My Recipe Box

Real Chocolate Mousse


Serves four.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 97

  • 6 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, preferably 60% to 62% cacao, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 3 large egg whites
  • Pinch of table salt
  • 3 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup cold heavy cream
  • Chocolate shavings for garnish (optional)

Put the chopped chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a skillet of barely simmering water. Stir the chocolate with a heatproof spatula just until it is melted. Remove the bowl from the skillet, add the butter to the chocolate, and stir until the butter is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.

In a medium bowl with an electric hand mixer on medium-high speed (or with a balloon whisk), whip the egg whites and salt until they barely hold soft peaks. While whipping, gradually sprinkle in the sugar—go slowly, as adding it too fast may cause the whites to fall. Continue whipping until the whites just start to hold stiff peaks (see photo below). Don’t overbeat or the dissolved sugar may weep out of the whites.

Wipe the beaters (or whisk) clean and then whip the cream in a large bowl until it’s fairly thick and holds a soft peak when the beaters are lifted.

With a large spatula, gently fold about onethird of the egg whites into the chocolate until the mixture is no longer streaky. Fold in the remaining whites. Scrape the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream. Add a flavoring, if using (see variatons below). Fold gently until the mixture is uniform in color and texture.

Divide among 4 dessert dishes and serve immediately, or refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for a slightly firmer texture. Garnish with chocolate shavings, if using.

Note: The risk of salmonella infection from consuming raw egg whites is low, but the only way to be completely safe is to use pasteurized egg whites.


  • Hazelnut: 3 Tbs. Frangelico
  • Bourbon: 1 Tbs. bourbon
  • Coconut: 1/2 cup toasted sweetened coconut (serve immediately to retain texture)

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 470, Fat (kcal): 33, Fat Calories (g): 300, Saturated Fat (g): 20, Protein (g): 6, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10, Carbohydrates (mg): 39, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 1, Sodium (g): 135, Cholesterol (g): 75, Fiber (g): 3,

Photo: Scott Phillips

I made this for a competition and I feel very confident! It is airy and light and just the right amount of chocolate and sweetness. It doesn't leave a lingering sweat taste in my mouth like some other recipes did.

I have been making/trying all recipes (France, Germany, Austria etc.) of chocolate mousse for decades and this is without a doubt the absolute best! Works out perfect even with white chocolate.

Delicious!!!!! For those complaining about the grainy texture that may be due to the temperature of the chocolate. The chocolate must not be too hot or cold. I do a test with the bottom of my lip. I place some chocolate on my bottom lip and if it feels just warm I know it's a good temperature. I know that sounds crazy but it works. Secondly, I am not sure why the recipe states place the heatproof bowl with the chocolate in a skillet filled with barely simmering water. An au bain-marie should be used and the bowl should not have any contact with the water. The bowl should be placed over a pot of simmering water not in the simmering water. This could be another reason why some are ending up with a mousse with a grainy texture. This is a wonderful recipe though.

Delicious!!!!! For those complaining about the grainy texture I can guarantee that is due to the temperature of the chocolate. The chocolate must not be too hot or cold. I do a test with the bottom of my lip. I place some chocolate on my bottom lip and if it feels just warm I know it's a good temperature. I know that sounds crazy but it works. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

I have made this a few times. Came out perfectly every time.

This mousse came out perfectly. Very light and creamy.

Simply delicious and very very ease of a recipe. If I can make in under 30 min we know how easy and simply delicious. I had no grainy texture. Not sure where this is coming from in the reviews. I did tweak a little but no biggie. I used 4Tbsp of butter with bitter-sweet chocolate and melted in microwave at 50% power for approx 2-2 1/2 min and then stirred in butter as recipe states. I added bourbon to chocolate mixture and small amount of vanilla to whipped cream. Beautiful consistency - light and Devine! Thank you Fine Cooking

I made this recipe twice today using the same ingredients both times and my rating is based on my 2nd attempt. On my first attempt, having been cautioned by another reviewer about heating the chocolate too long, I probably didn't heat it quite long enough. It was smooth, but the butter took a very long time to melt. The resulting mousse was definitely grainy. That graininess was due to chocolate, not sugar, however. On my 2nd attempt, I made sure to melt the chocolate to a thin consistency. Then the butter melted into the chocolate fairly quickly and the mousse turned out perfectly. Quite delicious, light and smooth. I used 60% cacao semisweet chocolate, BTW.

