The Best Chocolate Mousse You’ll Ever Have

I can tell you to the day, the first time I tasted chocolate mousse, now I’m talking about real chocolate mousse, not the instant or quick versions that use gelatin to bind them, they may make fine cake fillings, but once you’ve had the real thing, there is no substitute.

I had been working for a few days repairing a leaking roof over Mama Jeanette’s long closed restaurant,  before I started, she had told me “Sonny boy, ain’t no use fixin that roof, no one ever gonna sit in that dining room again”.   It had been an elegant room, one that was now dust covered and disheveled with the occasional bucket placed around the room to catch the rain water.  It was only a matter of time before it had been ruined completely and it I just couldn’t bear to let that happen, and although she complained about me wasting my time, I couldn’t help but notice the occasional smile on Mama Jeanette’s face as she watched me work.   It felt good to work, to be outside, and to feel useful again, it had been too long since anything I had done mattered, even if it only mattered to me.

There weren’t very many culinary lessons that week, I worked through lunches and the only time we had to talk was over dinner, always the teacher Mama Jeanette would go into great detail on how she prepared each dish, and then I would repeat it back to her, over and over again until she was sure I remembered.   I was almost done with the roof, and must have looked exceptional tired that night, as we went through our ritual……  She stopped and looked me, and pointed to her head and said “sonny boy you can remember everything that Mama taught you here, and it will always be there”…..and then she pointed to her heart and told me, “but for it to mean anything, it has to come from here…….You gotta cook with your heart sonny boy, or it don’t mean nothin at all”

The next day I finished roof, and as I climbed down, Mama Jeanette met me at the ladder and told me to get cleaned up for dinner.   When I got to my room I found a suit, freshly pressed shirt and tie waiting for me, I didn’t need anymore instructions, it was plain to see I was dressing for dinner.  As I made my way into the kitchen Mama Jeanette was waiting for me.  but what I hadn’t expected was to see her in a chef’s coat and black pants,  and as she led me into the dining room I got an even bigger surprise.  The room was immaculate, every table set, glasses sparkling, candles lit and music was playing……I was in awe.

That night’s lesson would be in table side cooking, and it was an amazing evening and even more amazing meal.   The night was no different from any other night, as we dissected each dish and I repeated the process until Mama Jeanette was satisfied I remembered every detail, and then we’d move on to the next course.  This went on until I thought I could eat no more,  and finally she announced that dinner was done and it was time for dessert.   I had expected a spectacular flaming dessert, but instead Mama Jeanette went back into the kitchen and brought two crystal goblets filled with chocolate and topped with whipped cream and garnished with raspberries.  As she set the dessert down in front of me, she said “Sonny Boy, if they don’t have Chocolate Mousse in heaven I’m not going”   and friends let me tell you, I thought right then and there that I must be heaven, because I had never tasted anything so good in my life.

I kept Mama’s recipe locked away in my head and in my heart for years, it was really quite simple, and once you’ve made a sabayon, the rest is easy, and it becomes second nature to you.  It’s been years since I even thought of that night or that chocolate mousse, and I was afraid I had missed parts of the recipe, so I turned to my friend Nick Malgieri for help, (he may not know he’s my friend but when ever I need a hand with anything having to do with desserts, I look to him first).   It’s funny but once I saw it print, it came back to me just like a light switch had been thrown…….thanks Nick, I know I can always count on you, and thanks Mama Jeanette, because of you everything I cook means something.


4.9 from 25 reviews
Classical Chocolate Mouse
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 13 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely cut
  • 6 tbsp. (3 oz) butter softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup strong black coffee or espresso
  • ¼ cup Kahlua
  • 3 cups heavy cream*
Instructions
Chocolate
  1. Place the chocolate in a stainless steel bowl, over a pot of simmering water, stir with a rubber spatula as the chocolate melts, if the pan starts to get too hot, remove it from the heat.
  2. Continue to stir the chocolate until it has melted completely, then remove from the heat.
  3. Cut the butter into 8 pieces and mix it into the melted chocolate until it has been completely absorbed by the chocolate.
  4. Set the chocolate aside to cool to room temperature
Sabayon
  1. add the egg yolks to the bowl of your mixer and begin to whip them until doubled in size, then begin to slowly pour the sugar in a steady stream into the yolks. Continue to whip for another minute.
  2. add the liquid to the egg yolk mixture and place your mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk the yolk mixture until it becomes very thick.
  3. When the egg yolks have thickened, continue to whip in your stand mixer until the mixture has cooled.
Combining
  1. when the sabayon has cooled, fold it into the chocolate mixture until well blended.
  2. Whip the cream in your stand mixer until it holds its shape, then fold it into the chocolate mixture.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set.
Notes
* for an even more intense chocolate flavor, reduce the heavy cream by half, to 1½ cups.

 

Good Chocolate Mousse is truly a thing of beauty, and it’s not something that you see very often.  It really is very simple to make and just requires a little bit more work, but in the end there can be no question, because nothing will ever compare to the rich complex flavors of a classically prepared chocolate mousse.    I hope you do give it a try, I can promise you they’ll be no going back to the other stuff after you’ve tasted this dessert!

Thanks for stopping by today,  I hope things are going well in your corner of the world, to all my friends in the southern hemisphere, your summer is just beginning,  as we prepare for yet another winter.  But that’s life, seasons change and time passes, that’s just way things go.   I hope you all have a wonderful week, and enjoy all life has to offer. During this holiday season  please remember to help where you can,  it’s a small planet we live on, and if we don’t take care of each other who will?

