If you love creamy, rich, dark chocolate, then Mousse Au Chocolat is for you. This classic French Chocolate Mousse is incredibly easy to make and requires only a few ingredients!
What Is A Mousse?
I feel like I should insert some witty comment about the large, antlered animal that lives in northern regions.
However, I’ll save you the eye rolling and get right to the point.
Mousse is the French word for “foam.” So a culinary mousse is a preparation of food that results in a light and airy, creamy, foam-like texture.
Notice I didn’t say mousse is a French dessert.
Technically speaking, you can have sweet OR savory mousse.
Think of a light and creamy salmon mousse or goat cheese mousse atop sliced vegetables or toasted bread to make a fancy canape appetizer.
A savory mousse!
But, today we’re talking about probably the best known kind of mousse. (And, arguably, the most tasty.)
What Is The Difference Between Pudding And Mousse?
The difference between pudding and mousse really comes down to the ingredients.
Traditionally, pudding is made with a milk and sugar base that is cooked with cornstarch to thicken it. Since pudding has cornstarch as a thickener, it tends to be a bit on the denser side.
Mousse, on the other hand, is traditionally not cooked at all. It is made by mixing your flavor base into whipped egg whites. This makes mousse lighter and fluffier, with nice air bubbles throughout.
How To Make Mousse Au Chocolat (French Chocolate Mousse)
There are a couple of ways to make chocolate mousse, and each will give you a bit of a different result.
All mousse should start out with your flavor base (in this case, melted chocolate) and eggs.
This is a must.
However, a common, American, adaptation is to add some whipped cream to the mixture, giving the chocolate mousse a VERY light and airy consistency.
Traditional French chocolate mousse, on the other hand, omits the whipped cream. This means that your true French mousse au chocolat is airy, but it is also rich and dense.
Using Eggs In Mousse Au Chocolat
Since the eggs used in this dessert are not cooked, we recommend using extremely fresh or even pasteurized eggs.
Whichever type of eggs you choose, they MUST be at room temperature before you start making your mousse.
If the egg yolks are the slightest bit cold, when you mix them with the melted chocolate, your chocolate will seize!
Ask me how I know…
The good news is that if your chocolate seizes, there is an easy fix. Simply mixing a little boiling water into your seized chocolate, 1 teaspoon at a time, will bring it back to a smooth consistency.
But, do yourself a favor and avoid the extra steps by using room temperature eggs.
Our French Chocolate Mousse Recipe
We’ve followed the traditional French method of making mousse au chocolat, using just a few ingredients to make this decadent dessert.
While this recipe is incredibly simple, there are a few important things to note.
First is the temperature of the eggs, which we mentioned above, but is so important it bears repeating.
Second, when you stir your chocolate/egg yolk mixture into your beaten egg whites they will deflate quite a bit.
Your mousse mixture should be pour-able as you’re putting it into your serving dishes. That’s why we let it chill for 4 hours to set.
All will be good after some time in the refrigerator.
Let’s make some mousse!!!
Mousse Au Chocolate (Easy French Chocolate Mousse)
- 6 oz bittersweet chocolate
- 4 eggs divided, at room temp*
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- Melt the chocolate either in a double boiler or in the microwave on low heat. Set it aside to cool slightly.
- In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks.
- Lightly beat the room temperature egg yolks with the sugar, vanilla, and salt to mix.
- Slowly add the egg yolk mixture to the melted chocolate.*
- Gently stir the chocolate mixture into the stiff egg whites, using 1/3 of the chocolate at a time.
- Pour or spoon the mixture into serving bowls.
- Refrigerate for 4 hours before servings.
- (Finished mousse au chocolate will keep nicely in the refrigerator for 4 days.)