So yummy! I melted the chocolate & butter in the microwave together, and everything came out perfectly. It wasn't particularly airy, but it was smooth and rich and wonderful.

omg. This recipe is so easy and so ridiculously luscious. I used Agostoni dark chocolate (65%) which is a wonderful dark, rich artisan chocolate. If you can find a high grade dark chocolate, use it! This is the perfect recipe to show off the fine flavor. I'm a little puzzled by others finding grittiness in the mousse. The only thing I can think of is maybe the sugar was added too quickly when beating the egg whites - add the sugar really slowly and there shouldn't be any grittiness at all. Hope that helps.

Best mousse ever! Very light and not grainy at all. I added 1T+ of Tia Maria. After a big meal I would say this serves 6 people rather than 4.

I have made this several times and it has always been a huge hit. It's super easy, too. From the time I crack the first egg until I have the mousse in serving dishes is less than 30 minutes. I typically use World Market 62% chocolate, but I have also used the chipotle, sea salt and pomegranate flavors. My favorite is the sea salt variety. I top it with a little chopped pink peppercorn for flavor and a hint of floral and spice and my dinner guests go nuts. For those who are getting a grainy texture, that is most likely caused by either overheating the chocolate and it starts to seize when you add the butter, or you're using too high of a percent of cocoa solids in your chocolate. If you want to use a darker chocolate you will have to add more butter. When the chocolate and butter are combined remove it from the heat. Don't leave it on the heat or even over the pot of hot water while you whip the cream or eggs. You should have those parts done before you start working with the chocolate. If it's not light or airy enough the most likely cause is over-whipping the cream until it starts forming butter, over-whipping the egg whites until they start to separate, or combining everything too aggressively.

I have successfully made several kinds of chocolate mousses before, but seeing that this one was advertised as "real chocolate mousse" I got tempted and tried it... I don't think I will again. As mentioned before it turned out slightly grainy for me, and not as airy as I had hoped. It is possible that I did something wrong but still, I will go back to my good old recipe that works.

Has anyone tried making this recipe with pasturized egg whites as mentioned in the recipe note? I attempted this twice and could not get them to whip. Apparently the heat process used to pasturize egg whites also prevents them from whipping. I wrote to FL about this, but they never responded. I can only conclude that they never tested their own claim. If someone has used pasturized egg whites successfully, please share the product you used. Thanks.

VERY flavorful and quite easy, but I also did notice the "grainy" texture that Chef Jeff mentioned - it just wasn't as smooth as mousse that I've had at reputable restaurants. Still good enough to eat, but the texture was "off" enough that I probably will search further for a different recipe. I agree with his assessment of the overall quality of the magazine, though...fabulous and a source that I keep returning to again and again.

I have made this with both white and dark chocolate. With Lidnt white chocolate, I did not add the butter, and it still came out perfectly.

ChefJeff must be crazy, 'cause this Mousse is right on and not grainy at all. We added 3T of Amaretto and it was so good I was brought to tears.

I've been WAY more than "around the block" when it comes to preparing mousses. Fine Cooking is an awesome magazine, but this particular mousse had a noticeably "grainy" quality. Subbing the butter for egg yolks sounded interesting enough for me to want to try this rendition, but by me---it didn't work!

My first time making a Mousse..It was really good...I highly recommend putting it in the refrigerator after pouring into dish..the firmer texture is much better. I am a novice at best, but I am pretty impressed with my skills..haha

Awesome recipe! Had a good time making it and had good time eating it!

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