How to make the BEST Chocolate Mousse… A rich and creamy, yet light and super-chocolatey recipe that has been a family favourite for over 30 years. The PERFECT dinner party dessert.
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The BEST Chocolate Mousse Recipe
I’m going to stick my neck out and declare this the BEST Chocolate Mousse Recipe. Why? Because I’ve been making it for over 30 years and never yet found one that I’ve loved more… During that time, it’s been served to friends and family and taken to parties and celebrations… Everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) who has been lucky enough to try it has devoured each and every spoonful with a smile on their face. THIS Chocolate Mousse is the PERFECT dinner party dessert… Easy to scale up or down… and always a welcome joy.
What is Chocolate Mousse made from?
There are many, many recipes for chocolate mousse available in the world… Some contain dark chocolate and some milk chocolate. Others are made with cocoa or cacao. Some are dairy free and might even contain avocado or cashew… Yet others are rich with dairy cream.
There are chocolate mousse recipes thickened and set with gelatine and others that use the natural setting power of eggs. Some use egg whites, others whole eggs. Some are packed with sugar and some reject its addition, instead relying on the depth and perfection of chocolate in all its purity.
The ingredients and processes used to make each variation, may well depend on where in the world it originated. And with that question raised, this particular Chocolate Mousse Recipe fits into the traditions of the best French chefs in both respects. It contains just 4 ingredients (with additional optional flavourings as you desire)… Chocolate, butter, eggs and cream. Add a whisk and a little magic and the result is mousse nirvana.
Just to be clear at the outset… This is not a vegan mousse recipe. While it can probably be adapted to remove dairy, at its very best, dairy is a given. And eggs are always essential.
If you need something plant-based or healthier, you can find an alternative recipe for 3 ingredient Vegan Avocado-Chocolate Mousse on the blog.
4 ingredient Chocolate Mousse Recipe – Chocolate, Butter, Eggs and Cream
There may only be 4 ingredients. But when making a dessert as decadent and delicious as to be the BEST Chocolate Mousse, it is important to choose those 4 ingredients wisely…
The most delectable Chocolate Mousse will (in my humble opinion) always be made with dark chocolate. Dark chocolate offers depth, intensity and richness. And it ensures that the chocolate notes shine because they are not smothered with sugar. (Note: There is no added sugar in this recipe).
Nonetheless… My chocolate mousse is forgiving and will bend to the whims of personal preference. If you like your mousse super-sweet and extra milky, then it will take milk chocolate at the far extreme. Equally you can head to a mid-point with a combination of milk and dark chocolate… Or shift the cacao intensity to upwards of 80% for something more dark and dangerous. The choice is yours.
The quality of the chocolate used however is crucial… Its capacity to melt easily to liquid gold is a necessity. Particularly if you want mousse that is light and fluffy, yet silky smooth as it melts on the tongue. When I make chocolate mousse, I almost always use chocolate callets from Callebaut. It looks expensive, but gram for gram against other quality bars, there is honestly little difference. I mostly use the 70% dark callets, but will also use 54% cocoa callets if that’s what I have available.
For this Chocolate Mousse recipe, pure dairy butter (block) is recommended for the most sumptuous results. Although I usually use unsalted butter, if you prefer a little saltiness to your dessert, then slightly salted butter is fine.
The eggs MUST be fresh. This will not only give a better result when the whites are whipped, but it is necessary because they are used raw. It’s the chef’s way (and most likely what you will be offered if ordering chocolate mousse in a posh restaurant). The ingredient ratios are based on UK large eggs. But be aware that egg sizes around the world vary and my large eggs may not be the same size as your large eggs. If you live elsewhere and are unsure, check out my International Egg Size and Weight comparison chart.
Worried about eating raw egg?
Anyone who grew up in 1980’s Britain will no doubt remember the Edwina Curry ‘egg scandal’. A prominent politician, Ms Curry accused the British egg industry of producing salmonella-infected eggs. It was extremely damaging to egg producers and a largely false claim. But it took many years to recover people’s fear and for some, worry may still remain.