Ciao!

Comments

  1. What a wonderful story, Dennis. Yes, I will never forget the smooth lusciousness of a good. No plate mousse. My favorite recipe was given to me by a friend who got it from his grandmother in Germany. Similar to yours, but no alcohol, I’m loving that addition though!
    I haven’t made it in years and I don’t think my kids have been properly introduced… This season is time to remedy that, I think I’ve just found my Christmas Eve dessert!

  2. I can’t wait to try this one!

  3. Truly a classic mostly overshadowed these days by quicker mixed methods and the like, but as you say simple to make and just let the true ingredients shine through, right?
    Take care and stay warm…

  4. This brings back memories for me, too! Not of mama Jeanette, of course, but my first job in fine dining back in ’88. There are few things that can compare with sublime taste of real chocolate mousse and I don’t know why I don’t make it more often.
    Thanks for the trip down memory lane and the inspiration!

  5. This looks so gorgeous and must taste awesome too for sure!
    Btw who is mama Jeanette?

  6. This certainly looks like a recipe to keep! What I like is the sabayon. I’m always a bit put off by choc mousse recipes with raw egg. Eeek! But this is magnificent! And the additional Kahlua – perfection!

    • HI Marcellina

      the egg is actually not raw, it is cooked over the simmering water as you whisk it to thicken. so you don’t have to worry about that with this recipe. In this day and age, I never use raw eggs unless its just for my consumption.

      cheers
      Dennis

  7. Ooops! The above post is by Marcellina not “marce”!

  8. Chef Dennis…not only you learned from Mama Jeanette so many things, I indirectly learned something wonderful here too from reading this post. Cooking must come from the heart…how true ! And thanks for sharing this heaven sent real chocolate mousse ! You know, I always love coming here to read your sharings and keep them coming :)

    Have a nice day Chef *

    Elin

  9. Yes please extra large portion for me!

  10. You are the SWEETEST! Mama Jeanette sounds just lovely and certainly worth dressing up for dinner! My best to you and her…and thank you for sharing the dessert – but even more – the story….

  11. Looks delicious. Would love for you to share this with us over at foodepix.com.

  12. That was a great story and I am adding this recipe to my must make collection.

  13. What a lovely memory you shared! I could picture being there with Mama Jeannette. And the mousse! You’ve convinced me! Maybe this should be the finish to my Christmas dinner!

  14. The history behind every recipe makes it even more special. But most of all, the love and passion that comes everytime the recipe is made makes it more memorable. Your blog is heartwarming, so is the classic mousse that you have posted. I love the mix of flavors and the Kahlua in it. Heavenly, indeed! Thanks Chef!

  15. What a wonderful memory to carry with you. I made your pecan chocolate ganache pie and it was a huge success. I am going to give this one a try, it looks delicous. Thanks for sharing your story and this creamy dessert. Have a great day!

  16. I think they serve Kahlua and heavy cream in place of skim milk in heaven. And mousse…chocolate mousse. That’s what’s for dessert every night :) It looks HEAVENLY!

  17. What a beatiful story! You certainly did her justice with this one!

  18. Wow, Chef, that’s a gorgeous recipe and a beautiful story. I’m tearing up a bit here.

  19. I didn’t realize real chocolate mousse had no gelatin. Awesome post.

  20. Okay, I *have* to contest that! ;) My aunt makes the best chocolate mousse in the world, with dark chocolate. Oh lord.
    That said, yours looks amazing, and I *love* the addition of kahlua! I absolutely agree that “real” chocolate mousse shouldn’t have any whipped cream or gelatine, it just can;t compare. Wonderful recipe!

  21. there is NOTHING better than a great chocolate mousse!! NOTHING…anne

  22. This sounds truly heavenly and the story behind it makes it that much more special. I must confess; it never occurred to me that mousse could, and quite possibly should, be made without gelatin. I make a pumpkin mousse each year for my husband and I’ve never thought to make it any other way. Can I use your sabayon instructions with any kind of mousse? Or would it need to be adjusted for different flavors and ingredients? I can hardly wait to try this method. Thank you again for sharing another great recipe with all of us.

    • hi Mary

      a sabayon can be used for any type of mousse, you can just use what ever flavor liquid you need instead of the coffee and kahlua.
      while it does not need gelatin, I might be inclined to still use some with berries or anything that weeps, especially if i was using it as a cake filling.

      I’ve used the sabayon to make my tiramisu, and it is by far the best tiramisu I’ve ever had, and it holds up for days without breaking down.
      Dennis

  23. more profound wisdom from Mama Jeanette…I truly love sharing these memories with you. Chocolate mousse happens to be my all time favorite dessert next to tiramisu…they may be tied for first….but my grandfather who passed away in the early 80’s always made chocolate mousse for me, a memory I treasure. I can’t help but smile at how Mama Jeanette imprinted your heart in ways that has changed you forever….we really do impact the people we encounter in our lives in powerful ways, sometimes in small ways, sometimes in big ways, let us always be mindful of that!

  24. I began to read this on my phone and could not wait to get home to finish reading. I love this story Dennis. Such warmth and depth. Great to know more about your culinary background and such great imagery it evoked. Also I agree with Mama J; you can taste love in food so remembering recipes from your heart is a sure road to the gift of beautiful food. Loved this.

