Dark Chocolate Mousse

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When I was a kid, chocolate mousse seemed like one of the fanciest desserts I could imagine. Weeknight desserts usually consisted of Jell-O with Cool Whip, and aside from that, there were sometimes cookies or Entenmann’s goodies at my grandma’s, and the occasional cake at a birthday party. I can only remember a couple of instances during my childhood that mousse was placed in front of me. It always stood out as something special. Served in a fancy glass goblet, topped with whipped cream and a garnishment… that was something to behold! It was chocolate, therefore I loved it, but it wasn’t until much, much later that I was really able to appreciate a wonderful mousse dessert. While I placed chocolate mousse on my 100 list years ago, I just recently got around to making it. As is always the case when it comes to great recipes… better late than never.

Dark Chocolate Mousse Recipe

Part of the reason it took me so long to make homemade mousse is that I could never settle on a recipe. I wanted something that would be smooth, light and almost foam-like. I didn’t want merely a lightened-up version of pudding, but something much more spectacular. Surprisingly, hardly any of my tried-and-true cookbooks contained a recipe for chocolate mousse, but one of my newest favorites – The Science of Good Cooking - had a version that sounded like it fit the bill perfectly.

Dark Chocolate Mousse Recipe

In less than 30 minutes, I had the mousse made and it was in the refrigerator chilling. Once chilled and set, the mousse was everything I had hoped it would be… bursting with a clean chocolate flavor, a light, melt-in-your-mouth texture and silky smooth. I topped the mousse with fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings; it would also be wonderful with some fresh berries on top. This is a perfect dessert to serve to company since it can be prepared in advance easily and served in individual glasses or dishes.

It doesn’t take a lot of time, fancy equipment or hard-to-find ingredients to make something that’s extra-special… especially when you make it with love. This fabulous mousse recipe is a testament to that, and it’s one that I’m going to tuck away as a “tried-and-true” for decades to come.

Dark Chocolate Mousse Recipe

One year ago: General Tso’s Chicken
Two years ago: Classic Egg Salad and Ginger-Tea Lemonade
Four years ago: Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte
Five years ago: Homemade Marshmallows

Dark Chocolate Mousse

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

A fabulous recipe for classic chocolate mousse.

Ingredients:

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60% cacao), finely chopped
5 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon brandy
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
2 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Directions:

1. Combine the chocolate, water, cocoa powder, brandy and espresso powder in a medium bowl. Place the bowl over a small saucepan filled with about 1 inch of water set over low heat, so that it is barely simmering. Stir the mixture frequently until it is completely melted and smooth; remove the bowl from the heat.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, 1½ teaspoons of the sugar and the salt until it is slightly thickened and pale in color, about 30 seconds. Pour the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Let cool until it's slightly warmer than room temperature, about 5 minutes.

3. Whip the egg whites using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment on medium speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Add the remaining 1½ teaspoons of sugar and increase the speed to medium-high. Continue to whip until soft peaks form, about 1 more minute. Gently whisk one-quarter of the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Add the remaining egg whites and gently fold into the chocolate mixture using a rubber spatula until just a few white streaks remain.

4. Wipe out the mixing bowl and then add the heavy cream to the bowl. Again using the whisk attachment, whip the cream on medium speed until it begins to thicken, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form, at least another 15 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the mousse until no white streaks remain. Spoon the mousse into individual serving cups, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set and firm, at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

Notes:

  • If you are concerned about using raw eggs in this recipe, look for pasteurized eggs - almost all grocery stores carry them now.
  • You can omit the brandy if you do not drink alcohol. You may substitute vanilla extract, adding it to the egg yolks, sugar and salt in step #2.

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94 Responses to “Dark Chocolate Mousse”

  1. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on April 16, 2013 at 12:13 am

    This is absolutely gorgeous mousse! I love that it’s dark chocolate

    Reply

  2. Averie @ Averie Cooks on April 16, 2013 at 12:15 am

    Lovely! It’s fluffy and almost foam-like, as you wanted. Not merely a lightened-up version of pudding. I can tell the texture is just wonderful and settling on a recipe for something you really want to nail can be tricky. I have spent months before researching something until one day, finally, I just do it. Glad you just did it. Pinning!

    Reply

  3. Laura (Tutti Dolci) on April 16, 2013 at 12:57 am

    This mousse looks like pure chocolate heaven!

    Reply

  4. Renee @ Awesome on $20 on April 16, 2013 at 2:12 am

    This looks lovely. The first time I made chocolate pudding from scratch I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I’ve made several different chocolate mousse recipes, and I never get tired of it. Can’t wait to try this one.

