Simple, but absolutely delicious. This is just a simplified description of the best dessert on the planet, chocolate mousse! I’d also add elegant. And sexy. Have you ever met anyone that doesn’t like chocolate mousse?
Who Invented Chocolate Mousse, Anyway?
It must have been the French since the word ‘mousse’ means ‘foam’ in French.
The first written record of this dessert in the US dates from the late 1800s in New York City. The early versions were more like puddings and less fluffy. Mousse became light and airy as we know it with the separation of egg whites from the yolks, and the introduction of electric mixers, which made the process of foaming much faster and easier.
The Basics of Chocolate Mousse
Traditional chocolate mousse recipes are made of chocolate (of course), whipped egg whites, egg yolks and some form of dairy. Simple ingredients turned into a magical delight!
However, there are mousse versions made with cream and/or butter as well. Custard? Yes, I’ve seen a recipe that calls for custard too!
Depending on ingredients and method of preparation, chocolate mousse can be absolutely light and airy or denser and creamier. It can be made with dark or white chocolate and the taken to another level by using numerous flavorings and add-ins like vanilla, coffee, booze (rum, bourbon, brandy, liqueurs), caramel, or spices like cinnamon, clove, or nutmeg.
Yes, chocolate mousse can be varied to taste, but the basic steps remain the same. Here goes:
– Melt the chocolate and butter
– Whip egg whites or cream
– Fold the egg whites/cream into the melted chocolate
– Allow to set
Chocolate Mousse Perfected
Like any recipe, easy chocolate mousse recipes can be further perfected by knowing a few tips and tricks.
- The key to a perfect chocolate mousse is chocolate. Your mousse is as good as the chocolate you use, so find the best chocolate you can. For perfect taste, use chocolate that is no more than 60 cocoa. Otherwise, the flavor might overwhelm your mousse.
- Break the chocolate into chunks and melt over a pan of simmering water. Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave oven. Set the microwave to 30 seconds and stir. If the chocolate is not fully melted, set the microwave to additional 15 seconds. Repeat, as many times as necessary, until melted. Stir in the egg yolks at this point.
- Your melted chocolate should be allowed to cool a bit before folding it in the egg whites or cream. It should be warm, not hot, nor cold. If it is hot, the melted chocolate will ‘cook’ the creamy base and flatten it. If it is cold, the chocolate will form chunks. Just taste it. I am sure you won’t mind that!
- Don’t stir. The word to use here is ‘fold’. Stirring is usually done with a spoon and is more vigorous so, it can cause the mixture to flatten. I recommend a whisk or a flexible rubber spatula to perform folding. Do this gently, by leaving streaks of both cream and chocolate.
- Chocolate mousse tastes perfect when chilled and set, so refrigerate for an hour.
- Storage. Chocolate mousse can be kept in the fridge, covered for up to two days. It will get a bit denser, but still delicious.