  25. Hey Dennis, your Best Chocolate Mousse is a Recipe Guessing Game on Knapkins. Think your friends can win? http://knapkins.com/guess_games/953?source=blog

  26. Great story, Chef! You are right, the pre-mixed chocolate mousse just doesn’t even compare to real chocolate mousse like this!

  27. What a wonderful story, Dennis. I love hearing about the things that shaped other food lovers.

    I also love chocolate mousse and this looks amazing!

  28. What a fabulous post to read, felt like I was there. And I truly believe in Mama Jeanette’s last comment. That mousse looks divine!

  29. Thank you so much for sharing this sweet story with us, Chef Dennis. It’s amazing what sticks with us in our hearts and memories, isn’t it? Thank you Mama Jeanette for this chocolate mousse. If Chef Dennis says it’s the best, then I know it is :-) Can’t wait to make it for the holidays!

  30. Love how food can bring back so many memories! I remember the first time I had chocolate mousse, and have never had something like in since. I am going to have to try this for sure.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe and your stories!

  31. This looks insanely delicious! Rich, smooth, chocolate, who could resist? I definitely could eat a big bowl of this! Great recipe Chef :)

  32. Just stunning!!!! And I’m delighted to have another mousse recipe to try :) This may be our Christmas dessert!

  33. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful and personal story, Chef Dennis. Agreed that home made chocolate mousse is so easy and delicious to make. I cringe at the Swiss Maid choc pudding cups. It tastes so chalky! Espresso/coffee in anything is just delicious!

  34. Fantastic recipe and beautiful picture!!! Thanks for sharing the recipe and your stories!

  35. Great story… it sounds like Mama Jeanette is quite a lady! The mousse looks so light, fluffy, and decadent. My husband loves mousse… I’ll be making this for him soon.

    P.S. Thanks for your help today.

  36. Love chocolate mousse and this one does look like the best ever!

  37. Looks amazing! I have never tried making real mousse before, but this one goes on the list.

  38. Dave Yuhas says:

    Why ruin choc mousse with coffee, fergawdsake? Not everyone is a slave to Starbucks.

    • hi Dave

      coffee goes so well with chocolate and also enhances the chocolate flavors, the kahlua actually added more coffee flavor than the straight coffee ever would, and I like how it tastes together.
      As for a slave to starbucks, no one that actually enjoys coffee would ever stop there.

      Dennis

      • But if someone cannot have coffee…what do you suggest as a substitute in this recipe? It looks great & it is gluten free, so I hope you have a good idea for a sub.

        • hi Emily
          you could use a raspberry liquor as a substitute or use decaf if caffeine is the issue. Coffee just enhances the chocolate flavor but is in no way a deal breaker if you just leave it out altogether. That may be the best choice if your worried about it, that way the chocolate will be the star of the show. Let me know how it turns out!

  39. You have some wonderful memories. I love it when you share them. Chocolate mousse is a thing of beauty.

  40. This IS the best chocolate mousse I’ve ever had. Had it for dessert tonight. Was told to ‘NOT lose this recipe” Thanks, Dennis!

  41. I guessed the game, I knew it was Chocolate Mousse! What a simple recipe, yet it looks delish. What’s my prize, Chef Dennis? Thanks for sharing!

  42. This post read like a movie. I loved it and your memories of reciting every recipe. I have never (to my knowledge) had a real chocolate mousse. I can’t wait to try one now though!

  43. God I love chocolate mousse, but only the real thing and this is it! Great post, thanks for sharing :)

  44. Ah I loveee mousse! This would be so delicious for the holidays!

  45. chocolate mousse, I hope can try it.. looks delicious :)

  46. I will make this for Christmas Eve but would also like to make a strawberry version using frozen strawberries. How much of the frozen strawberries, put into a food processor would you suggest?
    Happy Holidays!

    • I would say about two cups, you would mix in about 1/2 cup of the strawberry liquid into the sabayon (replacing the coffee and kahlua), and thicken the sabayon as per directions. My only change would be to add a packet and a half of gelatin to the remainder of the strawberries and allow it to dissolve and begin to thicken before adding it into the sabayon. Chocolate acts as a natural binder and thickener, the strawberries will need the help of gelatin. Then blend the strawberries and sabayon together and fold in your whipped cream.

      • Thank you Chef D. One more question..I do have Arrowroot. Can I use that as a thickener to the remainder of the strawberries?

        • I have never used arrowroot for mousse before not sure how it would work have you used it for desserts if youve used it for desserts before without any problems it should work

  47. Beth Bilous says:

    Hello, found this while googleing chocolate mouse recipes. I have used Craig Claiborne’s in the past just once. I think I will try yours this time. Do you think it would be okay to use Grand Manier in place of the kaluah? Also he whips his whites and his cream apart, then combines. Any tips for me on this one? This is my hubs absolute fav.

    • hi Beth

      using Gran Manier would be fine, any flavoring you like would work. There are no egg whites in my recipe, using just the yolks to make a sabayon. You can save the whites for a meringue!
      thanks so much for stopping by, let me know how it turns out!
      Dennis

  48. This is the best chocolate mousse recipe. I have made it for friends and family 3-4 times in the past 2 months since I found it, and it is always a huge hit. I cannot say enough how good this mousse is!!! I usually pair it with a homemade pie crust to make a chocolate mousse pie and it adds a little something extra!

    Thank you so much for posting!

    • hi Heather
      thanks so much for letting me know you’ve been enjoying the chocolate mousse recipe! I love adding more whipped cream to it and using it in between cake layers, it really is decadent! Now that you know how to make a sabyon you need to try my tiramisu recipe. It is the best tiramisu you’ll ever have!