    Reply

  5. Emma on April 16, 2013 at 3:16 am

    This looks insanely delicious!!!!! It’s so fluffy looking-the pictures are amazing!

    Reply

  6. Sasha Sebright on April 16, 2013 at 3:20 am

    I too have always wanted to make my own chocolate mousse but not able to settle on a recipe and can say that 100% this is the one I will make when I get around to it! :) That last photo just sums up what a good mousse should be like to me. Awesome recipe for sure :)

    Reply

  7. Valerie on April 16, 2013 at 3:46 am

    My husband and I just love Chocolate Mousse, and we will have to try your recipe, Michelle. However, I have a personal story concerning Chocolate Mousse. Many years ago, there used to be a restaurant in Monroeville, PA by the name of “Victoria Station”, which was one of our favorite places to dine, who served Chocolate Mousse as one of their desserts. So one evening while dining with a few friends of mine, I asked our server if he could please ask their pastry chef if he would be so kind as to part with his recipe for Chocolate Mousse. Well, much to my surprise, our server came back to our table with a small slip of paper, which they used as a bar tab, that listed 4 ingredients in mammoth proportions and with absolutely no directions to go along with these ingredients, whatsoever. And they were a gallon of heavy whipped cream, 16 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate; 16 egg yolks; and 2 cups of sugar. Of course, with amounts like these, I would have had to set up a stand on a street corner and give it away — LOL! However, I went back home, broke down the ingredients into a much more manageable recipe for 2-4 people and also figured out exactly what to do with those ingredients by consulting one of my cookbooks which happened to have a recipe for Chocolate Mousse. To this day, I still make that recipe, but usually only for special occasions, since it is a rather rich dessert.

    Reply

  8. Sanzie on April 16, 2013 at 7:23 am

    I want to just jump into the screen and gorge on this delight! Wow. You do know how to click most tempting and seductive foodie pictures! Love ‘em! I have been following this blog for quite sometime now and I just love it! Hope you do many many more!

    P.S: I long for BEB mails more than anything for in my mailbox! :)

    Reply

  9. Lisa B on April 16, 2013 at 7:31 am

    I’m excited to try this!! Do you know if it would work with lactose-free cream??

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 16th, 2013 at 12:13 pm

      Hi Lisa, I am not familiar with lactose-free products, but the cream is whipped and folded into the chocolate mixture. If you have something you routinely substitute to make fresh whipped cream, use that.

      Reply

  10. Lori on April 16, 2013 at 7:35 am

    Michelle, It looks decadent. Might make this for a Mothers Day get together.

    Reply

  11. Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onion on April 16, 2013 at 7:56 am

    Dark Chocolate … Mmmmm …. my husband will kill me if I don’t make this.

    Reply

  12. Leslie on April 16, 2013 at 8:06 am

    better late than never is right! This looks scrumptious!

    Reply

  13. Amy @ CookingScraps on April 16, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Similarly, I had never made pudding for dessert, as it always seemed like it was too much trouble. Once you make it once though, you realize how easy (and deeply comforting!) it is. Thanks for posting this, now I’m sure to add chocolate mousse to my sweet arsenal!

    Reply

  14. Tieghan on April 16, 2013 at 8:26 am

    I love, love, love chocolate mousse!! Your looks so light, airy and fluffy!! Oh my gosh I just want one giant spoon!! Looks amazing!

    Reply

  15. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar on April 16, 2013 at 9:26 am

    This sounds soooo good! And I love how east it is!

    Reply

  16. Jenny on April 16, 2013 at 9:27 am

    This looks amazing . I can not wait to try it.

    Reply

  17. Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet on April 16, 2013 at 9:29 am

    My husband loves any type of mousse. This sounds great!

    Reply

  18. Patricia Campbell on April 16, 2013 at 9:49 am

    how many eggs?

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 16th, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      Two, as stated in the recipe above.

      Reply

  19. Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat on April 16, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Ooooooh…I want some right now! lol. It looks so light and airy. I’m so excited to give it a try! My family will go crazy for it!

    Reply

  20. Tracey on April 16, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Yum, Shane would *love* this!! The texture looks absolutely amazing!

    Reply

  21. Kathy on April 16, 2013 at 9:53 am

    This looks amazing! I’ve had chocolate mousse on my list of things to make for quite some time and have never gotten around to making it!