In the UK, egg standards are extremely high (including vaccination of chickens). Cases of salmonella from egg-eating are now no greater a risk than from reheating food, or eating sushi. And way less than the risk from poorly cooked or reheated turkey at Christmas.
In fact, raw eggs are used surprisingly often around the world without you probably even thinking about it… From the ever-popular Tiramisu and mayonnaise… To royal icing and even some meringues, soufflés and ice cream (and of course French chocolate mousse). In Asia particularly, there are many dishes that are topped or even based on raw egg. And those ‘runny egg yolks’ that are so instagrammable? Yep! Them too.
I am not saying there is never a risk when eating raw eggs. And in some regions of the world, the risk will undoubtedly be greater than others. So, do your research… And if you are still not comfortable, this recipe is probably not for you. While it is easy to source pasteurised egg white, yolks are a whole different challenge. And the eggs are separated for this recipe. If you can find pasteurised egg yolks as well as whites, then I’m super-chuffed for you.
Disclaimer : Pregnant women, babies or people with a compromised immune system should NOT eat foods containing raw egg.
For the most fluffy, creamy and decadent Chocolate Mousse, the recipe will always use cream. And specifically cream which can be whipped. The addition of air through the whisking process is essential to the lightness of the mousse.
Thus… Only use cream that can be whipped to soft peaks (eg. double cream or heavy cream). And that is ‘full fat’.
How to make Chocolate Mousse your own – favourite flavour additions
It may be that you like your Chocolate Mousse just as it comes… But there are lots of ways to bring additional luxury, pzazz and flavour notes to the party. The recipe shared adds a little optional extra Frangelico (or Fratello) Italian hazelnut liqueur. But here are my favourite and most popular flavour upgrades (added to the base chocolate-egg yolk mix once beaten)…
- Vanilla powder or paste
- Cointreau orange liqueur
- Amaretto almond liqueur
- Hazelnut liqueur
- Almond, orange, hazelnut, mint or other extracts (a few drops)
- A teaspoon or two of instant espresso powder (mixed with a tiny drop of boiling water)
- A pinch of ground ginger or cinnamon
How to make my French Chocolate Mousse
Making the best Chocolate Mousse is honestly not difficult, but does require a few steps to get there… (full, printable recipe card at the bottom of this post).
- Gently melt the chocolate with the butter and stir until smooth.
- Add the separated egg yolks one at a time and whisk into the cooling mixture.
- (If using) beat in any additional flavour notes (list of options above).
- Whip the egg whites to soft peaks.
- Whip the cream to soft peaks.
- Fold in a third of the whipped cream to the chocolate base (to loosen the mixture).
- GENTLY fold in the whipped egg whites.
- GENTLY fold in the remaining whipped cream.
- Spoon into serving glasses or pots/larger bowl.
- Chill until set.
Is this Chocolate Mousse recipe gluten free and safe for Coeliacs (Celiacs)?
Yes! My epic Chocolate Mousse recipe is entirely flourless and has no gluten-containing ingredients whatsoever. And that means it is completely safe for people with Coeliac Disease (Celiac Disease). Just be certain to check the chocolate label to be sure there is no hidden gluten or cross contamination risk.
Can I make this mousse ahead of time?
Yes. Chocolate Mousse is a perfect ‘get ahead’ dessert because it is served cold, straight from the fridge. Providing you are able to store the mousse (covered) in a fridge, it can be made up to two days ahead. I would advise however, that any toppings of whipped cream, grated chocolate or decorations are added just before serving for the best appearance and texture.
How to serve Chocolate Mousse
And that brings us nicely on to the best ways to serve Chocolate Mousse…
Large bowl or individual serving dishes?
What you choose to serve the mousse in is entirely up to you. But will no doubt depend on the occasion at which it will be eaten. For dinner parties, small dishes or glasses are perfect to show it off. But it can look equally stunning if you go large…
How to decorate…
Likewise… Decoration is a personal choice (but may also be influenced by any additional flavour notes already added to the chocolate mousse). Here are a few optional ‘toppers’…
- A swirl of piped whipped cream.
