Dark Chocolate mousse

by Eddy Van Damme on February 22, 2010

Perfect dark chocolate mousse

When I visualize a great chocolate mousse it holds certain characteristics. For example, a perfect chocolate mousse should be creamy and smooth and not leave a kind of dryness on the roof of your mouth. In fact it should spoon very easily without being too firm and melt very nicely away on our tongue. It also needs to be light in consistency, too much fat can make the mousse heavy and simply too rich. After eating a serving of chocolate mousse we should not feel “Full”, but rather satisfied.

In terms of chocolate flavor strength, it oftentimes depends on what else is being served with the chocolate mousse. If a rather sweet mango coulis or sorbet is served along with the mousse, then it is important to ensure that the mousse is made with a chocolate containing a higher amount of cocoa mass. If you are serving the chocolate mousse in a verrine with a bittersweet chocolate sauce then choosing a less bitter chocolate may be the better choice.

Having said that, when you use for example this recipe for chocolate mousse, but instead of using chocolate containing 65% cocoa mass, you use one of 70% or 75%. (And everything else in the recipe was unchanged) You will end up with more than just a stronger chocolate flavor. In fact, more cocoa mass in chocolate means less sugar which translates into a less moistening from sugar. So the mousse will have a firmer set and be less creamy.

Chocolate mousse can be made many ways. With a Bombe batter, Italian meringue, pasteurized egg whites or a Crème Anglaise.  For certain applications I like to use a specific method. This featured chocolate mousse is one I like when eaten very simply by itself in a verrine or glass. It is made using both a Bombe batter and an Italian meringue and utilizing both makes the mousse particularly good for this use.

Some Pastry Chefs may not agree, but I like to use couverture chocolate when making chocolate mousse. I formulate based on couverture chocolate, I prefer the result. Of paramount importance when making good chocolate mousse is ensuring that the temperatures are right. When melted chocolate is mixed with the other ingredients it needs to be done at correct temperatures. If the melted chocolate is too cold when the other ingredients are incorporated, it will result in a heavy and very undesirable mousse. Chocolate mousse starts to set or begins to crystallize below 85°F (29°C), therefore it is important to ensure that the chocolate is at the right temperature. If not, the ingredients will not homogenize properly and the mousse will be heavy, crystallize or set prematurely before it is deposited in the ring, verrine, silicone mold….

Whipping cream is another very important part of a successful chocolate mousse. Oftentimes we think that a higher fat content cream means a more stable mousse. Perhaps during storage, but during the folding process it translates into damage to the air cells. A cream with a fat percentage of 34-36% is ideal.  Always whipped to a very soft consistency, I do not like to say to say “soft peaks” because often, soft peaks turn into over whipped peaks….. Any cream which is over whipped and used in a mousse turns into a less then desired product.

Dark Chocolate Mousse

16 oz (16 oz) Bittersweet chocolate couverture(64% cocoa) 480 g
½ stick (2 oz) Unsalted butter 60 g
9 (9) Large egg yolks 9
¾ Cup (6 oz) Extra fine granulated sugar (a) 180 g
9 (9) Large egg whites 9
1 ¼ Cup (10 oz) Extra fine granulated sugar (b) 300 g
½ Cup (4oz) Water 120 ml
2 Cups (16 oz) Whipping cream (34-36% fat, whipped to a very soft peak consistency) 480 ml
  1. In a bowl melt the chocolate and butter over Bain Marie or microwave oven to 135°F (57°C), Hold at this temperature in water bath and set aside.
  2. Fill a saucepan with a small amount of water and bring to a boil and then turn to a low simmer.  In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks and sugar (a) and whisk well. Place the bowl over the simmering water and whisk constantly until the yolk mixture reaches at least 165°F (74°C).
  3. Remove from heat and whip until lukewarm, about 95°F (35°C)
  4. Meanwhile make the meringue, place the egg whites in a machine bowl fitted with a whip. Set aside.
  5. In a small saucepan combine the granulated sugar and water and bring to a boil. Once boiling wash away any sugar crystals stuck to the side of the pan using a brush dipped in water. Any added amount of water will have no effect on the outcome.
  6. Boil without stirring to 244°F (118°C). A few degrees before the syrup reaches it required temperature start whipping the egg whites in medium speed. When the syrup is at its required temperature, pour it immediately along the edge of the bowl avoiding pouring syrup on the whip.
  7. Whip until the meringue measures about 86°F (30°C), remove from machine.
  8. Recheck the temperature of the melted chocolate and reheat if necessary. Add one fourth of the whipped cream to the chocolate and whisk into a ganache.
  9. Immediately add and fold in the bombe batter. Add and fold in to meringue in increments. (re-creaming the meringue right before it is being added is essential)
  10. Gently fold in the soft whipped cream and immediately fill into the molds, rings, verrines….

