For the Chocolate Mousse • 6 oz dark chocolate bar chopped (170g) • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 4 pieces (57g) • 5 large eggs whites and yolks separated • ¼ cup granulated sugar divided (50g) • Pinch of espresso powder about ⅛ teaspoon, optional • ⅛ teaspoon table salt • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • ½ cup heavy cream plus additional for whipped cream topping (118ml)

For the Whipped Topping • ½ cup heavy cream (118ml) • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Finely chop 6 oz dark chocolate bar. Then, add 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. 

 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 thickened.

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 add sugar to egg whites and beating well in between until egg whites reach 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.

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.

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.

Combine heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat until stiff peaks are just achieved.

Dollop over chocolate mousse before serving. Enjoy!