- Chopped nuts (pistachio; toasted hazelnuts or walnuts; pecans, etc)
- Grated or shaved chocolate (dark or white pair best against the mousse)
- Cacao nibs
- Fresh berries
- Orange zest
- Flaked or desiccated coconut
- Salted caramel popcorn (or any other popcorn)
- Biscuit crumbs
- A drizzled swirl of caramel sauce (salted on not)
On the side
Because mousse is rich and creamy, you may choose to add a little extra bite on the side, by serving with a tuille or some delicious crunchy biscuits. The recipes we use most at Gluten Free Alchemist (because they are a divine mousse-biscuit marriage) are:
- Gluten Free Hazelnut Shortbread
- Spiced Star Biscuits
- Gluten Free Maple Shortbread
- Viennese Fingers
- Almond Shortbread
- Gluten Free Savoiardi Biscuits (Ladyfingers)
And of course… If you fancy a little extra whipped, runny, or clotted cream (or even whipped coconut cream for a flavour contrast) to spoon over at the table… I won’t judge. x
Ready to make my favourite Chocolate Mousse Recipe?
And that’s it! I really hope you love my favourite Chocolate Mousse. Anyone who makes it, please get in touch. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my recipes being made around the world. So do let me know what you think… Leave a comment below or tag me on social media with your divine mousse photos… You’ll find me hanging out mostly on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest. And don’t forget to rate the recipe (😁 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️).
If you’re looking for more delicious dessert inspiration, why not head over to our dedicated Gluten Free Desserts and Trifles Index? Or for everything else… The Main Gluten Free Recipes Index should help you navigate to what you want to make.
All shared for FREE with my love
More divine chocolate recipes on Gluten Free Alchemist
BEST Chocolate Mousse
- serving dishes
- microwave or hob and saucepan
- large metal spoon or silicone spatula-spoon
- 170 g good quality dark chocolate I use 70% cocoa solids (but the recipe is flexible) – Either use callets or chop into small pieces
- 30 g unsalted butter (pure)
- 3 large very fresh eggs Carefully separated to ensure the whites are pure – At room temperature (UK large = Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’)
- 375 ml/g double cream (heavy cream)
- 1 to 2 tbsp hazelnut or orange liqueur optional
- 3 tbsp fine grated dark chocolate optional
- Toppings of choice (grated chocolate, chopped nuts, berries, etc)
- Weigh the chocolate callets (or chopped chocolate) into a pyrex (heatproof glass) bowl and add the butter.
- Either place the bowl over a saucepan of just simmering water or use a microwave to gently melt the chocolate and butter together, stirring frequently. (If using a microwave, heat at medium setting for bursts of 10 to 20 seconds, stirring between each to be sure it doesn't burn or seize).
- Remove from any heat source and stir gently until smooth and starting to cool.
- Add the separated egg yolks one at a time to the chocolate mixture, whisking well between each. The mix may look like it is clumping and seizing, but continue to add the egg yolks and beat and it should return to an even liquid state.
- If adding liqueur or any additional flavour notes (see main blog post for suggestions), add to the chocolate at this stage and beat well. Set aside.
- Using a very clean bowl and clean whisk heads, whisk the egg whites until they become soft peaks. Set aside
- Using another clean bowl (but the same whisk heads just used for egg whites are fine), whisk the cream until that also forms soft peaks.
- Fold about a third of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to loosen.
- Next, very GENTLY fold the whipped egg whites into the mixture, trying to maintain as much air as possible.
- Lastly, very GENTLY fold in the remaining whipped cream (and the grated chocolate if using), trying to maintain as much air as possible.
- Immediately spoon or pipe the mousse into serving dishes/glasses and place in the fridge to chill until set (2 to three hours).
- Serve sprinkled with nuts, chocolate shavings or berries and perhaps a crunchy shortbread on the side.
© 2019-2024 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist