How to Make Mousse

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This quick chocolate dessert will whisk you from your dining room to a Parisian bistro in no time—because learning how to make mousse is simple!

It seems intimidating to learn how to make mousse. But I promise it’s not! You won’t need long to transform a handful of ingredients into a simple, elegant chocolate mousse.

What Is Mousse?

Any mousse includes a flavor base, like chocolate or citrus, thickened with a binder of gelatin or eggs and then lightened with an aerator, typically whipped cream or egg whites. The end result is rich but with an airy texture.

Classic chocolate mousse is the most recognized flavor, but savory mousse was enjoyed for hundreds of years earlier—think chicken liver, salmon or vegetable. Fruit mousses grew in popularity as dessert, then chocolate was introduced to France when the Spanish Princess Anne married Louis XIII (the Spanish conquistadors brought chocolate to Europe from Mexico).

What Can You Use Mousse For?

Mousse is a delight all by itself, but it can be used in other desserts, too. Layer it in a luscious torte, freeze it for a simple, ice cream-like confection or dollop it in a festive trifle. Instead of just topping it with whipped cream and berries, layer it like a parfait. And chocolate isn’t the only way to eat mousse, it can be made in a variety of flavors, like white chocolate, eggnog, pumpkin or key lime.

How to Make Chocolate Mousse from Scratch

The recipe below is adapted from this recipe for Semisweet Chocolate Mousse. I added a pinch of salt, used coffee instead of water (here’s why) and doubled the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons brewed coffee (or water)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • Garnish: additional whipped cream and raspberries

Tools You’ll Need

  • Stainless-Steel Saucepan: I used a 2-quart All-Clad saucepan to melt the chocolate.
  • Balloon Whisk: Invest in a sturdy whisk. I have a hand mixer, but there’s just something about whipping mousse by hand that feels better.
  • Measuring Cup Set: This set of Pyrex measuring cups is an essential in every kitchen!
  • Silicone Spatula: Don’t forget a heat-resistant spatula!

Directions

Step 1: Melt the chocolate

Melt the chocolateAnna Thomas Bates for Taste of Home

Add chocolate chips and coffee to a small saucepan (no larger than 2 quarts). Warm over low heat until melted and smooth, stirring frequently.

Step 2: Whisk the eggs

In a separate bowl, lightly beat eggs and salt. Add a small amount of the warm chocolate mixture to the eggs, quickly whisking. This is the process of tempering eggs with warm chocolate to prevent scrambling. Slowly add the rest of the chocolate to the eggs, whisking continuously. Stir in vanilla. Set aside to cool.

Editor’s tip: Our Test Kitchen’s favorite flavor-enhancing vanilla extract is Nielsen-Massey. See the other winners of our vanilla extract taste test.

Step 3: Make whipped cream

Make the whipped creamAnna Thomas Bates for Taste of Home

Beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add sugar and continue to whip until it holds a soft peak when the whisk or beater is pulled away.

Scrape the chocolate and egg mixture into the whipped cream, gently folding it until combined and no streaks of cream or chocolate remain.Anna Thomas Bates for Taste of Home

Scrape the chocolate and egg mixture into the whipped cream, gently folding it until combined and no streaks of cream or chocolate remain.

Step 4: Serve

Place finished mousse into the desired serving dish or individual ramekins. Smooth tops and either garnish and serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Tips for Making Mousse

A perfect mousse is thick and luxurious—too thin and it’s just pudding. Make sure whipped cream is fully aerated with nice peaks before folding it into the chocolate. And make sure the chocolate isn’t too warm when it’s folded in, or it will deflate the whipped cream. Mousse will firm up even more in the refrigerator.

Since this recipe calls for chocolate chips and not bar chocolate, be sure to melt the chips slowly on low heat. If chocolate chips are melted too fast or with high heat they may seize—in other words, stiffen up and become grainy. Sometimes seized chocolate can be saved by adding additional hot coffee or water, but no guarantees.

How to Store Mousse

Mousse can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for two days or frozen for 2 months. If frozen, the dessert may either be thawed or enjoyed as a fun ice cream alternative.

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