      If I can ever be of any help don’t hesitate to contact me!
      Dennis

      • Fantastic story!
        I feel drawn to making this mousse. We are hosting for 12 friends this weekend, and have chosen this for the dessert.
        From the sounds of it, they will not be disappointed!
        Hopefully someone can answer this question for me though.
        Can I prepare this mouse on the Friday, ready for Saturday evening?

        Many many thanks Dennis

        • thanks so much for picking my chocolate mousse for your dessert! Yes you can prepare this ahead of time, it will hold up for 4 or 5 days easily, I would just put it into the glasses or what ever you’re going to serve it in when you finish making it. Once it sets up if you dish it up it wont be quite as pretty but it will still taste great. But if you put it right into the serving glasses or dishes it will set up perfectly and look great when you serve it

  49. Stumbled upon this recipe while looking for a good dessert to compete at our company’s annual Halloween contest (I’ve won the last two years and want to keep my title! :) )

    I plan to practice this recipe on my family first, and was wondering if you had any suggestions for substituting the coffee and liquor? (I am a fan but not everyone in my family likes those flavors.)

    I still plan to make the full recipe for my office…wish me luck! And thank you so much for sharing such a personal story and recipe!

    • hi Kate

      the coffee and kahula can just be eliminated without any problems, I would just keep it straight chocolate. You could of course add any flavoring you like that goes with chocolate, such as raspberry, or hazelnut, but I think I would prefer it pure. I only use coffee because it enhances the chocolate flavor, you can’t taste it at all.

      good luck with your contest, if you’re looking for a great recipe for next year try my Tiramisu, but that does need the coffee flavor to make the dessert.

      Cheers
      Dennis

      • Thank you so much for your reply, Dennis! The variations sound easy, I am excited to try it (and eat it!) both ways.

        The Tiramisu is next on my list…although I don’t think I’ll be able to wait until next year to make it. :)

        Thanks again!

        • your welcome Kate! Once you master the sabayon the tiramisu will be very easy to make, there are just a few variations in the way the sabayon comes together. just let me know if you have any other questions. With the mousse try and find the best chocolate you can, semis sweet is usually my choice.

  50. *our company’s annual DESSERT contest. Just wanted to clarify. :)

  51. What a beautiful story, and an even more beautiful recipe! I made this tonight as a special treat for my boyfriend and it was absolutely divine! The recipe is so simple and the result is so worth the extra effort. Incredible!

  52. I have fallen in love with your website! Everything here looks so delicious I don’t know which one I should try making first. Just a question though, I live in Iran and don’t have easy access to kahlua. Can I substitute it with say coffee essence and vanilla? Could you give me some tips as to what I can use instead that wouldn’t affect the taste a lot (preferably non-alcoholic?) ?
    Thanks a million

    • Thank you so much for stopping by and I’m very happy to hear you’ve been enjoying my blog! as for the Kahlua, that can be left out without any problems, even the coffee isn’t necessary and can be enhanced with any other flavors that you might enjoy, orange, raspberry, mint. So many things go so well with chocolate, so if you’d like to have a secondary flavor in the background, pick your favorite, and they certainly don’t need to be alcoholic, any essence or flavoring will nicely.
      I look forward to hearing how your mousse turns out!
      Cheers
      Dennis

      • Thank you so much for replying. I think I’ll just use some coffee instead of the kahlua this time.I’m going to make it on Saturday. I’ll let you know how it turns out. This is going to be my first time making a mousse, hope it turns out ok.

        • The only tricky part is cooking the egg yolks in the double boiler, I suggest using a stainless steel bowl on a pot of simmering water, whipping the eggs over the heat and picking up the bowl if it gets too hot. That’s really the only hard part, you just want to be sure you don’t make scrambled eggs!

          • Thanks for the tip! I actually just finished making it and it looks amazing! The only problem was that my pot was too tall and I’m quite short and don’t exactly have strong arms so I had some problems lifting the bowl and the mixer. I felt like a liliputian haha better use a stool or a smaller pot next time.
            I can’t wait to see what my family will say once they’ve tried it.

          • Thank you so much for the recipe, everyone really enjoyed it and I’m really proud of my first mousse. The texture turned out a bit floury though. Is that normal or did I do something wrong? Perhaps I should have used higher quality chocolate?

          • I’ve never had anyone say it was floury, since there is no flour involved I’m at a loss. Of course the better the chocolate you use, the better the flavor will be. If your chocolate had additives to keep the cost down, that would be the only explanation. But on a good note, congratulation on the success of your first classical mousse!

          • It must have been the chocolate then. Thank you so much for the great recipe and your help. Can hardly choose what to try next!

  53. Mollination says:

    Literally the perfect Chocolate Mousee. Beautiful. Restaurant quality. At home. And it’s fairly easy. You should definitely go with this if you’ve been seeking the right mousse.

  54. Heather Hines says:

    Chef Dennis!

    This is Heather Hines again!:-) I have made this recipe at least 5 times and I am going to be making it again for thanksgiving… I wanted to do something with raspberries or possibly a more seasonal fruit. What would you suggest and how would I incorporate it?

    Thank you so much!

