How to Make Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse is such a classic dessert. It’s thick, creamy and so rich. I’m not sure if it’s because I was a kid in the 90’s and Chocolate Mousse seemed to be the dessert on every “fancy” restaurant’s menu. But this dessert is nothing but elegant, and I will continue to make it and serve it when I’m trying to impress my dinner guests.  

‘Mousse” translated from French, means ‘Foam’

Chocolate Mousse in glass bowl with silver spoon on wood table

There are plenty of ways to make Chocolate Mousse. It really all comes down to choosing your base, whipped cream or meringue, and then folding in a base which can be crème anglaise (vanilla custard sauce), sabayon, fruit puree or curd. This recipe combines whipped cream with a sabayon base and then plenty of melted chocolate. The richness of the sabayon is exactly what I want when making the perfect Chocolate Mousse.

Chocolate Mousse is a great starting point for beginner bakers because it’s SUPER easy and such a crowd pleaser. This recipe as well as my recipes Crème Anglaise and Lemon Curd are all included in   Module Three: Cream and Custard of the Kira Bakes Gluten Free Pastry School

What is Chocolate Mousse?

Chocolate Mousse is a light and airy dessert made from whipped cream or meringue which is then folded with melted chocolate and a custard such as sabayon or vanilla sauce. Chocolate Mousse is typically topped with fresh whipped cream, chocolate curls and then chilled in the refrigerator until its ready to serve.

Chocolate Mousse in glass bowl with silver spoon on wood table, with chocolate having and grater

What is Sabayon?

Sabayon, or zabaione (or zabaglione), is technically a classic Italian dessert sauce made from warming egg yolks, sugar and wine. But in the pastry world, it’s really more of a method than a specific dessert. 

When making sabayon for a mousse, the process of gently heating egg yolks and sugar over a bain-marie (double-broiler) then whisking them until they become aerated and frothy creates a rich, creamy base for the mousse.

Do you need Gelatin when making Chocolate Mousse?

You only need to use gelatin in this chocolate mousse recipe if you intend on using it as a filling for cakes, tarts or other filled pastries. If you plan to serve the mousse in delicate cocktail glasses or bowls for dessert, then you can omit the gelatin from this recipe.

Is there a Vegetarian substitute for Gelatin?

If you are vegetarian or would like to use an alternative option for gelatin then you can use Agar Agar Powder instead. Because it is much stronger than gelatin you will only need to add 1/2 tsp of Agar Agar Powder to this recipe. Agar Agar Powder also needs to be heated for 1-2 minutes before using so I would recommend heating it with a 2-3 tbsp heavy cream or coconut milk. Once heated, add the agar agar cream mixture to the whipping sabayon.

Three clear glass bowls of Chocolate Mousse ion wood table with beige tea towel

What can you do with Chocolate Mousse?

  1. When is comes to Chocolate Mousse I personally love to serve it in a cocktail glass or delicate dessert bowl, topped with fresh whipped cream and shaved chocolate.
  2. This decedent mousse is perfect when layered in cakes and cupcakes.
  3. Fill individual tarts and layered entremets cakes with this airy, rich mousse.

Tips for making perfect Chocolate Mousse

  1. Whip cream in a chilled bowl. Pop your bowl in the fridge before you whip your cream and it will help aerate the cream faster and make it fluffier.
  2. Use good quality dark chocolate. You know I’m a Lindt women when I’m baking at home. It’s a high-quality chocolate that you can buy at most major grocery stores so it’s a win for me. Just make sure you use a high-quality chocolate with a percentage around 60-70%.
  3. Be gentle.  When folding the chocolate and whipped cream into the sabayon be gentle. Fold the mixture up over onto itself, instead of stirring. The goal it to maintain as much aeration as possible for a light airy mousse. 
  4. Prepare your molds or glasses. You want to get the mousse in the fridge as soon as you have folded the whipped cream in. So have your glasses, bowls or molds ready so you can fill them ASAP.
Spoonful of chocolate mousse with whipped cream and chocolate shavings

Chocolate Mousse Quick Facts:

Origin: Chocolate Mousse was invented by a world-renowned French post-Impressionist painter named Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, in the late 19th century. But variations of mousse also appeared throughout France as early as the 1800’s.

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Ingredients: Chocolate, whipped cream, eggs, and sugar. Gelatin and liquor optional

Best used for: platted dessert or filling in cakes and entremets

How to make Chocolate Mousse Like a Pastry Chef

Lets get baking! (Step-by-Step Instructions)

Mis en Place

Going back to the Kira Bakes Gluten Free Pastry Principals, this is always our first step when baking as it not only helps ensure accuracy during the mixing process, but it also makes the whole baking process a lot more relaxing and enjoyable. It’s a win/win!

If I’ve said it 100 times, I’ll say it again. Measuring ingredients by weight not volume is the magic sauce to gluten free baking! I always do my best to provide the cup (volume) measurements where possible. If you are going to measure by volume, click this link for tips on the correct way to measure by volume.

