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Jan 29, 2009 05:58 PM

Chocolate Mousse

Hi CH'ers,

I want to make 3 types of chocolate mousse atop a brownie (decadent I know) in a martini glass of sorts. So far, I have sewed together a patchwork of recipes from different sites (epicurious,, and leitesculinara).
Please have a gander at the recipes and tell me if you think they'll turn out well. I'm looking for a mousse that isn't too dense nor too airy- a good balance between the two. I've also seen recipes calling for gelatin, some with butter, some only with eggs, and others only with cream. Can any 'mousse experts' out there please explain to me how the mousse will be affected based on the ingredient(s) I use? (i.e. I read that if I only use bittersweet chocolate, a bit of sugar, egg yolks, and fold in beaten stiff-peak egg whites, the mousse will be extremely light in texture)

Thanks in advance!

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  1. gelatin? I would stay clear of any recipe that uses gelatin.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jaykayen

      ditto for any recipe suggesting the use of cool whip. :)

      1. re: jaykayen

        What do you have against gelatin? I recently had the tofu "cheesecake" at Morimoto (restaurant by Iron Chef and former Nobu executive chef). It was one of the best desserts I've had and it was made with gelatin (I had the waiter ask the chef since I also bake and wanted to try to replicate it).

      2. Glad to have a look at the recipes, could you post links? Thanks :)

        5 Replies
        1. re: maplesugar

          oh yeah, forgot to post them!
          Here they are:

          In addition, will using certain ingredients (or lack of) over others cause the mousse to weep?


          1. re: sugarcube

            Mmm, I've never had a mousse weep. weeping is the same as "sweating," right?

            1. re: jaykayen

              Hi Jaykayen,

              Yes, as in, I don't want the mousse to fall flat and become runny.

            2. re: sugarcube

              Love the Michael Smith fact I saw that episode just the other day. I'd use his since it avoids the use of eggs and I have young children. I've seen gelatin in "light" recipes(...I'd rather just make the real deal and just eat less of it).

              Re weeping/sweating: I've had that happen with meringue when the filling has cooled before the meringue is put on top but I've never associated weeping with mousse.

              1. re: maplesugar

                Hi Maplesugar,

                Yes, I had my eye on the MS recipe too, but uses quite a lot of coffee and I wouldn't be too keen on it if it overpowered the chocolate.
                Have you tried recipes using eggs? I wanted to try a traditional mousse recipe with them. Does it lend a richer texture?

          2. The gelatin in chocolate mouse is not so much for texture as it is for structure.

            There are recipes for making chocolate mousse using pate bomb and Italian meringue, which does call for bringing sugar to the soft ball stage. Also, I rather like making chocolate mouse using a sabayon as the base. In both of these type of chocolate mousse there is no gelatin used.

            The only time that I might consider a death sentence is for the following crimes 1. par- boiling meat, 2. any convince food that requires a microwave and water, 3. cool whip. My wife who is lactose intolerance has never eaten cool whip, only 35% cream whipped up with some vanilla and sugar, and we both pay the price!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Pastryrocks

              Hi Pastryrocks,

              Thanks for the helpful information.

              Do you have a favourite chocolate mousse recipe you could share?


              1. re: sugarcube

                It’s rather simple to make a sabayon type mousse:

                340g of very good dark chocolate, personally I love Green & Black’s 70%
                85g soft butter
                100g sugar
                120g egg yoke
                125ml liquid (Grand Marnier makes anything better!)
                250ml 35% cream

                Melt chocolate in bain marie over simmering water not boiling water (the 40ºf difference in temp will make a difference in the flavour of your chocolate).

                Allow the chocolate to melt, stir (do not whisk!) to help the chocolate to melt. When about 2/3rd melted, remove the bowl from the pot and stir until completely melted. Your may need to add the bowl back to the pot to help melt.

                Mix in the soft butter in 5-7 pieces off the stove, making sure that the butter is fully incorporated.

                Make the sabayon by whisking in the sugar into the yokes over a Bain Marie or direct heat if you are family with making a sabayon. Add the liquid and whisk until quite thick. Place into a mixer and using a wire whip, whisk until cool.

                Whip the 35% cream to soft peaks.

                Carefully fold in the cool sabayon into the chocolate and then fold in the whipped cream into the chocolate-sabayon mixture. Best is to mix in a little of the sabayon to lighten the chocolate, and then fold in the remaining sabayon. You should do the same with the whipped cream.

                You must use this chocolate mousse right away for it will begin to set. I’ve never reheated this type of mousse over a bain marie and believe it will not reheat as well as mousse made with gelatin.

