The Perfect Chocolate Mousse is chocolatey, creamy, airy, and melt-in-your-mouth smooth and delicious! This recipe for chocolate mousse is all of that. PLUS it doesn’t have any raw eggs, and I show you how to pasteurize the eggs so that this mousse recipe is safe for consumption for anyone.
Smooth and fluffy dark chocolate mousse. Easy and delicious!
Chocolate mousse is a dessert that is near and dear to my heart. My fondest memories of chocolate mousse is tied to a restaurant in Sri Lanka (that no longer exists unfortunately). They used to serve their chocolate mousse in a coffee cup, with a dollop of whipped cream.
I’ve made loads of chocolate mousse recipes and variations over the years, and this is by far my favorite! And I also modified my recipe so that there are absolutely NO RAW EGGS, so it’s safe for consumption for anyone.
Important note about using eggs
As mentioned, the eggs are cooked in this recipe. This does take a couple of extra steps and time. But the fact that it makes the recipe safe for consumption for anyone (for example pregnant mothers and immunocompromised individuals), makes the process absolutely worth it.
That being said, you can make this with raw eggs. Simply skip the steps where you cook the eggs. This will make the recipe quicker and easier. However, do note that the raw egg version should not be served to at risk individuals such as pregnant mothers, the elderly, infants and young children, and immunocompromised individuals due to the risk of salmonella and other infections.
What you need to make perfect chocolate mousse
It’s chocolate mousse, so this is kind of an important ingredient. For this recipe, I like to use a 70% dark chocolate for a perfectly deep, dark chocolate mousse flavor with a slight bitterness. But you can also use semisweet chocolate, or even milk chocolate.
Just note that if you do use milk chocolate, the color of your chocolate mousse will be much lighter, and it’ll be sweeter with less of the deep chocolate flavor. Milk chocolate is a good choice if you want to pair this mousse with other flavors, so that the chocolate flavor doesn’t overpower.
I use Callebaut 70% chocolate callets. But I’ve also used Lindt dark chocolate bars. You can also use Baker’s chocolate. Since we are not cooking the chocolate here, the chocolate flavor is not going to be altered. So it’s important to use a good quality chocolate that you like to eat. However, you can also use baking chocolate if that is what you have.
For this chocolate mousse recipe, I use large eggs (2 oz each). The eggs are separated and the yolks are used to add richness to the chocolate base, and the egg whites are whipped into a meringue with stiff peaks, to lighten up the chocolate mousse. The perfect airy texture is achieved by folding in the whipped meringue and whipped cream.
Both the egg yolks and egg whites are cooked over a double boiler (bain marie), separately. They are cooked until they reach a temp. of 165 – 170 F, so that they are pasteurized.
No dessert is complete without a touch (or more!) of salt in my opinion. This is especially true with chocolate desserts. So this chocolate mousse has a slight saltiness that perfectly complements the sweetness.
You can halve the amount of salt if you prefer. But do NOT skip it, because it helps balance the sweetness.
You can use unsalted or salted butter in this recipe. If you use salted butter, make sure to adjust the salt level accordingly.
For that reason, I prefer to use unsalted butter so that I can control the level of salt I add.
Heavy cream (35% fat content)
In addition to the whipped egg whites (meringue), the whipped heavy cream adds a delightful airiness and creaminess.
But you can leave it out if you prefer. Chocolate mousse without cream is the base of Julia Child’s chocolate mousse recipe, which is also delicious! I in fact used that as a base to make my rosemary chocolate mousse.
You can add vanilla and coffee as a lovely base flavoring for the chocolate mousse.
Or a little alcohol for an adult-friendly flavor twist. I like to add brandy or bourbon. You can also use kahlua, cointreau and other liqueurs and liquors that complement chocolate flavor.
Tips for perfecting this chocolate mousse recipe
You’ll need three bowls for this recipe.
- A microwave safe medium bowl to melt the chocolate and butter.
- A bowl that’s safe for a double boiler. This is for the egg yolks. I use a metal bowl.
- A metal bowl to cook and whip the egg whites. This bowl will also be placed over a double boiler, so you can cook the egg whites, and then the egg whites will be whisked into a meringue. For this, I use my kitchen aid metal mixing bowl, so that I can easily whisk the egg whites afterwards. This is the same bowl you’ll be using to whisk the heavy cream too.
To save the use of an extra bowl, you can place the chocolate and butter in the same bowl as the egg yolks, AFTER it has been heated to 165 – 170 F. The chocolate and butter can be melted over simmering water in a pot (a bain marie / double boiler), until they melt 75% of the way (and then stirred, off heat, to dissolve the rest of it).
The eggs must be cleanly separated, making sure no fat or egg yolk is introduced into the egg whites. Colder eggs straight from the fridge are easier to separate. If you are not cooking the eggs (using raw eggs instead), make sure the eggs are at room temperature before whisking (easier to incorporate air).
The egg whites must be cooked and whisked at high speed in a clean, dry bowl. Any fat will interfere with its ability to whisk into a meringue. You can use any electric mixer (stand mixer or hand mixer), to make whisking easier.
