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, and French Macarons.

Chocolate Mousse overhead with bite taken out.

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.

Why this Recipe Works

  • This is one of the best desserts to make ahead of time. You can make it up to 4 days in advance. When you are ready to serve, simply add a dollop of sweetened whipped cream and chocolate curls on top.
  • 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.

Ingredient Notes

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 leftover egg whites for making a pavlova or 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 melts best, although chocolate chips can be used. I recommend using the best quality chocolate you can find for this recipe.
  • Vanilla extract: I added my homemade vanilla extract which brings out the sweet flavors of this chocolate mousse.

How to Make This Recipe

  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°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 ⅓ 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!

Recipe FAQ's

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!

What are the best garnishes for chocolate mousse?

Really, you can add whatever you like to top off these chocolate mousse cups. Chopped nuts add a little texture and crunch. Fresh fruit like raspberries, strawberries, or cherries are always delicious. And you can't go wrong with homemade whipped cream and chocolate curls.

How do you temper eggs?

Tempering eggs is a gentle process of heating the egg yolks so they don't scramble. Start by beating the eggs until they are a light yellow color. Heat the cream until steaming, then slowly pour into the eggs while whisking or stirring. Add the cream and eggs back into the saucepan and continue to heat gently.

Recipe Tips

  • Don't scramble the egg yolks. Temper them by adding a small amount of hot cream to the eggs to gently bring up their temperature without scrambling them.
  • Freezing: You can freeze chocolate mousse for up to 2 months. It freezes best in individual portions. Let it thaw completely in the fridge or on the counter before enjoying, but do not attempt to heat it in the microwave.
  • Don't burn the cream. Avoid cooking the cream too quickly over too high of heat, which can cause it to scald on the bottom of the pan.

More Chocolate Recipes You'll Enjoy

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Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

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Chocolate Mousse

5 from 5 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Additional Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 8 servings
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!

Ingredients
  

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar 50 grams
  • 2 ¼ cups cold heavy whipping cream, divided 540 ml
  • 8 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate 226 grams
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For garnish

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

Instructions
 

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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 ⅓ of the whipped cream to the chocolate mixture, folding it in gently. Add the remaining whipped cream and fold this in as well.
  • 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.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours to set. Top with sweetened whipped cream, shaved chocolate, and fresh berries to garnish before serving.

Notes

  • Make-ahead: Chocolate mousse can be made up to 4 days in advance and stored, covered tightly, in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • Chocolate: I recommend using the best quality chocolate you can for best results. Chocolate chips can be used if they are very good quality.
  • Don't scramble the egg yolks. Temper them by adding a small amount of hot cream to the eggs to gently bring up their temperature without scrambling them.
  • Freezing: You can freeze chocolate mousse for up to 2 months. It freezes best in individual portions. Let it thaw completely in the fridge or on the counter before enjoying, but do not attempt to heat it in the microwave.
  • Don't burn the cream. Avoid cooking the cream too quickly over too high of heat, which can cause it to scald on the bottom of the pan.

Nutrition

Calories: 450kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 186mg | Sodium: 33mg | Potassium: 222mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 1121IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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