36 comments on “Dark Chocolate mousse

  1. This mousse looks right. I’m making this tomorrow.

  2. Thanks for the recipe – I’ll be giving this one a go on the weekend. What do you mean in Point 9 by “re-creaming the meringue”? Does this mean to give it a quick whisk?

    And thanks for the effort you put into the blog – I’ve tried many of the recipes with success (we ate the white-chocolate and passionfruit mousse – although I used raspberry instead – for dessert last night and everyone thought it was great). And we’ve got chestnuts growing on the tree at the moment so I’m planning to make chestnut paste in a few months.

  3. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Hi Gareth,
    Thanks for the kind compliments.
    Yes, in step 9 re-creaming means indeed giving it a quick whisk. This way you eliminate “dry” stubborn meringue which refuses to be incorporated easily.
    All the best, Eddy.

  4. Thanks again Eddy, makes sense

  5. Hilary Adams on said:

    This looks absolutely mouthwatering, Chef Eddy! Will have to give this a try soon… very soon!

  6. Hi Chef Eddie!
    It’s great to see your blog and your mouthwatering recipes!. I really miss your classes, maybe one day I’ll come back! Imma (the Italian girl at HCC).

  7. I learn so much from reading your blog. I seem to muddle through things and they seem to work ok, you, however are so precise and your dishes look like a dream! Next opportunity I have with a little more than a rushed moment in the kitchen I will make this, What is the approximate hands on time to make this? Also how did you un-mould that so beautifully ?

  8. Diana Wallace on said:

    Fantastic! This is one of my favorites! Smooth and creamy!

  9. Tzila on said:

    This is the recipe I have been looking for! I am hosting dinner (25 people) in two weeks from now and this mousse will be the dessert. I would like to prepare it a few days ahead, and would like to know if it can be frozen. Thanks

  10. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Hi Tzila,
    You certainly can freeze this mousse without any problems.
    All the best, Eddy

  11. dewanda ferrier on said:

    Bonjour chef eddy,
    great seeing you on the net teaching. miss your classes let me know if any specialized classes or demonstrations are available at hcc. all the best

    the real cake diva

  12. Hi Eddy great mousse! I need a strong one for in a cake and its perfect. just one thing I had a little problem with, the bombe batter. I tried it get it to the temp you said but it was getting really dry so stopped a bit before, when I went to put it in the choc/butter mix it was horrible , very dry and I had to whip for a very long time to get the lumps out and It was still a bit gritty (ok though as only the tester. can you tell me what I should do and what the bombe should look like when you take it off the heat. thanks 🙂

  13. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Hi Mel,

    Sorry you had a hard time with the mousse. What can make a “bombe batter dry” is using a bowl which is too large. Using a small bowl for the bombe batter reduces the amount of water which is evaporating during the whisking and heating. If you have an electric option to make the batter, use that instead of gas. Unseen to the naked eye, the heat from the flames can nearly “cook” the sides of the bowl.
    Mel, if you experience the same thing, don’t be afraid of adding some water. One or two even three tablespoons will be fine. Certainly you can also use a liquor of choice.
    I do appreciate your honest response very much and I hope this has helped.
    It’s great to see so many people from your country visiting here.
    All the best to you, Eddy.

  14. wow! thanks for the fast reply Eddy as the wedding is in just a couple of weeks.
    Thanks for the help Im sure it will work out fine now and its good to know you can always add a bit of water to soften it…. (i do have to use gas).
    Its funny because even though it was gritty (and i felt bad) my friends thought it was fantastic! Im doing the cake layers in thirds, mud cake on bottom then your mousse with rasberries pressed into the top with a choc sponge on top. They were very happy with the taste test so when its done with nice bomb batter Im sure they will be blown away. thanks again and i cant wait to try some more of your yummy treats! 🙂 Mel

  15. That is a lot of chocolate… YES…

  16. This is a cool site.Nice to see technical skills explained. Great photos.
    I have been experimenting with some sucsess with Mousse, this site is great to find.
    As with many things in the kitchen, it is worth the persiverence.

  17. Thanks for the recipe! Can’t wait to try it out! Is it firm enough to incorporate into a (mousse) cake? And what do you think of chocolate mousse which has gelatine in it?

  18. deloraine wellington on said:

    love your recipes and pictures…and your attention to detail..can’t wait to try your recipes!!

  19. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Thank you very much! Please come back for the Cholesterol free chocolate mousse recipe which I soon will post.
    Cheers, Eddy.

