Chocolate Mousse


In my lifelong experience with chocolate mousse, thanks to my mother, two versions come to mind. One is thick and dense, almost like soft fudge. The other is like the first, but aerated with whipped cream or egg whites, or both.

My preferred version is the dense one. I mean, if you’re going to eat chocolate, eat chocolate!

This is so easy to make, and the individual servings are pretty.

Chocolate Mousse
About 8 servings
Printable recipe below

6 eggs, at room temperature
12 ounces dark chocolate
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
Splash of cognac
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
Whipped cream to top
Chocolate curls, optional

Separate eggs, placing whites in a large bowl and the yolks in a small bowl. I go the extra mile and separate one egg at a time in a small bowl, and then continue with the remaining eggs. I still have the memory from a million years ago of accidentally having a bit of yolk in my whites, and of course the whites couldn’t be whipped. You never forget these things!

In the top of a double boiler, over hot water (not boiling), melt the chocolate and butter together, stirring constantly. Remember you are melting, not cooking.

Remove the top pan, and gradually pour the melted chocolate and butter into the egg yolks, whisking the whole time. Alternately, add one egg yolk at a time to the pan with the melted chocolate, but it needs to be off of the hot water.

Let the chocolate egg yolk mixture cool for 10-15 minutes, then stir in the cognac and coffee.

The coffee was always my mother’s trick. If you’re ever enjoying something chocolate, but it has some je ne said quoi… it’s probably coffee. It makes chocolate even more magical than it already is.

Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until almost stiff; you don’t want them too dry. Use a whisk or spatula to combine the whipped egg whites with the chocolate mixture. Make sure no white streaks remain.

You don’t have to be too gentle doing the folding. The mousse needs to end up dense, not fluffy. However, the egg whites prevent this mousse from being fudge!

Pour the mousse into a serving bowl, cover tightly and refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving.

Alternatively, place the mousse in individual serving dishes, which I prefer.

To serve, add some whipped cream, if desired, as well as chocolate curls, if you’re that artsy! If you don’t want to buy Ready Whip in a can, try one of these! They work great!

I served this mousse with cookies a friend’s daughter gifted me, and they were so good with the mousse, even though they ended up looking like tortilla chips!

The mousse can be made ahead of time, but cover tightly because chocolate can absorb refrigerator odors.

I also served the mousse with sherry. Just because. The cookies went really well with the sherry, too!

64 thoughts on “Chocolate Mousse

  1. Haha – I love your comment about ‘if you’re going to eat chocolate, then eat chocolate’! So true. This sounds like a decadent and delicious recipe, Mimi – perfect for a weekend night. And I really should serve dessert with sherry more often. It sounds so fancy! :-) (P.S. I saw your note on my post about ads – I left a comment back in case you don’t get the notice. Thanks!)

    • I just happen to love sherry and port. Sometimes I’ll have it in the afternoon just to feel special! By the fake fire! I gave you information on the Irish Nachos post, hope it helps, although i noticed a bunch of typos after the fact. Hopefully you’ll understand my comment. Seriously, the bidet sales were probably from the lack of toilet paper!

  2. This looks terrific! I like rich, dense mousse, too. I’ll certainly eat fluffy versions of it, but I prefer that each bite of my mousse packs a wallop. :-) Good recipe — thanks.

    • The funny thing is, later after I made this I made the fluffy version, and wow! I had second thoughts! You want to dive into the bowl of fluffiness! And the flavor is still wonderful.

  3. If I am eating chocolate then I want it to be chocolate, dense and rich. This is perfect Mimi. And I love the suggestions for Bailey’s and chili powder. A touch of heat might be very interesting. Thank you Mimi for the no ads posts and blog. I find those multiple pop up ads very irritating, but I guess some folks want to make money. It takes something away from the authenticity.

    • Oh goodness, those ads are terrible. Sometimes you can’t even click them out of the way, either. No, definitely people make money blogging, and I respect that, and maybe we’re lucky that we don’t need that income?!! By the way, Ronit didn’t mean chili powder, she actually meant chile powder, but didn’t tell me which one. In the US it’s spelled chile. She definitely didn’t mean chili powder seasoning mixture. When I catered I put ground cayenne pepper in a chocolate cookie, as well as black pepper, and they were always a hit!

  4. That looks delicious! But I have just one question….does the heated chocolate cook the egg yolks enough that this is considered eating raw eggs? I would assume so, but I’m not sure. And I hadn’t realized that adding coffee to chocolate had just great results!

  5. What a beautiful chocolate mousse. I should’ve known better than to read about it when I’m hungry. How will I go make a savory meal now that this is all I can think about? I love a dessert that’s inherently gluten-free for my chocolate loving GF son. Clearly, I’ll be making this VERY soon. :-) ~Valentina

    • Honestly I’m a more savory loving person, but I won’t push away a good chocolate mousse. Or a great ice cream! Sorry to make you hungry!

  6. Oh wow! This is so enticing, Mimi! I love chocolate, the richer the better, and I also have a birthday coming up. I think this may be my gift to myself. I haven’t had a good chocolate mousse in ages and ages. Now I won’t be able to stop thinking about it. :-)

    • Ha! Well good! It packs a wallop! Full of good chocolate flavor, and I love the texture. Happy future birthday!

  7. Although both versions sound insanely delicious, I’m with you Mimi: give me the dense chocolate mousse! These look like decadent PERFECTION. And how elegantly you’ve plated them! Love everything about this chocolate mousse, yum!

  8. i used to make this mousse many many moons ago but i eventually found it too heavy. i now make Nigella’s chocolate dessert as my go-to; it’s so light and easy. i had to giggle when i kept seeing that everyone loves dessert with sherry… I have mentioned the ads to david @ spiced too. today i was trying to leave a comment on his post, and the ads just kept covering the whole screen so i couldn’t see what i wrote. so frustrating! I understand that some bloggers need/want payment for their blog, but it is incredibly annoying when ads flicker and jump out at you… I have given up on some blogs because it’s just not worth the agony!

    • Dessert with Sherry! Could be a movie!!! I’ve stopped following people as well, but when you can’t read the text or see the photos it becomes ridiculous. I’m not familiar with Nigella’s dessert, but yes, this one is definitely rich and heavy!

  9. Mimi, I was already swooning over your Monte Cristo crepes when your chocolate mousse recipe appeared. I don’t think it was a coincidence. Actually, it sounds like a heavenly combo whether it was intentional or not. Birthday dinner? :) Sigh…

    • It really is wonderful. If I had to pick, and I couldn’t pick ice cream, my favorite would be chocolate mousse!

  10. What a classic, I love a dense mousse as well. I usually add coffee to my chocolate desserts but occasionally, if only adults will consume, then I add some heat, like a pinch of cayenne!

  11. Wow, look at the gorgeous color of that mousse.. Mouth watering. And I don’t even have much of a sweet tooth. But I do make an exception for dark chocolate. The denser the better!

  12. I concur too that I prefer a dense chocolate mousse Mimi. I’ve got several different versions I like. I make mine with semolina flour and sometimes with an avocado too. I love your classic recipe here. We’re in need of a treat to cheer us up here. Thanks!

    • It’s a great recipe. If I go sweet, I never try to make it “healthy.” But there’s also silken tofu that works so well puréed!

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