Chocolate Mousse

Do you like chocolate?  If not, please exit this blog immediately.  Nah, just kidding (sort of).  However if you do like chocolate, then let me introduce you to one of the greatest desserts in the world.  I realize that is an extremist statement, but I stand by it nonetheless.  I’ve had chocolate mousse plenty of times before and it has always been fine, delicious even, but not that kind of mind-blowing good that you really want in the ultimate dessert.  My feelings about chocolate mousse started to change from like to serious love when I had it for dessert at one of my favorite restaurants, The Oceanaire.  This chocolate mousse was unlike any I had ever tried.  Smooth, thick, rich and somehow light at the same time, with a pure chocolate flavor.

I most recently had their fabulous chocolate mousse again about a month ago when we were there to celebrate my birthday.  It was just as perfect as all the times before, and this time I was inspired to find a version just as good that I could make at home.  The search didn’t take long, since I knew exactly where to look.  I read The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz several months ago and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Peppered amongst David’s hilarious and witty commentary are some of his favorite recipes, including two for chocolate mousse.  A traditional chocolate mousse uses raw eggs, and since I wanted the best chocolate mousse possible, I decided I could handle the raw eggs.  In fact, this recipe has only two main ingredients – eggs and chocolate.  It is amazing to me that such a perfect dessert comes from such simple ingredients.  Good quality chocolate is very important in this recipe (you know the saying – if you’re going to do something, do it right.)  And in case you were wondering, this version completely lived up to the restaurant variety.  Bliss, pure bliss.

Chocolate Mousse
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7 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 tbsp. water
4 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
Pinch of coarse salt

Combine the chocolate and water in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.  Heat until the chocolate is almost completely melted, stirring occasionally.  Remove the bowl from the heat and stir until the mixture is smooth.  Set aside and let cool to near room temperature.

In a clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the egg whites and the salt.  Whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.  They should be thick and smooth.

Stir the egg yolks into the cooled chocolate mixture.  Add one third of the whipped egg whites to the bowl with the chocolate and fold gently to lighten up the mixture.  Fold in the remaining egg whites gently with a spatula just until no visible streaks are left.

Portion the mixture into 4-6 individual serving dishes (or 2 larger serving dishes, for a romantic, share-friendly dessert).  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours.  Serve as desired with freshly whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Source: The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz

33 Responses

  1. No added sugar, right? I guess you choose the variety of chocolate based on your need for sweetness. Which do you like the best? Sounds irresistable!

    • Romaine, I’ve only tried it with semisweet so far because that is the only Callebaut my store carried. However, I’m sure it would be fantastic either way.

  2. WOW!! How cool that you can make such a wonderful dessert with only 2 ingredients?? I will be trying this for sure!!! 🙂

  3. It’s all about the high quality chocolate, isn’t it?

    I look forward to trying this! An interesting twist I learned from my mom: add a bit of Amaretto.

    • Joe, the original recipe actually calls for the alcohol (can’t remember which, something similar to amaretto I believe), but I didn’t have it on hand so I just omitted it.

  4. Not sure if you’ve seen this recipe in Cook’s Illustrated.. but they have a Triple Chocolate Mousse cake in there that is TO DIE FOR. It’s insanely good and people seem to love it, at least ones i’ve served it to. It’s so rich but so light!

    • Michelle,
      I have, and I have been *dying* to make it. I was saving it for a specific special occasion, but thankfully that day is coming very soon. I can’t wait to try it!

  5. Can’t say I’ve ever had raw eggs (except maybe the occasional taste of cookie dough:)) This looks so delish and simple! YUM! Perfect presentation too!

  6. who doesn’t like chocolate ! This chocolate mouse made me salivated!

  7. ive never made mouse before, but that looks so darn delicious!

  8. oooo I’d totally forgotten about that recipe in TSLiP! thanks for bringing it back on my radar! and don’t you just love Callebaut chocolate??

  9. Annie, you are brave! I’ve wanted to make my own mousse for so long, but I’m nervous about the raw eggs! Were there any notes in the book you read about that? My aunt has her own chickens, so I suppose I could just get eggs from her and that might remove the fear of bacteria. Looks delicious! If I ever make mousse, I’ll be sure to use this recipe. :o)

    • Brie,
      His only real note on it was to the effect of “French people can’t imagine why you wouldn’t make mousse with raw eggs, that’s just how it is done.” Eggs from your aunt’s chickens are just as likely to have bacteria as store-bought, but as long as you aren’t immunocompromised, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

  10. Mmmm, LOVE chocolate and this looks wonderful!

  11. Will certainly give it a whizz. What would you recommend to top it with since once doesn’t want to let a great mousse down with it’s topping.


    • Rich,
      As I mention in the recipe (and as in my picture), I think just some lightly sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings is the way to go.

  12. Wow, that really is just eggs and chocolate! Amazing! No sugar? No butter? No heavy cream? It’s just crazy enough to be delicious!

    It just so happens I have a TON of farm fresh eggs I just bought last weekend, and few bars of Green & Blacks dark chocolate. I will definitely have to give this a try! Thanks!

  13. Your mousse looks amazing!!

  14. the look is beatifull

  15. Oh my goodness! I *just* made this and it is delicious! I made it as a surprise for my husband, who has been asking for “something chocolate” for the past few nights, and he loved it. Thank you for posting this! It was so easy to make as well, which is perfect for a weeknight dessert.

  16. This looks decadent. My mouth is watering and I’ve marked the recipe!

  17. This one looks really sinful! I’m gonna try it out over the weekend!! 🙂 *slurp!*

  18. I think I would love anything chocolate, but chocolate mousse is such a fantastic dessert. So excited to try this recipe! Some of my favorite cookbooks call for “good quality chocolate, such as Callebaut” – think I need to go on a hunt for some 🙂

  19. My sister made chocolate mousses once, they were amazing! I can’t wait to try out your recipe!

  20. I use that very same brand of chocolate and buy it in 11 pound bars. Lasts forever. Your mousse looks perfect!

  21. I love this recipe – you’re right it’s amazing that it’s only eggs and chocolate. Most of the mousse recipes ask for heavy cream and much more .. I am keeping this recipe to try soon 🙂

  22. Have you tried making chocolate chantilly yet? Chocolate and water. A totally different flavor, but still simple. (200ml water, 225 g chocolate; melt over double boiler until uniform, whisk over ice water bath until thickened)

  23. Wow mousse without cream?? That’s a first. For me atleast. Maybe I’ve been living under a hole!

    • Avanika,
      This is what traditional mousse is. Chocolate “mousse” with cream is not truly mousse (at least in my understanding from David’s book.)

  24. photos are beautiful! I love all your dessert recipes I looked at so far.

  25. WOW my 3 yr old and I just made these and they were so rich! I highly recommend using cool whip to even out the flavor. We used semi sweet chocolate, I think next time we might try bittersweet. Do you prefer one over the other?

    • Meg, if you’re going to take the time to make a delicious chocolate mousse, I highly recommend whipping your own cream for the topping rather than using Cool Whip. It takes just a couple of minutes but is so much more suitable. I pretty much always tend to prefer bittersweet to semisweet chocolate, though I used semisweet when I made these because it was what was available at the time. I love it either way, I’m sure.

  26. I made this last night, only substituting butter for the water. After filling my ramekins, I licked the spatula and was horrified by a thick terrible eggy taste. Nervous, since I’d made it for company, we served it chilled and….delish! Not sure what magic happens between the mixing and the refrigerator time, but the egg flavor goes away and is replaced by a rich yummy chocolate. Thanks for sharing.

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