This Chocolate Mousse is incredibly smooth, creamy, delicious, and simple to make. You only need 6 ingredients to make this rich and decadent dessert too!
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and one of my favorite things to make for the holiday is a rich and decadent treat. Over the years I’ve shared my creme brulee and molten chocolate lava cake recipes with you. But today’s chocolate mousse recipe might be even better, and that’s saying a lot!
This chocolate mousse is incredibly smooth, light, and it’s packed with tons of chocolate. You only need 6 ingredients (yes, SIX!) to make this mousse and that’s including the whipped cream topping. It’s also a perfect recipe that you can make ahead of time and refrigerate until you’re ready to enjoy it.
This recipe will make about 8 servings so it’s perfect for sharing, but you could easily cut the recipe in half to make less if you prefer. I’ve also included a full video tutorial to show you exactly how to make this simple mousse recipe!
Ingredients For This Recipe
To make this chocolate mousse you’ll need egg yolks, sugar, heavy whipping cream, semi-sweet chocolate, vanilla extract, and some powdered sugar (for the optional whipped cream topping). Let’s break each one down:
- Egg Yolks: Some mousse recipes use egg whites, but I much prefer to use only egg yolks for a richer flavor. You can either discard the egg whites or use them in another recipe like my white cake.
- Granulated Sugar: There’s only 1/4 cup of granulated sugar in this mousse to help sweeten it just a bit more.
- Heavy Whipping Cream: The cream is used in three different ways for this recipe. You’ll use part of the cream to temper your egg yolks (don’t worry, I’ll explain this step later!) and then you’ll whip some to fold into the chocolate mixture. I also use a little extra for the whipped cream topping.
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate: The star ingredient of this mousse! I highly recommend using two 4-ounce chocolate bars, Bakers or Ghirardelli are my favorite.
- Pure Vanilla Extract: For added flavor.
- Powdered Sugar: The powdered sugar doesn’t go into the mousse it goes into the whipped cream topping. Feel free to leave the topping off if you prefer!
How To Make This Chocolate Mousse
To make this recipe, you’ll start out by beating your egg yolks until they’re thickened and light in color. This should take about 3-4 minutes at medium speed with a handheld mixer or stand mixer. You can do this step by hand too, but it will take a little longer. Then, you’ll gradually mix in the granulated sugar until fully combined.
Once the egg yolks are ready, you’ll heat some of the heavy whipping cream in a saucepan until it’s just hot but not boiling. Once the cream is hot, slowly pour about half of it into your egg yolks whisking constantly. This will help temper the egg yolks, in other words, it will slowly increase their temperature so that you don’t end up with scrambled eggs.
Then, simply pour the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the hot heavy whipping cream and place it back on the stove over medium to low heat. You’ll cook the egg custard mixture for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly, until it reaches 160°F (71°C) and coats the back of a spoon. You don’t want the mixture to come to a boil, you just want it to thicken slightly and ensure that the eggs are fully cooked.
Once the egg custard mixture is done, I suggest pouring it through a fine-mesh strainer into a heat-proof bowl. This will remove any pieces of cooked egg that you don’t want to end up in your mousse.
Next, you’ll add the chopped chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl and heat it in 20-30 second increments, stirring well after each increment, until it’s completely melted and smooth. A double-boiler could also be used for this step if you prefer. Then, you’ll mix the melted chocolate and egg mixture together until fully combined, stir in some vanilla extract, and set it aside to cool completely at room temperature.
The final step for the chocolate mousse is to whip the remaining cold heavy whipping cream to stiff peaks. You want to fold about 1/4 of the whipped cream into the cooled chocolate mixture at first to help lighten it, then you can fold in the rest.
At this point, you can go ahead and spoon it into individual glass jars or ramekins. I like to use 6-ounce jars because I find it to be the perfect amount for one serving. The mousse will need to chill for at least 2 hours or longer if you make larger servings.
Once it’s chilled you can make the whipped cream topping and spoon it on top of each mousse. Then, you can either continue refrigerating them until you plan to serve them or go ahead and serve them up!
- When you’re tempering the egg yolks, make sure to pour the hot cream slowly and whisk quickly to ensure that the eggs don’t scramble.
- You want to cook the egg mixture until it reaches 160°F (71°C) or coats the back of a spoon. This will only take about 3-4 minutes over medium-low heat, just make sure not to boil the mixture as this can overcook it.
- It’s best to fully melt the chocolate before combining it with the egg custard mixture to ensure that your chocolate mousse is extremely smooth and creamy.
- Once you whip the cream to add to the chocolate mixture, only fold in about 1/4 of the whipped cream at first. This will help lighten the chocolate mixture before you add the rest of the whipped cream.
For the chocolate mousse:
- 4 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 cups (480 ml) cold heavy whipping cream divided
- 8 ounces (226 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chopped
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the whipped cream topping:
- ½ cup (120 ml) cold heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons (15 grams) powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
To make the chocolate mousse:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the egg yolks on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes until thickened and a light yellow color. Gradually beat in the granulated sugar and set aside.
- Heat ¾ cup (180 ml) heavy whipping cream in a saucepan over medium heat until hot (do not boil).
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and slowly pour about half of the hot heavy whipping cream into the egg mixture, making sure to whisk constantly.
- Add the tempered egg mixture back to the saucepan.
- Return the saucepan to medium-low heat and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture registers 160°F (71°C) on a thermometer and coats the back of a spoon (do not boil). Remove from the heat and pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a heat-safe bowl. Set aside.
- Add the chopped chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 20-30 second increments, stirring well after each increment, until the mixture is completely melted and smooth. Add the egg custard mixture to the melted chocolate and mix together until fully combined. Stir in vanilla extract. Set aside to cool completely at room temperature (about 45 minutes to 1 hour).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1 and ¼ cups (300 ml) cold heavy whipping cream to stiff peaks. Gently fold in about ¼ of the whipped cream to lighten the cooled chocolate mixture, then carefully fold in the remaining whipped cream until fully combined.
- Spoon the mixture evenly between eight 6-ounce glasses or ramekins. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
To make the whipped cream topping:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the ½ cup (120 ml) cold heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form.
- Spoon the mixture evenly on top of each chocolate mousse, top with chocolate shavings or dust with cocoa powder if desired, serve, and enjoy.