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Light and airy Chocolate Mousse is rich, decadent, and unfussy but still sophisticated finish to any meal! This easy dessert recipe is great for making ahead for elegant entertaining, and divine with a dollop of whipped cream and some fresh raspberries or strawberries served with it!

We love our classic French dessert recipes like this chocolate mousse! Some of our other favorites are Cream Puffs, an Authentic French Fruit Tart (one of the most popular recipes on my site!), and almost any flavor of French Macarons.

Chocolate Mousse overhead with bite taken out

Easy Chocolate Mousse

The best chocolate mousse of my life was one we enjoyed near the cathedral in Rouen, France, but this easy make-at-home version comes in a close second. While my chocolate mousse recipe takes a slight American deviation from the traditional French method by adding a bit of whipped cream to lighten up the texture a tad, it’s every bit as rich, chocolatey, and decadent as the mousse we enjoyed on our last trip to Europe.

Making this chocolate mousse recipe is really easy! The biggest pitfall to watch out for is not scrambling the eggs when tempering them with the warm liquid. But other than that, if you keep things nice and slow, there’s not much to it.

I’d say the hardest part is waiting for the chocolate mousse to cool in the fridge! But it is SO worth the wait for that velvety, bubbly texture.

a spoonful of dessert

If I’m having guests over, this is one of the best desserts to make ahead of time so that part of the meal is done. You can make it up to 4 days in advance and leave the chocolate mousse in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. This makes it perfect for holidays as well, which as chaotic enough in the kitchen as they are!

Keep the elegance casual by piping or spooning the mousse into half-pint mason jars, or up the wow factor by using fancy glass dessert cups. I just recommend keeping the servings small because these are very rich!

overhead, 3 Chocolate Mousse cups

Then when you are ready to serve, all you have to do is add a dollop of sweetened whipped cream and chocolate curls, sprinkles, or shavings on top. I also love to throw on a couple of raspberries or strawberries both for a pop of color as well as flavor. The tiny bit of tart fruit goes so well with the rich chocolate.

side view of Chocolate Mousse with raspberries

Chocolate Mousse Ingredients

Isn’t it incredible how something so divine can be made from so few simple ingredients? This easy chocolate mousse only has 5 ingredients, unless you are counting some addition cream or berries to garnish at the end.

  • Egg yolks: This key ingredient for chocolate mousse thickens the mousse up and adds richness without any eggy taste. Use your leftover egg whites for making a pavlova or some macarons!
  • Sugar: Simple granulated sugar is all you’ll need for this recipe! You don’t even need too much, as long as you are using semi-sweet chocolate.
  • Cream: The heavy whipping cream is divided and used in two steps of this recipe. Some of it is heated and used to melt the chocolate and temper the eggs. The reserved cream gets whipped into stiff peaks and folded in to form a light and airy chocolate mousse.
  • Chocolate: Chopped semi-sweet chocolate is melted and mixed in. Semi-sweet add the perfect sweetness without it being too sweet.
  • Vanilla extract: I added my Homemade Vanilla Extract which brings out the sweet flavors of this chocolate mousse. It’s so easy to make your own, however, store-bought is fine too!

How to Make Chocolate Mousse from Scratch

  1. Beat and sweeten. Firstly, beat the egg yolks in a large bowl with a hand mixer on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes until they have turned a light yellow color and thickened. Gradually add the sugar while beating, then set aside.
  2. Heat the cream. Secondly, pour 1 cup of the cream into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, just until the cream is hot and small bubbles begin to form around the edges of the pan. Do not let the cream boil!
  3. Temper the egg yolks. Next, remove the cream from the heat and slowly pour half of the hot liquid into the egg yolks while whisking. This process is called “tempering” and it’s purpose is to gently raise the temperature of the eggs without scrambling them.
  4. Return the mixture to the pan and continue to cook. After tempering the egg yolks, add them back to the saucepan with the remaining cream and decrease the heat to medium-low. Continue to cook and stir for about 3-4 minutes until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and reaches 160 degrees F on a thermometer.
  5. Melt chocolate in mixture and cool. Add the chopped chocolate and stir with a sturdy spatula until it is completely melted and combined with the cream mixture. Stir in the vanilla extract. Let cool completely at room temperature (about 1 hour).
  1. Whip the cream. Once the chocolate mixture has cooled, beat the remaining cream in a bowl with a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until it reaches stiff peaks. Add 1/3 of the whipped cream to the chocolate mixture, folding it in gently. Add the remaining whipped cream and fold this in as well.
  1. Pipe or spoon into dessert cups. Transfer the chocolate mousse mixture to a piping bag fitted with a large open tip and pipe it into eight 6-ounce glasses or dessert cups. You could spoon the mousse in if you prefer not to pipe, but the presentation is neater with piping. It’s the little things that make you look like a pro in the kitchen!
  2. Chill and serve. Finally, cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours to set. You can leave the mousse in the fridge for 4 days. Top with sweetened whipped cream, shaved chocolate, and fresh berries to garnish when ready to serve!
Chocolate Mousse garnished with raspberries and whipped cream

