Mousse Au Chocolat

Creamy, rich, and velvety, this classic dessert recipe is a sublime chocolate experience that is impressive enough for guests your Thanksgiving table and yet easy enough for every day.

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Do you connect beautiful memories with food?  I do, all of the time. Chocolate mousse takes me back to a warm evening in Paris, at the sweet Chez Janou Bistro, and the very beautiful waiter (can’t remember his name or honestly, how beautiful he was) who suggested that I try the Mousse au Chocolat.

Small jars of the classic dessert recipe for Mousse au Chocolat garnished with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

I did, of course, and it was delicious. The waiter served it by bringing over a huge wooden bowl of mousse, a big ladle, and a serving bowl and invited me to serve myself some mousse.  It was my version of Heaven.

I knew it was Heaven when I tasted the mousse.  It was cool, very smooth, creamy, and airy.  It was chocolatey with a depth of flavor that I had to sit and think about.  Simply put: it was magical. I would have ordered a second but was too embarrassed to do so.

Small jars of the classic dessert recipe for Mousse au Chocolat garnished with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

Once I was back Stateside (yes, I’ve always wanted to write that), I experimented with many mousse recipes.  A few recipes were way too sweet. A couple of them had a different consistency than I wanted. And then I discovered a few that, to me,  did not taste how I remembered. This classic dessert recipe is just right.  Cue in the image of Goldilocks.

This classic dessert recipe is not overly sweet.  It has a deep chocolate flavor with just a hint of orange and a rich, decadent mouthfeel from the heavy cream.  Plus, the only ‘cooking’ is melting the chocolate. It’s deceptively easy.

I love serving this in pretty French tulip jars, or crystal martini glasses, or in a beautiful teacup.  This mousse makes an impressive presentation at the end of a meal.


  • Use the BEST ingredients that you can find or afford because each ingredient is important to the final flavor of the dish.  Get really good chocolate and cocoa powder. Trust me, you will taste the difference.
  • Take the time to fully whip the egg whites and the cream.  This is what gives the mousse it’s signature fluffiness and silky mouthfeel.
  • Use very fresh, pasteurized eggs.  This will eliminate any potential for foodborne illness.

Looking for other classic dessert recipes?  Give my Mojito Tart a whirl or this recipe for Italian Amaretti Peaches.

I’ve been asked often to include the tools and ingredients that I use for the recipes in my posts.  I have included affiliate links to products that I use and love. As an Amazon Affiliate, I will earn a small amount for qualifying purchases.  I will only link to products that I personally use and love.


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Small jars of the classic dessert recipe for Mousse au Chocolat garnished with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.



A classic dessert recipe for a rich chocolate mousse that is not overly sweet, has a deep chocolate flavor, and a luscious, silky texture.  This French classic is impressive enough for guests, yet easy enough for everyday.


  • 6 ounces semisweet baking chocolate,chopped.  I like using Guittard brand. Find it here.
  • 1½ tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon instant espresso powder, I use this one.
  • ⅓ cup Grand Marnier, or other orange liqueur
  • 3 extra-large eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups heavy cream, very cold
  • 1 teaspoon high-quality vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


In a double boiler over low heat,  or a medium glass or metal bowl placed over a saucepan filled with 1-inch of simmering water, add the chocolate, cocoa powder, espresso, and orange liqueur. 

Melt the chocolate, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until melted and combined – about 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl using a hand-held mixer on high speed, beat the egg whites until frothy – about 30 seconds.  Sprinkle in 1 tablespoon of sugar and continue beating until the whites are at the firm peak stage and are thick and glossy – about 1 minute longer.  Set aside.

In another medium bowl, whip ¾ cup of the heavy cream with the handheld mixer until it is doubled in volume and holds a soft peak – about 2 minutes.  You should have about 1 ½ cups of whipped cream.

In a large bowl using the hand mixer on high speed,  beat the egg yolks and 1 tablespoon of sugar until very thick and pale – about 3 minutes.

Add the vanilla and salt.  With the mixer on low speed, add the cooled chocolate mixture.  Mix just until combined.

Using the spatula, gently fold in ¼ of the beaten egg whites.  Fold until just combined, but some white streaks remain. Add the remaining egg whites and continue to gently fold.

Spoon in the whipped cream and continue folding to combine the ingredients.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

30 minutes before serving, using the handheld mixer at medium speed, beat in the last ½ cup of heavy cream until it begins to thicken.  Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar. Continue to whip the cream until soft peaks form – about 1 minute longer. You should yield about 1 cup of whipped cream.

Spoon the mousse into serving dishes or small ramekins.  Garnish with a dollop of the whipped cream. Serve cold.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: classic dessert recipe, french recipes, chocolate mousse, impressive dinner party recipes, easy dessert recipe, chocolate recipes

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