                Making pate bomb and Italian meringue require you to cook sugar to the soft ball stage and then add it to egg yoke and egg white’s separately. This requires a great deal of time and some skill, so I would not suggest a novice to try and make this. Heck, I know many pastry chef’s who have never heard of pate bomb!

            2. If you're comfortable using raw eggs, I like the one from CI's Best Recipe. If you're not, I love nutella mousse from the Bon Appetit's triple chocolate cake. It's just a basic whipped cream version but the nutella is excellent. I don't think it's true chocolate mousse w/out the whipped eggs. I can post either if you're interested.

              4 Replies
              1. re: chowser

                I love the Cooks Illustrated chocolate mousse recipe.

                1. re: chowser

                  The eggs can be pasteurized by cooking them along with the other liquids in the recipe (no butter) or a tbl of water. Heat them to 160 OR 140 for 3 minutes. This would be the just start bubbling stage.

                  1. re: alwayscooking

                    You can also buy pasteurized eggs if you feel it is a problem.

                    1. re: Kelli2006

                      hmmm - can't do since I buy from the farm.

                2. Here's my fave: Julia Child's recipe for chocolate mousse.

                  Instead of rum I use Grand Marnier to give just a little orange hint to the underlying flavor.

                  This recipe is all over the 'net, but I included this link because of the pix.


                  6 Replies
                  1. re: TrishUntrapped

                    Thanks for the recipe Pastryrocks :) Does it keep well in the fridge for a few days? ( Out of curiosity, I guess I can't freeze leftovers?) How strong does the Grand Marnier come through by the way?

                    Hi Chowser, could I have a gander at the Cook's Illustrated recipe? Unless it's in the Baker's Illustrated Book (which I have at home)

                    Hi TrishUntrapped, thanks for the JC recipe. How funny, as I was just looking at the recipe on his site the other night. I have bookmarked the page already :)

                    1. re: sugarcube

                      I love Grand Marnier so I don't think it's very strong. Icewine, Chambord or any fruit liquor will work. Also, depending on the chocolate used will determine how strong any liquor flavour will come through. The higher the percentage of cocoa mass/liquor in your chocolate, the greater the tannins, the softer the flavour of any liquor will be in the final product. For me it’s all about flavour so I’m really fond of Green & Black’s, but I know for some people they will use something like Lindt and are happy.

                      This mousse is not great with heat, it tends to melt easily. I once took it for a 3 hour car ride in 30ºc weather with the air conditioning on and it become a little shorter and wider, gelatin would help with this. I suppose your good for a week, just be careful of other flavours making there way into the mousse. If you already place this mousse in a mould or cake etc… it will like all mousses freeze well.

                      1. re: Pastryrocks

                        Thanks Pastryrocks. In terms of alcohol, I have some Kahlua, cointreau, Baileys, and a tiny bit of brandy. Would any of these serve as good substitutes to the Grand Marnier (I don't have any on hand).
                        I'll head to Whole Foods to find some Green and Black's. Thanks for the tip.

                        My family loves mousse, so hopefully, if all goes well, there won't be any leftovers to have to be concerned about freezing.


                        1. re: sugarcube

                          I love Grand Marnier but you can use anything you like. The Kahlua, Cointreau, or the Baileys will work.

                      2. re: sugarcube

                        CI Chocolate mousse:

                        6 oz bittersweet choc
                        4 tbsp butter,
                        pinch salt
                        1 tsp vanilla extract
                        2 tbsp strong coffee or 4 tsp brandy/light rum
                        4 large eggs, separated
                        2 tbsp sugar
                        1/2 c heavy cream (can use 1 cup whipped heavy cream for extra creamy mousse)

                        1) melt choc in double boiler, whisk in butter, tabsp at time. Add salt, vanilla, alchohol/coffee. Add yolks one at a time, incorporating fully with each egg.
                        2) Stir egg whites in clean bowl over double boiler until slightly warm 1-2 mins.
                        Beat until soft peaks form. Add sugar and beat to soft peaks. Add 1/4 to chocolate to fold to lighten, and then finish with rest.
                        3) Whip cream to soft peaks. Fold into mousse.

                        Spoon into containers, 6-8, refrigerate at least 2 hours.

                      3. re: TrishUntrapped

                        heh, I first made Julia's mousse when I was 13. I had to send my dad to get me nips of rum. It came out perfectly, and is my go-to chocolate mousse 32 years later.

                        Like TrishUntrapped, I've experimented with the liquors over the years (frambois is great), but the basic recipe stands as the best I've tried.