Chocolate Mousse

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Chocolate Mousse

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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 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, at room temperature, yolks and whites separated
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup heavy cream, cold
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For Serving

  • ½ 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 ¼ 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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Comments

  • I really really really hope you treated yourself to a new rubber spatula by now lol… The mousse turnt out if you catch that. Dark cocoa shavings finish the presentation nicely. Thanks for the info!

    • — JaBcoze on June 8, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hello! I am concerned about the idea of “cooling” the chocolate prior to adding the egg yolks. How is it safe to eat the dish without really cooking the eggs? Thank you in advance!

    • — Josh on May 29, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Josh, If that’s 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 May 31, 2022
      • Reply
  • Classic French chocolate mousse does not contain cream

    • — Sallee on April 29, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this for Easter dessert. It was a hit! My parents loved it as much as my toddlers!!! I followed the recipe exactly, except for the topping. I used store ready whipping cream and garnished with sifted Cocoa instead of Shaved chocolate. This recipe is a keeper 🙂

    • — Leah on April 17, 2022
    • Reply
  • Choose a recipe with cooked yolks.

    • — John on March 29, 2022
    • Reply
  • Can you combine bittersweet and semisweet for more depth of chocolate? If so should the sugar be adjusted?

    • — Marsha on March 16, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure. You can even use all bittersweet chocolate without any modifications. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 17, 2022
      • Reply
    • Oh man, what a disaster and waste of expensive chocolate. When I added the egg yolks to the butter and chocolate it all seized up and turned into a lumpy greasy mess. Not sure what I did wrong. I’ve made souffles and custards before successfully but this was my first try at mousse.

      • — Chrys on April 9, 2022
      • Reply
      • Hi Chrys, I’m sorry you had a problem with this. It’s possible that your chocolate was too warm and your eggs too cold. This could cause the eggs to seize up when added. I would let the chocolate mixture cool to room temperature and bring your eggs to room temperature if you try this again.

        • — Jenn on April 11, 2022
        • Reply
  • I made this for Valentines Day dessert. My husband who has traveled the world dining in fine dining restaurants said it’s the best he has had! I want to make it for St Patrick’s Day. I know you have not tested it, but just wondering if you have any thoughts about replacing some of the heavy cream with Bailey’s Irish Cream.

    • — Rochelle on February 23, 2022
    • Reply
    • So glad you both enjoyed it, Rochelle! I think the taste would be delicious but I don’t think you’ll be able to whip the cream properly if you cut it with Baileys. However, you can make the whipped cream first and then add a tablespooon or so of Baileys.

      • — Jenn on February 24, 2022
      • Reply
  • Wow! Quite delicious! It was a last minute dessert choice for dinner last night, and my husband and our friends were impressed. Will definitely add this to my dessert recipe bank.

    • — Aysha on February 6, 2022
    • Reply
  • A winner for our dinner party! Not hard to follow and results were fantastic. I added fresh raspberries instead of more chocolate shavings and I don’t think I’ll ever do it any other way! Thank you Jenn!

    • — Luanne on January 3, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hello Jenn,
    I don’t have the cream tartar. Can I remove or sub with lemon juice? If so how much ?

    Thank you so much

    • — Mlak on December 24, 2021
    • Reply
    • Yes that will work. I would use an equal amount.

      • — Jenn on December 25, 2021
      • Reply
  • I’ve made this recipe several times and it’s been a big success every time. The instructions are clear and if you follow them closely you will get a consistently excellent result.

    I wonder if this recipe could be used to make a layer of mousse for a cake?

    I’m somewhat surprised and amused at some of comments of disgruntled reviewers who seem to be more upset about the fact that chocolate mousse is the way it is (yes it is sweet, yes there are raw eggs, yes you have to pay attention to technique, that’s the whole deal with any proper chocolate mousse) and are somehow blaming the author.

    • — SShah on November 9, 2021
    • Reply
    • So glad you’ve enjoyed this! Yes, I think you could use this in between layers in a cake. 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 10, 2021
      • Reply
  • This is a wonderful recipe, it turned out extremely well. Really enjoyed it, thank you.