    • hi Heather,

      since you know how to make a sabayon, you could very easily forego the espresso and kahlua and add a raspberry liquor and puree some of the berries, blending them into the mixture. With this type of mousse I would advise adding some gelatin to the cream before whipping allowing it to dissolve briefly, this will help stabalize the mousse and keep it thick.(the chocolate does it naturally)

      your other choice is to make a tiramisu type sabayon (just a little different process) and make a raspberry tiramisu http://www.askchefdennis.com/2012/09/peach-tiramisu-with-raspberries/

      hope this helped, let me know if you have any questions
      Dennis

      • Heather Hines says:

        Thanks! If I didn’t want to use alcohol what would you suggest to replace the raspberry liquor? And how much would you use? Also, how much gelatin would you suggest using? And how much purée?

        I know that is a lot of questions about amount, but I’m still learning how to improvise:-)

        • hi Heather
          just leave out the liquor an add that to the amount of liquid you’ll be replacing in the sabayon with the raspberry puree. Just swap out the same amount of liquid with the raspberry puree. as for gelatin one envelope should be enough

  55. I was looking for dessert ideas and came upon this post. After reading it I’m filled with emotion and dying to taste this. There might not be any left for my party. :)

    • hi Maureen!

      I can promise you that this mousse will satisfy and chocolate craving you ever had, it is amazing! I’m glad you enjoyed my story of Mama Jeanette, she taught me so much.

  56. Hi,
    Have read in the above comments that you could eliminate both kahlua and the expresso for the sabayon. Could i replace the liquid with normal water? And if so, how much?
    Thanks

    • Rebecca I would just leave it out, it’s not going to make that much difference in the texture, and water would only dilute the flavors not add to them.

      • Thanks just made this was great. But is it possible to reduce the sweetness a little prefer a more bitter chocolaty taste.

        • you can definitely cut back the sugar, what kind of chocolate did you use? Bittersweet will have the least sugar and more chocolate, semisweet a little sweeter.

          but I’m happy to hear you still enjoyed it !

  57. my husband loves chocolate mousse and i will be making this for his birthday. one question…when making the strong coffee, how much instant coffee would you recommend to put in the 1/4 c water. i have a keurig…so i can’t brew extra strong coffee with actual grounds. thanks

    • hi Kim, it doesn’t have to bee too strong. I think you can brew a small cup (5 oz ) with a keurig, that strength will be fine. It just adds another dimension to the chocolate, you won’t even notice it.

      please let me know how it comes out when you make it, and if you have any other questions don’t hesitate to ask.
      Dennis

  58. Geraldine says:

    Hi,

    I am looking for a recipe of no gelatine chocolate mousse and found yours here. Seems a really delicious recipe.

    My son wanted a layered chocolate mousse cake for his birthday. What do you think if I use this mousse as filling for layered cake? Will it works and set good enough to cut properly?

    Thanks for answering in advance!

    Geraldine

    • hi Geraldine

      I use it for cake fillings all the time and for frosting. You should have no problems, One thing though don’t make it too far in advance because as it sets up, it will continue to stiffen and if you’re planning on using it on the outside of the cake it may not look as nice. But if its just for the inside then letting stiffen in the fridge for a little big isn’t a bad idea. It will be no problem cutting, just use a knife rinsed in hot water, and also since it is a mousse filling I would keep it refrigerated until about a half hour before serving.

      please let me know how it comes out
      Dennis

  59. Made this for a dinner party tonight (my first home made dessert, just graduated college and began actually cooking) and they were a big hit! I used Ron Abuelo Anejo 7 Anos rum instead of kahlua and just used more espresso and less rum to balance the flavor. It turned out really well and I will definitely make this again. Thanks for the recipe!

    • thanks so much for letting me know Justin! Happy to hear it turned out well. I just posted a step by step Tiramisu which is amazing, same basic principle with a sabayon, just a different approach.
      Cheers
      Dennnis

  60. Chef Dennis,

    Your chocolate mousse sounds amazing and i plan to make it soon.
    Thank you!
    Patricia

  61. Just wanna let you know that I made it for my son’s birthday cake last weekend. I fit really alit if compliment. :) I made a large portion as I don’t know exactly how much needed for a cake so there are alot of left over. I put them in dessert glass and bring them to work to treat my colleagues…. And they all wanted the recipe right away. Truly is the best chocolate they ever ate as I hear this from everyone who ate them.

  62. Mel Reynolds says:

    Hello Chef Dennis,
    Last week I made your Tiramisu and today I made the chocolate mousse.
    I found the mousse more difficult & time consuming to make and my egg yolks took a long time to thicken up. But in the end it all looked and tasted fantastic. It has a decadent and creamy taste. I’ve served it in individual glasses with rasperries and a dollop of cream on top.

    Thanks for another great recipe!
    Mel

    • hi Mel

      thanks for letting me know about the mousse, It is a little different than the tiramisu recipe, but well worth it. I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed it!

      Dennis

  63. chef D, when you say liquid are you refering to the kahlua?

  64. Hallo,

    It is very late at night and I am searching internet for a good – no raw eggs – recipe for chocolate mousse. Here I am – this the first site I opened – and I am so glad I found it. I really enjoyed reading the story. You not only have the culinary talent but you know how to write very interesting very warmth from the hearth and fun to read story.

