of the chocolate (not the volume like you would use a cup measure for). Most bars like this (I use Ghiradelli) are 4 ounces each, so you’d need 1.5 bars. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on July 8, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi there. Is the cream of tartar integral or can it be omitted? Making this for a friend who is on a post-surgery low-residue diet, and we must strictly stick to the ingredients on the list she was provided (cream of tartar not on the list).

    • — Tiina on June 25, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Tiina, Assuming they’re on the list, you can replace the cream of tartar with an equal amount of white vinegar or lemon juice. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on June 25, 2021
      • Reply
  • What type of sugar do you use for the mousse itself? Granulated or powdered?

    • — Alex on May 5, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Alex, you’ll need granulated sugar for both the mousse and the whipped cream. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 5, 2021
      • Reply

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