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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 a homemade chocolate mousse to rival any French restaurant’s version. And you can do it in 20 minutes.

This recipe, adapted 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.

For more light chocolate desserts, check out my Chocolate Cream Pie and Double Chocolate Pavlova with Raspberries & Mascarpone Cream.

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 with a bite taken out of it

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.

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Reviews & Comments

  • This chocolate mousse got rave reviews today at my Easter dinner. I doubled the heavy whipping cream topping and added a splash of almond extract. Thanks Jenn for another outstanding recipe. I will make this decadent dessert again!

    • — Kathy M. on April 21, 2019
    • Reply
  • Yum! I halved the recipe and used just one egg for the egg white and yolk. Just put them in the fridge. Couldnt resist licking the spoon. It tastes amazing. I used 70% dark chocolate. Will make again. 😊

    • — Lesley on April 20, 2019
    • Reply
  • Thank you Jenn for another fantastic recipe! I bought your book after making your French Apple Cake (unbelievably delicious) and your chocolate cake from there is now our favourite chocolate cake ever. It seems we now have a new favourite chocolate mousse recipe! This was the first time I have used butter in a mousse and it made such a difference. The mousse has a deep, smooth, chocolate flavour, is extremely light and fluffy and melts in your mouth. It matches what we consider to be the best chocolate mousse we ever had in Paris several years ago!

    • — Sinead on April 20, 2019
    • Reply
  • I can’t wait to try this recipe. I was thinking of sprinkling frozen blueberries on the top of each dessert dish. Should I roll the berries in sugar, or just use frozen ones?

    • — Lorene Harper on April 19, 2019
    • Reply
    • I don’t think you could go wrong either way, Lorene. Fresh berries would be nice, too.

      • — Jenn on April 20, 2019
      • Reply
  • Made this for dessert last night. I was in a hurry at the grocery and could only find milk chocolate and dark chocolate so I mixed the two…Newman’s Own brand. Everyone loved it. I always look foreword to trying each new recipe you post and others usually want the recipe as was the case last night. Thanks.

    • — Jean on April 19, 2019
    • Reply
  • Would be more helpful to add your use of raw eggs NOTE at the top of the recipe rather than at the bottom of the section titled “How To Make Chocolate Mousse”. I often jump straight to the recipe and would have missed what I consider an important NOTE.

    • — Lyn on April 19, 2019
    • Reply
    • Done!

      • — Jenn on April 21, 2019
      • Reply
  • I’m am so glad you posted the Chocolate Mousse recipe. I am adding it to my Easter menu as a gluten free option for my gluten free guests. I was pleasantly surprised to easily find pasteurized eggs at my local Giant Eagle grocery store. I thought it would be best to use pasteurized eggs in this recipe as I am entertaining two elderly moms! The only remaining question is…how do you recommend shaving the chocolate?

    • — Kathy M. on April 19, 2019
    • Reply
    • That’s great they were so easy to find, Kathy. I use a vegetable peeler to shave the chocolate. Hope everyone enjoys!

      • — Jenn on April 19, 2019
      • Reply
  • This looks delicious!

    We always hear in the media that we shouldn’t eat raw cookie dough due to the fear of salmonella poisoning from the eggs. In this receipe, the eggs are not cooked- any concern around the raw eggs in the recipe?

    • — Stephanie Guignion on April 18, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Stephanie, The risk is very low with fresh eggs but you can always use pasteurized eggs if it’s a concern. Pasteurized eggs have been briefly exposed to heat to destroy any potential bacteria. Whole Foods usually carries them but be sure to call your local store to be sure before making a special trip.

      • — Jenn on April 18, 2019
      • Reply
  • What is the purpose of the butter? My favorite Chocolate Mousse recipe has no butter and 2 more eggs. I’m concerned about changing something we love, but trust you!

    • — Sammy on April 18, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Sammy, The butter smoothes out the flavor – I highly recommend using it. 🙂

      • — Jenn on April 18, 2019
      • Reply
  • Can I use good quality chocolate chips such as Ghardelli for the recipe?

    • — Marina on April 18, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Marina, While it might work with good quality chips, I haven’t tried it so I’m not sure whether it would have a negative impact on the consistency of the mousse. I’d recommend sticking with bar chocolate here. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on April 18, 2019
      • Reply
      • I already had the chocolate chips mentioned above on hand so I used them and the recipe turned out great with them. I may try with darker chocolate next time to cut the sweetness a bit but otherwise a great Easter treat.

        • — Marina on April 21, 2019
        • Reply
        • So glad it worked, Marina. Glad you enjoyed!

          • — Jenn on April 22, 2019
          • Reply
      • I had the chips mentioned above on hand also used them and it turned out delicious. I may try with dark chocolate next time to cut the sweetness a bit. I’ll definitely make again.

        • — Marina on April 23, 2019
        • Reply

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