Does Chocolate Mousse have raw eggs?

My understanding is that with traditional French mousse, there are raw eggs included. However, that’s not the case in the recipe I’m sharing here.

You do add egg yolks to the chocolate mousse, but they are tempered which means they are heated slowly so that they don’t scramble. They aren’t raw when you eat the mousse, so there’s nothing to worry about there!

How do you temper eggs?

It’s a gentle process of heating the eggs so that they don’t scramble. Here’s how I do it.

  • Beat the eggs until they are a light yellow color. Adding some air really helps them temper more easily.
  • Heat the cream but don’t boil it. This can run the risk of burning the cream which we don’t want!
  • Slowly pour the cream into the eggs, constantly stirring. And make sure to keep it slow to avoid heating the eggs up too quickly and scrambling them!
  • Add the cream and eggs back into the saucepan and heat. The eggs should have mixed enough with the cream at this point to avoid scrambling. Continue to stir them as you heat them.
overhead desserts with whipped cream and chocolate curls

What are the best garnishes for Chocolate Mousse?

Really, you can add whatever you like to top off these chocolate mousse cups. Here are a few suggestions:

When in doubt, add chopped nuts:

  • Peanuts
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts

Personally, I love mine topped with a little bit of fruit:

  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Cherries
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries

Other toppings:

  • Sweetened whipped cream
  • Chocolate curls
  • Chopped candy bars
  • Wafer cookies
spoon digging into Chocolate Mousse cup

More Chocolate Recipes Like This

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Chocolate Mousse
Yield: 8 servings

Chocolate Mousse

Light and airy Chocolate Mousse is rich, decadent, and unfussy but still sophisticated finish to any meal! This easy dessert recipe is great for making ahead for elegant entertaining, and divine with a dollop of whipped cream and some fresh raspberries or strawberries served with it!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 and 1/4 cups (540 ml) cold heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 8 ounces (226 grams) chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For garnish

  • shaved chocolate
  • sweetened whipped cream
  • fresh raspberries or sliced strawberries

Instructions

  1. Beat the egg yolks in a large bowl with a hand mixer on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes until they have turned a light yellow color and thickened. Gradually add the sugar while beating, then set aside.
  2. Heat 1 cup of the cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat just until hot and small bubbles begin to form around the edges of the pan. Do not let the cream boil.
  3. Remove from heat and slowly pour half of the hot liquid into the egg yolks while whisking to gently raise the temperature of the eggs without scrambling them.
  4. Add the tempered egg yolks to the saucepan with the remaining cream and return to medium-low heat. Continue to cook and stir for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and reaches 160 degrees F on a thermometer.
  5. Add the chopped chocolate and stir with a sturdy spatula until it is completely melted and combined with the cream mixture. Stir in the vanilla extract. Let cool completely at room temperature (about 1 hour).
  6. Once the chocolate mixture has cooled, beat the remaining cream in a bowl with a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until it reaches stiff peaks. Add 1/3 of the whipped cream to the chocolate mixture, folding it in gently. Add the remaining whipped cream and fold this in as well.
  7. Transfer the chocolate mousse mixture of a piping bag fitted with a large open tip and pipe it into eight 6-ounce glasses or dessert cups. You could spoon the mousse in if you prefer not to pipe, but the presentation is neater with piping.
  8. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours to set. Top with sweetened whipped cream, shaved chocolate, and fresh berries to garnish before serving.

Notes

  • Chocolate mousse can be made up to 4 days in advance and stored, covered tightly, in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • Chocolate chips can be used if they are very high quality.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 261Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 42mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 3gSugar: 24gProtein: 5g

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.