    In few months I am planning to open a small cafe – it is my long time dream. I am not a chef and have no schooling in this subject. All my life I was somewhat professional hard working person. I am first generation emigrant to USA and love it here. Having master degree in mathematics I worked as a teacher, computer programmer, general contractor, developer, cleaning women – when it was necessary to survive and in between mother, wife and yes for short time we also had a restaurant business which we get a lot of good reviews on, and many complements from our customers- but unfortunately we did not survive for a very long time – it was to hard on us and we were close to loose all we had. I do not now why, but I am back to the idea and I am getting very close to get ready to open small cafe of my dream. This time in the small place but with few tables outside in the paved patio. I want it to be a little European style and serving healthy but also satisfying sandwiches and salads and not so sweet and gluten free deserts. I am also searching for a good recipe of hot drinking chocolate and frozen coffee which I remember from my young years when leaving in Europe. Also, I am looking for a good recipe to make good meringue – which always will work well – not to hard little soft inside, and flour-less chocolate cake.
    I hope I am not asking for to much but I would really appreciate some tips and advise.
    Sincerely,
    Bozena

    • hi Bozena

      I wish you success with your business, and an easy way to make a nice chocolate mouse without eggs, is to simply melt down your chocolate and fold it into already whipped cream. I would of course add a little cream into the chocolate, and a little coffee, that will help smooth it out and give the mousse a better consistency.

      Dennis

  65. So excited to try this! I plan on making it tomorrow for a dinner with friends. One question though – I don’t own a mixer of any type and tend to cook by hand. Will I be able to successfully make this with just a whisk and some elbow grease?

    • it is a very rich and decadent mousse, and yes you can make it by hand it requires a fair amount of whisking to get all the components thickened properly. Of course this is how it was made in the days without having mixers so I’m sure it will come out fine.

      let me know how it comes out!

  66. I’ve only made chocolate mousse once before (not your recipe) and I was not happy with the bitter after taste of the semi sweet chocolate baking chips (Ghiradelli) I used. Is there a brand that you would recommend that for this recipe? I will like to try your recipe before I give up on chocolate mousse. Thanks!

    • hi Tassha

      I would recommend using the best chocolate you can find, and usually Ghiradelli is acceptable. I use a Belgian Chocolate that I either pick up at a restaurant supply house (5 Kilo Block) or I order it on the internet. It might be the semi sweet just isn’t too your taste, you could also try milk chocolate that shouldn’t have any of the bitter taste.

      Dennis

  67. Cheryl Saltzman says:

    Thank you for this recipe! I’ve been begged by a good friend, who is a struggling newly single mom and not a baker at all, to make a chocolate mousse cake for her daughter’s high school graduation. This recipe sounds wonderful. Would you please give me any advice (via email) as to how to make this into a cake form? I don’t think she wants any actual cake, but a cake made of mousse. I would sincerely appreciate any help you can give. After the horrible year they’ve had, I’d love to make this over the top special for her.

    Thank you!

    • hi Cheryl

      This Chocolate Mousse will make her very happy and hopefully forget her problems at least for a little while, its so kind of you to make this for her.
      The Mousse can be very simply made into a Cake (springform pan) or in a Pie Shell, I would make a crust out of Graham crackers, or some kind of cookies. If you freeze it it will make slicing much easier and it will thaw fairly quickly. The best topping would be some fresh whipped cream and some chocolate shavings.

      if you have any other questions don’t hesitate to ask
      Cheers
      Dennis

      • Thank you, Dennis! :)

        • Cheryl S. says:

          I made it!!! It came out FANTASTIC. I combined it with a from scratch chocolate round cake that I sliced into three layers, and made sort of a cake/mousse lasagne. Tomorrow I will make a chocolate band to wrap around it.

          Thank you so much.

          • I’m very happy to hear my recipe worked out for you, combined with your chocolate cake I’m sure it will be an amazing dessert! All you need is a layer of chocolate ganache for the top and you’d have your own version of Death by Chocolate!
            Cheers
            Dennis

  68. dear chef dennis, i have been reading your blog for some time and i have always loved your tiramisu recipe – will be trying this one out tonight with a green tea variation and see how it goes! thank you so much for sharing awesome stories from mama jeanette, your blog has really inspired me to try out so many things! :)

  69. hi dennis I really need your help my daughter is turning 3 and she loves vanilla cake.. just wanted to know if you called tell me the recipe of caramal mousse please .. thank u dennis

    • hi Lisa

      I’m sorry to say I’ve never made a caramel mousse,but my inclination would be to just replace the chocolate part of the recipe with Caramel or even a dulce de leche. That should make a very tasty quick mousse that would work with a cake.

  70. Dear Chef Dennis,

    Thank you for this recipe! I just made it, and the taste and consistency are perfect! But my mousse didn’t come out creamy smooth like yours appears in the photo above. It looks like there might be tiny pieces of chocolate in my mousse, which I don’t taste when I eat it. Do you know what I might have done wrong? Perhaps I was too slow while making the sabayon. Did I overmix the chocolate and butter? Or was the sabayon a little too warm when I mixed it with the chocolate?

    Excellent dessert!

    K

    • from what you described it sounds as though your chocolate didn’t completely melt. That could have been due to the age of the chocolate used, or it just have enough time to melt. not seeing it makes it hard to tell for sure. But I’m glad it didn’t effect the taste of the mousse. Next time check the chocolate carefully to make sure it was all melted. Also make sure it doesn’t get too hot while melting to ensure its smooth.

      cheers
      Dennis

  71. Hi Chef,
    I’ve made this mousse before without a problem (and loved it!) but the last time I tried to make it, it had a slightly eggy taste, which was definitely more pronounced when I tasted the sabayon by itself. The taste/smell seemed off, but I was whisking the entire time I cooked the sabayon. I did skip the coffee and alcohol this time in exchange for a fruit puree… I didn’t have any noticeable pieces of cooked egg though. Any thoughts? Also, what should the sabayon look like when it has thickened properly? And is it necessary to whip the yolks until doubled before adding the sugar and liquids? Many sabayon recipes I’ve seen just instruct for a brief whipping together by hand before cooking. Thanks for the help!

