There are “a million” ways to make chocolate mousse. Depending on how I’m serving it, I’ll choose one method or another. When I’m looking for a fast delicious dessert, however, this is the recipe I go to. I can hardly call it a recipe – it’s so easy! I just have to remember 1 ounce (30g) of chocolate + 1 egg + 1 tablespoon of sugar per person…plus 1 extra white “for the pot”! I’m ready to make chocolate mousse where ever we go!
What makes a good chocolate mousse? For me, it first has a deeply chocolate taste but it can’t be too rich. It is worth buying high quality chocolate since it’s a key ingredient. I use chocolate with cocoa content between 64-72%, sometimes blending them together. Second, the texture has to be right. I prefer it in between “dense” and “creamy” but light at the same time (if that makes sense!).
One final thought: Think of chocolate mousse like that little black dress – you can dress it up or down, and it’s always appropriate! When serving family style, I’m happy to simply pour all the mousse in a large bowl and top it with whipped cream and roasted hazelnuts. To make a more elaborate dessert, I’ll serve it in individual glasses (“verrines”) and add layers of cake or other crunchy elements. I also love its versatility when plated. I almost always add acidity in the form of fruit for great flavor and color – it never fails.
NOTE: Since eggs are one of two key ingredients, freshness is important. At Château Ladausse we are lucky to get farm-fresh eggs on a daily basis and I have no concern about using raw eggs in this recipe. Please use your own judgement to decide if raw eggs are OK or not.
Ingredients – for 6 people
180g chocolate (6 ounces), 72% cacao content
110g egg yolks (from 6 large eggs)
300-320g egg whites (from 7 eggs)
80g sugar (1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon)*
Pinch of regular salt for egg whites
Optional: Pinch or two of fleur de sel or shot of Alcohol (Grand Marnier)
*Note: I’ve used up to 100g of sugar, so adjust quantity if you like it a tad sweeter, but if you add Cointreau or Grand Marnier, this will add sweetness..
Optional Garnish: Whipped cream, roasted nuts, fresh raspberries
- Separate the yolks & whites
- The whites can go directly in a stand mixer or other large bowl.
- The yolks can go into a small bowl.
- Separate one more egg, adding the whites to the stand mixer bowl. Keep the extra yolk for another purpose (mayonnaise, for example).
- Weigh sugar and set next to stand mixer bowl as you’ll eventually add it there.
- Melt Chocolate
- Put a little water in the bottom of a medium size pot that will hold a large metal bowl. The water level is about 1 inch. The inside bowl should not touch the water. If it does, change to a smaller pot. Bring water to simmer over low heat.
- Weigh chocolate into a large metal bowl; place this on top of the simmering pot. Do not burn it, or heat too high (ie, above 60°C).
- Once chocolate is melted (about 5 min.), remove bowl from the steaming pot. It is ready to use between 40-45°C.
- Chocolate can also be melted in microwave (but I don’t have one!).
- Whisk egg whites while chocolate is melting:
(obviously you can only do this simultaneously if you have a stand mixer!)
- Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites.
- Start whisking on low, for about 2 to 3 minutes.
- After the whites are all frothy, increase speed to medium-high.
- Add sugar. Whisk until firm and tight, another few minutes. If you hold the bowl upside down, the whites don’t fall out!
- Add yolks to chocolate
- Add yolks to warm chocolate. Mix well. It will thicken.
- Optionally add a shot of Grand Marnier or other alcohol of choice, or espresso.
- Fold whisked whites into chocolate base:
- Take about ¼ of the whites and add to the chocolate/yolk mixture (which should be room temperature and NEVER be warm or hot!). Stir and mix quickly to loosen up the batter and to combine. A whisk works well. You may need to initially whisk hard to end up with a smooth texture at this stage.
- Fold in another ¼ of the whites. If still too thick, use whisk to blend in the additional whites. Otherwise, if the batter is loose enough, fold in.
- Fold in the remaining whites, being gentle since you want to keep the texture light.
- Add a pinch or two of fleur de sel if you have not added alcohol, and blend. It adds great flavor.
- Pour into a serving bowl or other recipient(s). Let set in the refrigerator at least 2-4 hours. Serve with garnish of choice, if you like.