    Reply

  22. Barb | Creative Culinary on April 16, 2013 at 10:27 am

    I think we can forget how amazing the simplicity of a dessert can be in our efforts to make something fabulous. One of my all time favorites desserts is Pots de Creme…another very basic chocolate recipe using the best ingredients. This is NOT your mother’s chocolate pudding! :)

    Reply

  23. Marcie @ Flavor The Moments on April 16, 2013 at 10:36 am

    You can’t go wrong with a classic dessert like this. Yours looks heavenly!

    Reply

  24. Kim on April 16, 2013 at 10:47 am

    This chocolate addict would die and go to Heaven if this was in front of me now!! Yum :)

    Reply

  25. Abi on April 16, 2013 at 10:55 am

    This looks amazing! I have a question though, is there any dairy-free cream substitute available out there? Several family members(myself included) can not eat dairy products, but this looks sooooo good.

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 16th, 2013 at 12:15 pm

      Hi Abi, I am not familiar with dairy-free products, but the cream is whipped and folded into the chocolate mixture. If you have something you routinely substitute to make fresh whipped cream, use that.

      Reply

      • Lisa B on April 20th, 2013 at 6:54 am

        Hi Abi
        I’m lactose intolerant and am able to find lactose free cream in Canada.
        It’s made by the brand Natrel. Ill be making it tomorrow and will let you know how it turns out.

        Reply

  26. Cindy Rosborough on April 16, 2013 at 10:57 am

    This looks wonderful. I had to chuckle, though, when I saw your note about substituting vanilla extract for brandy if you don’t drink… I think vanilla extract is 40% alcohol!

    Love your website and recipes!!!!

    Reply

  27. Loretta on April 16, 2013 at 11:13 am

    I just made chocolate mousse and it was fantastic! Your shots look beautiful!

    Reply

  28. marie @ little kitchie on April 16, 2013 at 11:52 am

    I always love chocolate mousse because it just feels so decadent. And dark chocolate sounds even MORE decadent! I love it!

    Reply

  29. Ashley on April 16, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Such a beautiful dessert! I love this mousse is dark chocolate, my favorite kind of chocolate!

    Reply

  30. Gerry @ Foodness Gracious on April 16, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Chocolate heaven-ness! Love it’s poofy texture :)

    Reply

  31. Pam on April 16, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    What a wonderful dessert! My family loves chocolate so this would make them very happy.

    Reply

  32. Meghan @ Cake 'n' Knife on April 16, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    I always include a touch of brandy in my chocolate mousse too! Great recipe, I can’t wait to try it!

    Reply

  33. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts on April 16, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Look at how thick that is – gorgeous!!

    Reply

  34. Courtney@BakeMeBetter on April 16, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Looks so light and fluffy. Can’t wait to try it!

    Reply

  35. Jenn @ Once Upon a Tier on April 16, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    This looks…scrumptious. The pictures are amazing, and I love the perfect little chocolate curl in the second picture.
    How do you think it would be if, instead of the brandy, a raspberry schnapps was substituted? Too sweet?

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 16th, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      I think that would be fabulous! I don’t think it would be too sweet since the flavor is disseminated over the entire dessert, plus we’re using dark chocolate so that takes the edge off of any sweetness. Enjoy!

      Reply

  36. The Male Baker on April 16, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Chocolate is my weakness. I love the chocolate shavings on top! Great presentation.

    Reply

  37. Kelly @ Life made Sweeter on April 16, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Oh my goodness, this looks sooo wonderfully light and airy! Gorgeous pics as always Michelle:)

    Reply

  38. Chay on April 16, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    This looks luscious, I’m definitely making some mousse this weekend!

    Reply

  39. Jaclyn on April 16, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    I love chocolate mousse and yours looks perfect! Your photos are amazing!

    Reply

  40. Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen on April 16, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    This looks like the perfect chocolate mousse! Yum!!

    Reply

  41. Taylor @ greens & chocolate on April 16, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    I seriously feel like I can taste this mousse through the screen! This looks absolutely delicious!

    Reply

  42. Gloria @ Simply Gloria on April 16, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    I love making a chocolate mousse from scratch! And now, I’m going to have to replace my old recipe with this one! I can just tell it’s going to be absolutely amazing!

    Reply

  43. Kate on April 17, 2013 at 12:40 am

    This looks very yummy. I’m not a fan of the bitterness of dark chocolate, and I’m wondering if the other ingredients (the sugar?) mask a lot of the bitterness.