    Susan

    • — Susan on November 6, 2021
    • Reply
    • Do you chill in in a fridge or freezer

      • — Jacob on March 10, 2022
      • Reply
      • Hi Jacob, it should be chilled in the fridge. Hope you enjoy!

        • — Jenn on March 11, 2022
        • Reply
  • How many cups does this recipe make?

    • — Jenna Romero on October 28, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Jenna, I don’t know exactly, but I’d guesstimate it would make 4.5 – 5 cups of mousse. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on October 29, 2021
      • Reply
  • I’m a professional baker and in one of the bakeries I used to work at we made a chocolate mousse recipe to fill out cakes and always froze the leftovers. Then we would simply defrost in the fridge, mix it a little and it was good to go but from what I remember, the recipe only used yolks and whipped cream, no egg whites. I want to try this recipe to fill out cakes too but I’m not sure it will freeze the same. If anyone has any insight into this or if by chance has frozen some of the recipe, please let me know what were your results! The chocolate I use is fairly expensive where I’m from and I want to avoid any waste.

    • — Michelle on October 16, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Michelle, I’m not sure how the texture would be after being frozen, so I wouldn’t recommend it — sorry!

      • — Jenn on October 19, 2021
      • Reply
  • May I substitute milk chocolate for the semi sweet?

    • — MJ on October 13, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi MJ, I wouldn’t recommend it because you need to tweak the amount of sugar as well and not sure that you would get predictable results. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on October 16, 2021
      • Reply
  • I found your recipe to be a bit over complicated, I’m reading through it, looking at all the pretty pictures, but not getting what I want, which was a recipe, oh look there it is at the end of the pretty pictures. Too much work. So I have a cookbook from my mother, you know old school, I looked up a recipe for pudding, found Chocolate cream under Vanilla pudding. The recipe was so simple a child could follow it unlike what your version is. It called for chocolate chips or any kind of good chocolate bar- I used Ghirardelli dark chocolate chunks since that’s what I had, half & half or whole milk( or a combo of both as I did), egg yolks, sugar and vanilla. I added Cayenne red pepper for a little heat. DONE. It’s very rich and delicious. There was a note that that to make it a mousse you could fold in whipping cream to the mixture and of course there was short recipe for it, heavy cream or 1/2 & 1/2 whipped to soft peaks. Stupid simple, no photos, no video.

    • — rachel on September 17, 2021
    • Reply
    • Why are you so angry about a recipe you didn’t make? Is this the first time you went to the Internet for a recipe?

      • — ShenAnno on November 29, 2021
      • Reply
    • You made chocolate pudding following a recipe in your mother’s cookbook. Yet you give one star to a recipe you didn’t even make!!
      This recipe is delicious!!
      I like the pictures in Jenn’s posts and they can help if I want to see if my progress with the recipe is on target. Otherwise, you can click on the recipe at the top and not scroll through.
      Jenn, you have one of the best and user friendly sites and I use your recipes all the time! Thank you!

      • — Lynn on December 10, 2021
      • Reply
    • Were you not aware that there is a button right at the top that allows you to skip right to the recipe?
      My mother had recipe books too and was a great cook. But things have come a long way and now we are lucky to have the internet and sites like this one that help us to be WAY better cooks than our moms were.
      You really should try this recipe as written. I’m an accomplished chef and find each of Jenn’s recipes VERY good, well written and easy to follow. I don’t usually look at all of the pictures and step by step but it’s nice to have them there for people like my husband who are a bit more novice.

      • — Jennifer Hughes on December 24, 2021
      • Reply
  • I am making this for a women’s luncheon. Can this recipe be doubled?

    • — Pam on August 25, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure!

      • — Jenn on August 25, 2021
      • Reply
  • My absolute favorite recipe! It is so decadent, and one of my top fillings for clients when I make cakes and cupcakes. They absolutely rave over it.

    • — Eat With Your Eyes First on August 19, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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
      • Actually, I made the whipped cream without the sugar. Came out fine.

        • — Barbara on February 6, 2022
        • Reply

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