If you’re melting chocolate and butter in the microwave, make sure to microwave in small intervals and stir in between. This ensures the heat is evenly distributed for even melting, and prevents the chocolate from burning.
Importance of folding the ingredients
When incorporating the egg whites into the chocolate and yolk mixture, first add a little of the egg white and mix it in to “loosen” the chocolate mixture. The “looser” the chocolate mixture is, the easier it is to fold in the rest of the egg whites.
The same method goes for the whipped cream as well. Whisk chilled cream into soft peaks (or mid peaks). Then fold it in gently to prevent loss of whipped air. It’s that air that keeps this chocolate mousse deliciously light and airy.
For best results, make this recipe the day before you plan to serve, so that the chocolate mousse can set overnight. I also prefer to remove the chocolate mousse from the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving. It tastes better when slightly softened, but still cold.
You can also allow the chocolate mousse to set in a large dish and have your guests spoon the mousse into individual dishes. Or you can portion it into individual serving dishes.
Top it with plain whipped cream (flavored with some vanilla). I prefer not to sweeten the cream, but you have that option too.
Chocolate shavings or a drizzle of chocolate sauce would be perfect on top! Here, I topped it with chocolate and salted caramel covered puffed rice.
You could also serve this mousse with some raspberries or strawberries!
Chocolate mousse recipe variations
Mocha chocolate mousse – Use semisweet chocolate instead of bittersweet chocolate. Dissolve 1 tsp of instant espresso in 1 tbsp vanilla extract and add this to the chocolate base.
Milk chocolate mousse – Replace all of the chocolate with a good quality milk chocolate and proceed with the recipe.
Orange chocolate mousse – You can use orange chocolate instead of bittersweet chocolate, OR you can add some orange extract and cointreau to the mousse base.
Why this is my absolutely favorite chocolate mousse recipe!
This is safe for consumption for anyone because there’s no risk of eating raw eggs. But if this is not a concern to you, you can skip the cooking phase and still get great results!
I can use bittersweet chocolate for when I crave an intense chocolate flavor, but switch it up with semisweet or milk chocolate for other chocolate mousse variations, and still get perfect results.
It’s airy, creamy, melt in your mouth smooth, and very chocolatey. It’s a great recipe. Plus it’s everything you’d expect from a perfect chocolate mousse!
Perfect Chocolate Mousse (Classic Recipe)
- 7 oz bittersweet chocolate you can use semisweet chocolate for a sweeter mousse
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ½ tsp sea salt use only ¼ tsp if you prefer not to actually taste the salt flavor
- ⅓ cup white sugar divided. Half will be used for egg yolks, and the other half for egg whites.
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp bourbon optional
- 4 egg whites
- ¾ cup heavy cream chilled
- Heat a pot over medium or medium high heat, with about 2 - 3 inches of water. Bring it to a simmer. This will be used as a double boiler / bain marie, for the yolks and egg whites.
- Place the chocolate, butter, and salt in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave it in 20 - 30 second intervals, stirring in between. When the chocolate chips are about 75 - 80% melted, stir the chocolate butter mixture until all of the chocolate is melted. Set aside until needed.
- In a large metal bowl, place the egg yolks, water, vanilla, and half of the sugar. Whisk to combine. Place the bowl over the pot of simmering water. Heat the egg yolks to 170°F while constantly whisking. Once heated, remove from the heat.
- Add the butter and chocolate mix, and the bourbon (if using) into the egg yolk mix. Mix until well combined and then set aside.
- In a clean, dry, metal mixing bowl, place the egg whites and the rest of the sugar. Heat the egg whites over the pot of simmering water while constantly whisking, until the mixture is heated to 170°F.
- When the egg whites are heated, remove the bowl from the double boiler and attach it to your stand mixer with a whisk attachment. You can also use a hand mixer.
- Whisk the egg whites until they are glossy and you have mid peaks. Mid peaks is beyond soft peaks, but not quite at stiff peaks.
- Add about ¼ of the egg whites to the chocolate yolk mix, and mix it in to "loosen" the chocolate base.
- Add the rest of the egg whites and carefully fold it in, until it's about 70 - 80% mixed through (some egg white streaks are still visible). Set aside.
- Add the heavy cream into the same bowl that you used to whisk the egg whites. Whisk until you have soft peaks.
- Add this cream to the chocolate mousse base and fold it in until mixed through.
- Place the chocolate mousse in a shallow dish, or divide between 6 individual serving dishes.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let it chill overnight.
- Remove the chocolate mousse from the fridge about 30 - 45 minutes before serving. For best flavor, the mousse should not be completely chilled (which dampens the chocolate flavor), only a little cold.
- Top it with shaved chocolate or whipped cream, and serve.
Tips & Tricks
Notes on eggsThis recipe cooks the eggs to 170 F to make it safe for consumption for anyone.
Skipping the cooking of the eggsYou can choose to skip the step where you cook the eggs over a double boiler. In that case, the egg yolks should be whisked with the sugar and water. Then the warm chocolate and butter mix can be mixed into the egg yolks. The egg whites must be whisked with the sugar until glossy and at soft to mid peaks, and then folded through the chocolate base (as per the recipe).