    • hi Alexandra

      considering this is the first problem with the sabayon, I’m wondering if it could have been the eggs? Especially if you had a more eggy flavor and an odor, I notice a big difference in store bought eggs vs. farmers market eggs.
      The sabayon should have a very creamy texture and I do prefer to whip it until its doubled in volume, and you can stream the sugar into the eggs after an initial whipping, but I would definitely get it to a nice thick stage before finishing adding the liquid.
      I make sabayon differently for my tiramisu, as I do it all over a double boiler whipping the eggs and sugar until at least doubled and light in color, you could always try that method for a fruit mousse, it may actually work better for you. Chocolate is relatively easy because the chocolate does a lot of the thickening for you.
      With a fruit mousse you may find you want to add a little gelatin to the mix as well, depending upon how loose the puree is.

      Dennis

  72. I just finished making this and I can truly say this is the best mousse I have ever had. I wanted to test it before making for a baby shower and I am sure it will be the hit of the party. Thank you so much!

  73. TexasMichelle says:

    Delicious! Made it for the first time tonight and it was perfect! I used 12 oz semi sweet chocolate and 1 oz bittersweet chocolate and left out the coffee and alcohol. It was a huge hit with my family! Thank you for this amazing recipe!!

    • hi Michelle

      thanks so much for letting me know that you made and enjoyed my chocolate mousse! it is such a wonderful dessert! Next you’ll have to try my tiramisu.

      cheers
      Dennis

  74. I made this recipe 2 days ago, and loved it. Wasn’t too hard and tasted great.

    But today I tried the leftovers and they had set into clumps. This is a problem as I want to use the recipe for a party where the mousses need to be made 1-2 days ahead, but still be smooth and fluffy. Does the sabayon in the recipe mean that I can’t make this recipe that far in advance, because it will set too hard?

    I could I suppose make a standard mousse with egg whites, but I would have preferred not to use raw eggs.

    • hi Claire
      if you let the mousse warm up a bit you may be able to re-whip it so its not as set. Another fix would be to use less chocolate, the chocolate is what really firms is the up , not so much the sabayon. thinning out the chocolate with a big of heavy cream might also keep it from setting up as much, I’ve never tried that process but it should work as long as you don’t make the chocolate too thin.

      Dennis

      • Hi Dennis – thanks for your fast reply – I really appreciate it.

        Don’t really have the chance to re-whip them as they are in individual portions in glasses – would be too difficult. But I will try with a smaller amount of chocolate.

        Also – would the cream make a difference? I am in Australia so our cream terminology is different. I used double cream which is 48% fat, whereas our whipping cream is 35%. Whenever I’ve made mousse before (using raw egg whites) I’ve used whipping cream and the texture has been fine.

        P.S. I have tried your tiramisu recipe as well and loved it – I will be making it for the same party – which is actually our wedding reception. Glad to have finally found a great tiramisu and even better that it doesn’t contain raw eggs.

        • hi Claire

          the cream may very well make a difference, in the states our Heavy cream runs from 36 -40% and I’ve never used double cream so I can’t really compare how it works but that’s quite a difference in fat.
          As for the chocolate it is definitely the reason its so firm, and either cutting the amount back and / or using a lighter chocolate should help, but the chocolate is still going to want to become solid again unless you smooth it out with cream to keep it in a creamy state rather than a solid.

          I’m very flattered to hear its for your wedding reception, and I’m very happy to hear my Tiramisu worked out for you.

          Let me know how the mousse works out.

          Dennis

  75. Hi Chef,

    If I choose to leave out the coffee and khalua, should I modify any of the other ingredients? I’m trying to avoid a trip to the store on this wet, windy Oregon day.

  76. Lisa Ribeiro says:

    Hi dennis just wanted to know can i use tia maria ans can i use any other that taste good in cholcolate and white chocolate i dont wanted it to be over powering.. it for my husbands birthday and i wanted to suprise him . So i reallt need your help thank chef dennis

    • hi Lisa

      you can use any type of liqueur that goes with chocolate, tia maria is fine, chambord is nice too. I just like the way coffee goes so well with chocolate which is why I use Kahula
      Let me know how it turns out

      Dennis

  77. Lisa Ribeiro says:

    Sorry dennis i forgot to say its for acake filling

  78. Thank you for this delicious recipe.
    One question:
    Can I double it?
    Im entertaining tonight 20 people.
    Thanks

  79. Beth Bilous says:

    Hi, I need a brand of chocolate thats good please . Making this for Christmas Eve tonitht, I know poor planning on my part does not constitute and emergency , but really there is one. I headed out the door soon to grab the chocolate. Please tell me what kind to purchase. BTW looked at dozens or recipes and settled on yours. High hope abound.

  80. Beth Bilous says:

    Hi, I need a brand of chocolate that’s good please . Making this for Christmas Eve tonite, I know poor planning on my part does not constitute and emergency , but really there is one. I headed out the door soon to grab the chocolate. Please tell me what kind to purchase. BTW looked at dozens or recipes and settled on yours. High hope abound.

  81. Hi Chef Dennis!
    Just wanted to let you know I tried this out for a wedding cake filling and it turned out great! Thank you so much for sharing your stories and recipes. My initial test for this mousse didn’t work out so well, but the 2nd time around came out great.

