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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99 Responses to “Dark Chocolate Mousse”

Comment Pages 1 2
  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

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