Scale the following ingredients

Chocolate Mousse Ingredients:

200g Dark Chocolate (60-70%)

2 Whole Eggs (large US)

50g or 1/4 cup granulated sugar

5g Gelatin Bronze Sheets (approx 2.5 sheets) *Optional. Only needed if you are using the chocolate mousse as a cake or other pastry filling.

270ml Heavy Cream

25ml Liqueur (such as Cointreau Orange Liqueur) *Optional

Prepare the equipment

  • Stand-Mixer with whisk attachment
  • Small heavy-bottomed saucepan (with 1-2 inches of simmering water)
  • Medium Bowl (chilled in the fridge)
  • Small heat proof bowl x2
  • Whisk
  • Large silicon spatula

Method

Step 1

Whip heavy cream in a cold bowl until medium peaks. Store in the fridge until needed.

Step 2

Place egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Place the bowl over a small pot of simmering water. Whisk constantly until the egg mixture feels warm to the touch or reaches 82C/180F. Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer and whip on medium high speed for 6-8 minutes or until cooled. 

Step 3

In small heatproof bowl, melt chocolate over pot of simmering water. Set aside and let cool slightly.

In another small heatproof bowl, melt the bloomed gelatin leaf and liqueur (if using), over the pot of simmering water.

Step 4

Add the melted gelatin and liqueur to the sabayon and gently fold in. Add the melted chocolate 1/3 at a time, folding to incorporate.

Fold in the whipped cream and pipe or spoon into prepared glasses or bowls. Refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours.

Storing Chocolate Mousse

Keep Chocolate Mousse in the fridge for up to 3 days.   

Chocolate Mousse in glass bowl with silver spoon on wood table

Chocolate Mousse Q&A

Question: Is Chocolate Mousse Gluten Free?

It is gluten free! Because Chocolate Mousse only incorporates chocolate, heavy cream, eggs, and sugar, it is naturally gluten free and safe for anyone who is celiac or can’t tolerate gluten.

Question: Why is my Chocolate Mousse sandy?

It could be a few different reasons. The first thing way be that your heavy cream was whipped to much. You want to whip them to medium peaks not stiff.  If they are stiff peaks then you can’t fold in the sabayon and chocolate fully. Leaving a sandy texture.

The second reason may be that the chocolate cooled down too much. You want the chocolate to be warm, not hot and not cold when you add it to the sabayon. 

Question: Can I make this recipe with White Chocolate?

Yes! Just replace the dark chocolate with white chocolate 1 for 1. I suggest doubling the gelatin leaf as white chocolate won’t set as firmly as dark chocolate.

Print
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Chocolate Mousse in glass bowl with silver spoon on wood table

Chocolate Mousse (Sabayon)


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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Kira McMullan
  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Chocolate Mousse is such a classic dessert. It’s thick, creamy and the sabayon base makes it oh so rich. Perfect for layering cakes, filling pastries or serving in delicate cocktail glasses for dessert.


Ingredients

Scale

200g Dark Chocolate (60-70%)

2 Whole Eggs (large US)

50g or 1/4 cup granulated sugar

5g Gelatin Bronze Sheets (approx 2.5 sheets) *Optional. Only needed if you are using the chocolate mousse as a cake or other pastry filling.

270ml Heavy Cream

25ml Liqueur (such as Cointreau Orange Liqueur) *Optional


Instructions

Step 1

Whip heavy cream in a cold bowl until medium peaks. Store in the fridge until needed.

Step 2

Place egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Place the bowl over a small pot of simmering water. Whisk constantly until the egg mixture feels warm to the touch or reaches 82C/180F. Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer and whip on medium high speed for 6-8 minutes or until cooled. 

Step 3

In small heatproof bowl, melt chocolate over pot of simmering water. Set aside and let cool slightly.

In another small heatproof bowl, melt the bloomed gelatin leaf and liqueur (if using), over the pot of simmering water.

Step 4

Add the melted gelatin and liqueur to the sabayon and gently fold in. Add the melted chocolate 1/3 at a time, folding to incorporate.

Fold in the whipped cream and pipe or spoon into prepared glasses or bowls. Refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours.

Storing Chocolate Mousse

Keep Chocolate Mousse in the fridge for up to 3 days.   

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Chill: 4 hours

Recipe questions? I’d love to help!

Connect with me @kirabakesglutenfree or info@kirabakesglutenfree.com

Gluten Free Pastry Chef Kira McMullan, eating slice of cake

Ready to try another Gluten Free Recipe? Why not bake my Gluten Free Homemade Caramel or Gluten Free Brownies.  

The next lesson is Module Four: Gluten Free Pastry. Modules launch the last Monday of each month. Make sure to sign up to my newsletter for reminders and other gluten free recipes and tips.



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