Classic Chocolate Mousse

Image of classic chocolate mousse in a stemmed serving bowlIt Mousse Be Love
When I was a kid, I would order chocolate mousse whenever it was an option on the dinner menu. I thought it was the height of sophistication until my eight-year-old eyes were opened to the wonder that is a well-caramelized crème brûlée.

Strangely, chocolate mousse is not a dessert option you see all that often anymore, at least not as a standalone. It is out there in the wild. But, you have to look for it. Sure, there are chocolate mousse cakes—but a single dish of chocolate mousse? Not really. And a Pot de Crème is not the same thing.

Perhaps it is time chocolate mousse made a comeback?

The hot summer months are a great time to give Classic Chocolate Mousse a try because all that is needed is a microwave and a hand mixer. No hot oven (or even stoves) is required. What is required is good quality chocolate. Not the stuff you eat in the afternoon that I like to refer to as rescue chocolate. Good quality baking chocolate like Guittard or Valhrona is key.

While I do like my chocolate mousse straight up, I will from time to time add flavor, like a little espresso or something boozy. Just be careful not to add too much or your chocolate will seize and become grainy and/or greasy.

Real legit chocolate mousse is rich and decadent. Real chocolate mousse is not melted chocolate combined with whipped cream. If you make it the right way, Classic Chocolate Mousse contains butter and eggs which give the mousse its silky fluffiness. Don’t be afraid of the fact that the eggs are not cooked. It’s not too different than the runny yolks of a fried egg. If you are concerned, just make sure that the eggs you use are pasteurized and you should be just fine.

Classic Chocolate Mousse Recipe
Yields 4 servings

Classic Chocolate Mousse is both rich and creamy, yet light and fluffy.
This is a classic chocolate mousse made French-style. It has less cream, an intense chocolate flavor, and a beautiful, creamy mouth feel.

Note that this recipe needs at least 5 hours in the fridge to set before serving.

3 eggs
4.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons superfine white sugar
Whipped cream and chocolate shavings for the garnish (optional)

Prep the eggs
Separate the eggs from the yolks while they are cold. Place the whites in a large bowl and the yolks in a small bowl. Set the whites aside and allow them to come to room temperature. Whisk the yolks

Melt the chocolate
Place the chocolate and butter in a bowl and melt them in the microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring in between, until smooth. (At this point, room-temperature (not cold) flavorings such as a tablespoon of liquor can be stirred into the mixture.

Set the chocolate mixture aside and allow it to cool.

Prep the egg whites and cream
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Add the sugar to the bowl containing the egg whites and beat them together until firm peaks form.

Gently fold the egg yolks into the cream using a rubber spatula. Do not exceed 8 folds—it is fine if the mixture has streaks.

At this point, the chocolate should have cooled to the point that it is runny and lukewarm. If the chocolate is too thick, put it back in the microwave for 2 to 3 seconds until it can be poured.

Pour the chocolate into the cream and yolk mixture and fold the two mixtures together. Do not exceed 8 folds—it is fine if the mixture has streaks.

Add a quarter of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Fold through until thoroughly incorporated You can use a smearing action with the spatular across the surface to blend white any lumps in. This time, aim for about 10 folds.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the remaining egg whites. Fold thoroughly until fully incorporated and no more white lumps remain. This time, aim for about 12 folds.

Divide the mousse mixture between 4 small glasses or pots either by spooning or piping the mousse. Refrigerate for at least 5 hours, and preferably overnight before serving.

To serve
Garnish the mousse with cream and/or chocolate shavings.


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