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 17th, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      Hi Kate, 60% cacao chocolate isn’t overly bitter and the mousse is very well-balanced in terms of flavor. I don’t think you’ll find it bitter at all.

      Reply

      • Kate on April 17th, 2013 at 5:18 pm

        Terrific! Thanks for the reply. I’m making this mousse this weekend. :)

        Reply

  44. MadSCAR on April 17, 2013 at 12:44 am

    Love it!Thanks for recipe :)

    Reply

  45. Amy J on April 17, 2013 at 1:03 am

    It is hard to beat mousse in the dessert department. I’ve made it for my hubby and kids a couple times, but would love to test out a new recipe! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  46. Annie on April 18, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    That looks so good!

    Reply

  47. Kristina on April 18, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    This sounds amazing!

    Reply

  48. sonia on April 20, 2013 at 4:17 am

    one inch of…. well, its good i knew. please fix for others. :)

    Reply

  49. LeAndra on April 20, 2013 at 7:36 am

    My childhood memories of chocolate mousse are much the same. Whenever we would go out to eat after church on Sunday, I would get a dish of chocolate mousse. It was such a big deal! The way you describe the “foamy” texture sounds just as I remember too. Love these gorgeous photos.

    Reply

  50. Erin M on April 20, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    I just made this and it was delicious! Nothing too over the top, but still with a strong chocolate flavor. A big helping of whipped cream on top is a must :) !

    Reply

  51. Spencer on April 22, 2013 at 12:51 am

    Looks absolutely delicious! I would so love to try some. I am sure it tastes amazing.

    Reply

  52. Dr. M on April 22, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Like other readers, I just want to jump through my screen into your kitchen! MMM! What type of brandy did you use?

    Reply

  53. Meryl on April 22, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    I absolutely love this chocolate mousse! I’ve made it many times.

    Reply

  54. Kim on April 22, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    This mousse recipe looks delicious! I’m just wondering about the instant espresso powder. I have never been able to find it, and I’m wondering if I could use a shot of espresso instead. What do you think?

    Reply

    • Meryl on April 23rd, 2013 at 1:10 am

      Kim, you could replace a Tbsp or so of the water in the recipe with the same amount of brewed espresso.
      Or just use regular instant coffee, but use 2 times the instant espresso, ie, use about 2 tsp instant coffee as a sub for the 1 tsp instant espresso. However, I think the first option would be the best one.

      Reply

    • Michelle on April 23rd, 2013 at 11:56 am

      Hi Kim, I would not add any liquids to the recipe, but as Meryl suggested, you could substitute 1 tablespoon of the water for espresso. Otherwise, you can just omit it altogether. You can’t taste it, it just helps to enhance the chocolate flavor.

      Reply

      • Kim on April 24th, 2013 at 5:45 am

        Thanks, Michelle! I had a feeling that adding more liquid wouldn’t be a good idea. Just thought I’d ask. (Also, I’m not meant to be having coffee, anyway, since I’m pregnant, so omitting it seems the best choice for me.)

        Reply

  55. Louise on May 6, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Vanilla extract or Vanilla essence is not always a good substitute for someone who does not drink Alcohol. For example Hansells Natural Vanilla Essence has 59% Alcohol by volume.

    Reply

  56. amanda on May 8, 2013 at 12:42 am

    Is it best to make the night before or the day of want to serve it

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 8th, 2013 at 11:21 am

      Hi Amanda, Per the recipe instructions above, you can make this up to 24 hours in advance.

      Reply

  57. Alicia on June 2, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    I made this for dessert today for my boyfriend’s family. Unfortunately, nobody was a fan…..the mousse was very bitter, even for me and I LOVE dark chocolate. (Followed the recipe exactly). Even a generous helping of fresh whipped cream on top wasn’t enough to tone down the overwhelming flavor…. On the plus side, the texture of the mousse was perfect and it looked great!!!

    Reply

  58. plasterer bristol on June 3, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Looks wonderful.