    I tried this recipe first with plain semi-sweet chips but that turned out horribly – the chocolate seized up immediately when I tried mixing in the butter. Using high quality chocolate instead definitely made all the difference. Would you have any insight into why semi-sweet chips (50% cacao) seized while the premium bittersweet chocolate (60% cacao) worked fine?

    I just have a couple questions – after folding the sabayon into the melted chocolate, it just looked… wrong. It was almost like how chocolate looks like if it gets too hot while melting – kind of broken. I almost stopped and gave up at this point but I had come this far so I kept going. I folded in the whipped cream and the end result turned out great. So finally my question – what should it actually look/feel like when folding the sabayon into the chocolate? Or does it not really matter as long as you end up with mousse in the end?

    Also, is there anything you would do differently if adapting the mousse for a cake filling?

    Thank you so much Chef Dennis for taking time to answer my questions and also for your wonderful recipe! Happy New Year!

    JJ

    • hi JJ

      sorry you had problems with the chips, but they can cause problems with the mousse sometimes because of the percentage of chocolate in them, its always best to use the best chocolate you can find for this recipe. I use Belgian and have used Ghiradelli if its not available. The other reason it may have looked that way is if the butter or eggs were too cold, you want to try and keep them closer to room temp (thats a good idea with cakes as well)

      As for the consistency, it should look more velvety and even a little glossy but as you can see it didn’t have that much affect on the finished product.

      For a filling it works wonderfully because the chocolate keeps it firm, you shouldn’t have to do anything else to it. If it were strawberry or another fruit flavor you would have to use gelatin to keep it firm.

      I’m always happy to help and I’m grateful that you chose my recipes to try!
      Happy New Year!
      Dennis

  82. Hi Chef – great dessert after your delicious Braciole.
    This has to be the best Chocolate Mousse we have ever had. It was very light and wonderfully chocolate. As Chef suggested, I cut back on the cream to give it a decadent chocolate taste. I like the bitter sweet over the semi-sweet. I filled wine glasses half way with the mousse and after it chilled topped it of with some fresh whipped cream – to die for. Thanks for another wonderful recipe.

    • your quite welcome John and I’m so glad you enjoyed the mousse! I love using the mouse as a cake frosting, and it also freezes well and I’ve made chocolate mousse pies out of it cutting it after it was frozen solid, and wrapping slices individually then taking them out as needed.

  83. Hi, this mousse looks delicious. Thanks for this great recipe. I was wondering if i use this to layer a cake, will i need to add gelatin, or will it be good as is?

  84. Thinking of making this for valentine’s day…will keep you posted

  85. Thank you for this easy to follow recipe! I’ve made this twice now and it’s getting better each time. This may sound like a travesty to you, but I want to try adding different flavors. Where I grew up we drink a malted chocolate drink called Milo, and I was trying to think of a way to get that flavor into this. It is sold as a powder. I guess you could dissolve as much as possible in some hot water or milk and then cool it and add it in place of the kahlua/coffee? Or could you incorporate the powder directly into the sabayon just like the sugar? I would think it would need to be pretty concentrated in order to taste it through the chocolate.

    • hi Esther, I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed my Chocolate Mousse recipe, and as for adding other flavors I would try as you suggested adding it to water and letting it dissolve using it in place of the Kahluha. You could also let it dissolve in the cream before whipping and let it incorporate that way. Just be careful with the powder you don’t want the mousse taking on a gummy consistency or taste

  86. Vanessa says:

    Hi Chef Dennis,

    I tried making the chocolate mousse today and something went awry. The chocolate and butter combination seemed fine–glossy, smooth (I thought anyway)–until I added the sabayon. After that, it seemed to get quick thick, almost like a paste. I think it may have seized. I went ahead with the recipe anyway but ran into problems when I added the whipped cream. I ended up having difficulty incorporating the two into a smooth mixture and instead had a lot of little pieces of chocolate. I mixed too much and the whipped cream started weeping. It tastes really good but I’m wondering if you can tell me what I might have done wrong and if there’s anyway to fix it at this point. I used bittersweet Ghiradelli chocolate if that matters.

    Thank you!
    Vanessa

  87. KichiG4R says:

    Hi, am interested in giving this receipe a try but have some question. Normally website would say heat the cream and pour it over chocolate to melt it. Can I use this way instead of directly melting just chocolate?

    And for the Sabayon step 2, Add the liquid. If i’m not planning to add coffee or kahlua, can i miss this step and just thickend the egg yolk by itself?

    • you can change the recipe anyway you like, but I can’t guarantee it will work. The steps laid out are for my recipe, and for it to come out the way it should they need to be followed.

      • Kichig4r says:

        Thank you so much! I’ll give melting chocolate by itself a try again. I tried it last time n they burned so I was afraid to heat them directly..

  88. I made this using Irish Cream and decaf coffee. It was amazing! Thank you, Chef Dennis, for sharing this amazing recipe! I always have leftover egg yolks when I make swiss meringue for cake/tart toppings; I think this will be my go-to recipe from now on!

    I am considering to make a passion fruit mousse (using juice from concentrate), but would I use gelatin as a thickener? How much juice can I use with one envelope of powdered gelatin?

    • hi Lian

      I’m haappy to hear that you enjoyed the mousse! As for passion fruit you may have to experiment with the proportions a few times to get it right. The rule of thumb is one tablespoon of gelatin per cup of liquid, and usually the packet is two tablespoons.

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