My traditional Chocolate Mousse is a silky, airy dessert sure to impress any guest. While it may look fancy, this recipe takes only 15 minutes to prep with a few pantry staples. Recipe includes a how-to video!
Fluffy, From-Scratch Chocolate Mousse
While this chocolate mousse recipe will make you look and feel like fancy French pastry chef, you don’t need a culinary degree to make it. Really, it’s just a little more complicated than a chocolate pudding, but the results are much more impressive.
My recipe has the classic silky and airy texture created by whipped egg whites and whipped cream. Its rich chocolate flavor is decadent, but not too sweet, and it looks so elegant served with a dollop of whipped cream (or chocolate whipped cream) and chocolate shavings.
Fair warning: this chocolate mousse recipe does create a lot of dishes, but it’s 100% worth it!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe:
- It’s quick and easy with just 15 minutes of prep work.
- Can be served in glass jars, martini glasses, ramekins, espresso cups–whatever you have on hand.
- It needs at least 2-3 hours to chill before serving, so it’s perfect for making ahead of time.
What You Need
Because chocolate mousse uses just a few ingredients, it’s important that each one is high quality. Let’s highlight a few:
- Eggs. To keep with tradition, we are using raw eggs in this mousse recipe. There is no cooking step, so the eggs will still be raw in the final product. If you’re uncomfortable with this or simply cannot eat raw eggs for health reasons, leave me a comment and let me know, I’ll work on an alternative version that you’ll be able to enjoy too!
- Chocolate. Use a quality baking bar for this recipe; I like to use 60% Ghirardelli chocolate bar. While chocolate chips could work, I don’t recommend using them as they’re a lower quality chocolate and contain added ingredients we don’t need here.
- Instant espresso powder. A small pinch enhances the chocolate flavor of the mousse without making it taste like coffee. Optional, but sooo good!
SAM’S TIP: I like to garnish my mousse with chocolate shavings for a polished look. To do this, you can grate a chocolate bar with a microplane, or you can use a vegetable peeler to create pretty chocolate curls.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Chocolate Mousse
- Melt the chocolate and butter together in a microwave safe bowl, then stir in the espresso powder.
- Separate the egg whites and yolks, setting the whites aside for later and combining the yolks with 1 Tablespoon of sugar, salt, and vanilla.
- Whisk the egg yolk mixture vigorously for about 30 seconds.
- Fold the melted chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture in three parts.
- Whip the egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the sugar and stop whipping when you reach stiff peaks.
- Add some of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture and stir until combined, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
- Whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks, then gently fold that into the mousse mixture until combined.
- Divide the mousse into your serving dishes, cover, and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Serve with additional whipped cream.
SAM’S TIP: Do NOT add all of the whipped egg whites at once! To help the egg whites and chocolate mixture come together easier and more smoothly, we’ll “temper” the chocolate mixture by adding just some of the egg whites at first. This loosens up the chocolate mixture and makes it much easier to stir, which will help us incorporate the remaining egg whites (without deflating them).
Frequently Asked Questions
The method I’m sharing today is the traditional way to make chocolate mousse. Because it is made from raw egg, I don’t recommend eating this mousse if you have a compromised immune system or if you are pregnant.
If you’re interested in an eggless or cooked egg version (similar to what I did with my tiramisu), let me know in the comments below.
Chocolate mousse tastes best when served immediately after chilling. If you’re not eating it right away, cover it tightly and keep it in the fridge for up to two days. You can also freeze your mousse for several months.
It sounds like your mousse may not have been whipped to stiff peaks. Check out my meringue cookies post for a photo of what stiff peaks look like.
Totally worth all the extra dishes, right?
