Desserts Food

My Favorite Chocolate Mousse

DSC_0007Chocolate Mousse has been one of my very favorite desserts for as long as I can remember. Desserts that have a rich flavor, yet have a very light, airy texture have always appealed to me. A spoonful or two after a hearty meal is my ideal way to end the evening.

I found this recipe in a copy of the New York Times Cookbook I received as a Christmas gift a few years ago. While flipping through the pages, the Chocolate Mousse recipe immediately caught my eye. The following Thanksgiving, I made it one of the sweets to grace the dessert table.

DSC_0008The ingredients are basic, and most of them I tend to have in my pantry. You will dirty a dozen bowls in the process of making this recipe. There’s a lot of melting, separating, and folding, but the entire thing comes together in less than 20 minutes.

You melt the chocolate, separate a half dozen egg yolks from the whites, make a sabayon with the yolks, fold the chocolate and sabayon together, whip the heavy cream, fold it into the sabayon, whip the egg whites, and finally fold it all together.

I like making individual portions of mousse, so I usually ladle it into small decorative cups and allow it to hang out in the fridge until I’m ready to serve it.

One way I make the recipe my own is by adding Kahlua to the sabayon instead of the sweet liqueurs called for in the recipe. I think coffee and chocolate bring out the best in each other.

Chocolate Mousse


  • 1/2 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup Kahlua, or other sweet liqueur like Framboise, Amaretto, Chartreuse, or Cointreau
  • 2 cups heavy cream, whipped to stiff peaks
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • Whipped cream, for garnish
  • Grated Chocolate or fresh fruit, for garnish


If using slab chocolate, cut it into 1/2 inch pieces and place in a metal mixing bowl or double boiler. Set the bowl on top of a saucepan of almost boiling water. Place a lid on top of the mixing bowl and allow the chocolate to melt over low heat until completely melted. Remove bowl from double boiler and set aside.

Put the yolks and the water in a metal mixing bowl on top of a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk constantly and vigorously until the yolks start to thicken. Add the liqueur, and continue to beat constantly until the sauce achieves the consistency of a sabayon. It will be thick, and form ribbons when it drips off the whisk. Remove from the heat.

Add the melted chocolate to the yolk mixture and fold it together.

Beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form, adding 2 tablespoons of sugar about halfway through the end of beating. Fold the heavy cream into the chocolate mixture.

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks begin to form. Beat in the remaining 4 tablespoons of sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the mousse. Spoon the mousse into a crystal bowl, or individual cups and chill until ready to serve.

Garnish with whipped cream, fresh fruit, and grated chocolate if you desire.

serves 12

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