    Reply

  59. Shemylah H. on July 23, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Can this mousse recipe be replaced and used in the Chocolate Cream Pie recipe?
    http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2012/08/21/chocolate-cream-pie-recipe/

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 24th, 2013 at 8:33 am

      I have not tried that, but it might be delicious! If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

      Reply

  60. Angie Lintott on August 7, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Hi Michelle! I’m on expat assignment in Trinidad and Tobago and unfortunately was not able to pack my stand mixer or hand mixer. I have access to a food processor and an okay blender. Could I use either instead of using the stand mixer as recommended above or will it not be as smooth? Thank you kindly, -Angie

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 8th, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      Hi Angie, Unfortunately, I don’t know that you could whip egg whites with a blender or food processor. At least, I’ve never heard of it (I guess anything is possible!). You could try it, although I’m not sure what the results would be. Or, you could whip the egg whites by hand with a whisk. I’ve never done it, but I’ve heard it takes a ton of elbow grease ;-)

      Reply

  61. Katie on September 7, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Could the brandy be substituted with rum or chocolate(or mint) liquor? The only brandy I could afford to get right now would definitely clash with the semi sweet chocolate, however I do have some rum and flavored liquors I wouldn’t mind putting to use for this. Any thoughts? Thank you in advance for any advice and for sharing your recipe!

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 8th, 2013 at 2:41 pm

      Hi Katie, I think you could use other types of liquors. Enjoy! :)

      Reply

  62. Emmy on September 23, 2013 at 9:27 am

    I just made it for my brother’s birthday, and it is setting right now; can’t wait to try it cause it looks delicious!! Thank you for the great recipe. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

    Reply

  63. Emmy on September 23, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Oh, and since I didn’t have any espresso powder on hand, I just left it out, hoping it would be fine without it. And I was relieved to read the comment where you said it’s okay to omit it!

    Reply

  64. Samantha on November 3, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Do you recommend a specific brand of brandy?

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 4th, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      Hi Samantha, No, whatever brand you buy is fine.

      Reply

  65. judi on November 19, 2013 at 7:27 am

    Heyy!! This looks fabulous! !! And I want to try it as soon as possible but first I want to ask you, is there a substitution for the Brandy? Or can I completely ommit it?? Thanks sooo Much!

    Judi

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 19th, 2013 at 10:26 pm

      Hi Judi, You could just omit the brandy.

      Reply

  66. SA on December 28, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    How would one substitute the liquid eggs, since the recipe calls for the eggs to be separated? Also, do pasteurized eggs whip well? Pregnant but now I REALLY want to try this recipe!!!

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 29th, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      I am not sure of a substitute for real eggs in this particular recipe due to the nature of the recipe, but you can use pasteurized eggs, they will work just fine. Enjoy! :)

      Reply

  67. Brennan on January 1, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    I made this for New Year’s Eve and it is delicious. I substituted amaretto for brandy. The texture was perfect! I was really surprised that it was so easy to make. I think this is one of those recipes that you can dress up or down. If you wanted, it would be the perfect dessert for a fancy dinner, but you can keep it really simple too. It’s definitely a recipe that I’ll keep bookmarked.

    Reply

  68. Noelle on February 3, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Hello,
    What does seperated eggs mean?? Like seperating the yolk from the whites??

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 3rd, 2014 at 1:33 pm

      Hi Noelle, Yes, the yolk separated from the white.

      Reply

  69. Tat on February 25, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Is it possible to substitute the bittersweet chocolate with semi-sweet or milk chocolate? I am making this mousse for my sister but she prefers milk chocolate. What alterations do you recommend? Thank you.

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 25th, 2014 at 8:57 pm

      Hi Tat, I would use semisweet chocolate, but I don’t think I’d go the whole way to milk chocolate. You’re such a nice sister! :)

      Reply

      • Tat on March 1st, 2014 at 7:59 pm

        Hi Michelle, thank you so much for the recipe. I tried it out yesterday and my sister really liked it. It had the perfect consistency she was looking for. I appreciate your time in replying to me and look forward to trying more of your recipes!

        Reply

  70. Barbie on March 21, 2014 at 11:09 am

    I made this mousse for dessert for our friends last night at our monthly dinner get together. It was a hit! Everyone loved it. I added a fancy little wafer and caramel cookie in each ramekin wit it and it looked very “fancy restaurant” as my best friend said. I’m so glad I made it.

    Reply

  71. Danielle on May 9, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Once it sets do you think it could be piped? I made the little chocolate bowls from the Wilton molds and wanted to see if I could pipe the set mouse I to them. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 12th, 2014 at 11:04 am

      Hi Danielle, Yes, I think this could be piped for sure. Sounds like a pretty presentation!

      Reply

  72. Linda on June 25, 2014 at 12:17 am

    Michelle, of all the questions to ask mine is about your little white serving bowls
    Where did you get those? So cute. The chocolate mousse is on my menu soon.
    Thanks!

    Reply

    • Michelle on June 26th, 2014 at 11:07 am

      Hi Linda, They are from Crate & Barrel :)

      Reply

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