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
Perfect Chocolate Mousse
For Chocolate Mousse
- 6 oz (170 g) dark chocolate bar finely chopped
- 4 Tablespoons (57 g) unsalted butter cut into 4 pieces
- 5 large eggs whites and yolks separated
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar divided
- Pinch of espresso powder about ⅛ teaspoon, optional
- ⅛ teaspoon table salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup (118 ml) heavy cream plus additional for whipped cream topping, indicated below
Whipped Cream Topping (optional)
- ½ cup (118 ml) heavy cream
- 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine chopped chocolate and butter in a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 20-25 second intervals, stirring well in between, until ingredients are completely melted and mixture is smooth when stirred. If using espresso powder, stir that in here as well. Set aside.6 oz (170 g) dark chocolate bar, 4 Tablespoons (57 g) unsalted butter, Pinch of espresso powder
- In a separate large bowl, combine egg yolks, 1 Tablespoon of granulated sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. Whisk vigorously for about 30 seconds, until ingredients are lightened in color and slightly thickened.5 large eggs, ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ⅛ teaspoon table salt
- Add the chocolate mixture into egg yolk mixture in 3 parts, whisking well after each addition until completely combined. Set aside.
- Pour egg whites in another large, clean, dry, bowl, and use an electric mixer to beat until foamy. Slowly increase mixer speed to medium-high and add remaining sugar, about half a Tablespoon at a time (allowing about 10-15 seconds after each addition), until all sugar has been added and mixture reaches stiff peaks (see note if you have questions about stiff peaks).
- Stir your chocolate mixture, then take a large spoonful (about ⅓-½ cup) of the egg white mixture and use a spatula to stir into the chocolate until completely combined to make it loose and easy to stir (the mixture should flow easily off the spatula). If the mixture is still thick, add a bit more egg whites.
- Gradually, gently fold the remaining egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Do not over-mix and be as light-handed about this as possible. A few streaks remaining are fine.
- In yet another bowl (yes, all of these dishes are worth it, I promise!) whip heavy cream on high-speed with an electric mixer until you reach stiff peaks.½ cup (118 ml) heavy cream
- Use a spatula to fold whipped cream into chocolate mousse mixture (again, being gentle and not over-mixing) until combined.
- Immediately divide mousse into ramekins or serving dishes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours and up to 2 days before topping with whipped cream (instructions below) and serving.
- Combine heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat until stiff peaks are just achieved.½ cup (118 ml) heavy cream, 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar, ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Dollop over chocolate mousse before serving.
FreezingMousse may be covered and frozen in the container for up to several months. When ready to serve, let thaw (covered) in the refrigerator overnight.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
I can’t wait to make this for Valentine’s Day! I have 3 questions:
1. Can I substitute instant coffee for espresso powder?
2. Can I use couverture chocolate (Callebaut 811) instead of the 60% Ghirardelli?
3. If I can make the chocolate sub, what texture/flavor changes should I expect from that?
Hi Kristen! The instant coffee will work, but the flavor won’t be quite as intense. It will still be good though. The couverture chocolates will work and the difference in taste/texture will be minimal. It will be ever so slightly sweeter. 🙂
Will this recipe work as a layer for a tuxedo cheesecake?
Hi Shay! I’m not sure exactly how it would be used, but this is a softer frosting so you don’t want to put anything too heavy on top of it.
I’ve made this recipe several times, came out perfect! Thank you so much. We’re having a Valentines day themed potluck at work, I was wondering, would red food coloring be okay to add to this? And if yes, then at which step would be the best time to add?
Hi Kahani! I’m glad you enjoyed it! You could add some red food coloring to the whipped cream topping. You will just want to stir it in briefly at the end. 🙂
Could you please email me the substitute for raw eggs? I have a immune deficiency and cannot eat raw eggs. I would really love to try this. I follow you on tictok. You have so many recipes I have saved! Loved them all so
Thanks so much! Looking forward to seeing the new version so I can give it a try!
Hi Carol! I don’t actually have a recipe without raw eggs currently, but I will add it to my list. 🙂
Thank you. I will be looking for it! Anxious to make, looks so good!
Can you please share the cooked egg version? Thanks.
Hi Liz! I haven’t perfected the process yet, but it is on my list since I’ve had many people asking for it. 🙂
Hi, do you have an alternate option for the chocolate moussse without the raw eggs?
I don’t currently have one. 🙁