  20. Simon on said:

    Hi Eddy, great mousse. I am also a chef (not the best at pastry!) I atempted a duo mousse (white and dark). The Dark mousse turned out well. But the white mousse i made in the same way just switching the chocolates, was a bit of a disaster. A very grainy, cakey texture! Do you have any tips? I would very much apreciate it!

    Thank you, Simon

  21. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Thank you. This Tuesday I will post a recipe for white chocolate mousse.
    All the best,

  22. Karen Matthews on said:

    Hi Eddy, I have been following this site for some time now, and I think it’s fantastic. I also bought your On Baking book, after trying for months here in the Uk to get it. I am training in Patisserie at Coleg LLandrillo in North Wales, and have found your book to be such a valuable source of information,every recipe I have used has worked perfectly. I know need to expand my knowledge further, and books can only give me so much help. I have qualified at the highest level in patisserie in the UK, and have won numerous competitions including the All Wales Pastry Chef of the year 2011, 2 gold medals, 1 silver and 2 bronze in other competitions. I have a little industry experience, and would love to gain more. where do you think I should go from here, as I would love to open my own company here in the UK? Many Thanks Karen

  23. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    First of all congratulations on your studies and your great achievements at the competitions. If I was you, first I would figure out what type of company I would want to operate myself. Then I would seek employment in similar operations as you will learn the ins and outs of the operation. Learn the good and also remember the not so good. One thing for sure is that some of the most successful companies in the world have one thing in common: Their number one priority is how their employees are treated and number two is the product itself. Makes sense, when an employee feels well treated by their employer, they will do their very best at work and create a great product.
    Wishing you the very best Karen!

  24. serdar on said:

    hey! nice cake! whats that cocoa powder looking stuff on the cake??

  25. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    It has been sprayed with a mixture of 50% cocoa butter and 50% chocolate.

  26. radhieka on said:

    I chanced upon your website, while looking for a liquor chocolate recipe and since then i have been addicted, you make the most beautiful desserts sound so very simple to make. I find this very inspirational. thank you

  27. Karen Matthews on said:

    Hi Eddy, Thanks for your reply, I spent the summer working in a Michelin star hotel in Chester UK, in the pastry section. I gained so much experience and information while I was working there for 6 weeks, ( I firmly believe it was invaluable). I took your advice and looked for companies doing what I want to do but they were more on the mass production side of things.
    After doing lots of research here in the North of the UK, I would say most of the restaurants, hotels, pubs all do bog standard desserts such as chocolate cake, sticky toffee pudding, lemon tart, panna cotta, and creme brule. Not that there is anything wrong with these desserts, but most places just put them on a plate with a bit of ice cream or a sauce.
    I am waiting for funding from the Welsh Government to open a business making 5 star desserts to supply to the hotels and restaurants (frozen). So glad that it wont happen until the new year because I am up to my eyes in my Mince Pies, and Christmas Cake trifle. Many thanks for your insperation.

  28. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Nice to hear from you and I am glad to hear you had such an amazing experience. Your business idea sounds like a winner!
    My best,

  29. Karen Matthews on said:

    Hi Eddy I am trying to do a de- constructed lemon meringue,I am sure you had one on your site, but it seems to have gone. Can you please put it back on, or email a picture?
    Many Thanks

  30. I would think you would want to whip the cream to soft peaks so it isn’t so runny. This is certainly not the case so thank you for pointing that out. I appreciated all your tips in reference to the texture.

  31. Wondering about the shelf life of this mousse if kept in refrigeration at 4C(?)
    Any idea what the Aw of the mousse is?
    Regards and kindest thanks

  32. I have to admit, before taking your plated dessert class, I used to make mousse from a box. I know, horrible right? I guess I thought making mousse from scratch was going to really complicated and difficult but it’s actually quite simple and tastes ten times better. And I have to say, Chef Eddy you know your mousse!

  33. Sharyll Crawford on said:

    I remember pairing this mouse with a chocolate tart dough and it was way too much chocolate for me. If I were to use milk chocolate I think it would taste better to me. As far as the tart, I’m sure i could find something to pair with it. Or maybe no chocolate at all…

  34. Rocio Ramirez on said:

    It is important to have the same consistency in the whipped cream and the first batter, so they can combine verry well.

  35. Simon on said:

    Hi Eddy!
    I would like to know what is atop of your mousse on the picture and how to make it?

    Thank you!

  36. John Foisy on said:

    I would like to try putting a orange or raspberry liquor into the whipping cream. I love the texture, how it holds itself up and yet smoothly dissolves in your mouth.

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