Growing up, I always thought chocolate mousse was so fancy. It was a dessert served only to the adults at holiday dinners and I don’t really remember ever eating it until I was an adult. And even as recently as last year, I was so intimidated to make mousse because of how special of a dessert it is and how the adults in my family always ooo’d and ahh’d over it when it was served. But when working out my menu for last year’s Easter dinner, I decided that chocolate mousse was the kind of fancy and decadent dessert I wanted to follow-up my meal. And it turns out making chocolate mousse is incredibly easy!
I made it again for our Valentine’s dinner (seafood gratin) tonight and I can’t wait to dive in! This classic French dessert is velvety smooth and is so perfectly chocolaty that I truly understand what all the hoopla was about on those holidays way back when. Because there isn’t any sugar in the mousse, you should use the best quality chocolate you can afford; the better the chocolate, the better your mousse will be. The recipe calls for either bittersweet or semisweet chocolate but I use a mix of milk and semisweet chocolates – I love love love milk chocolate and had to have it in this mousse. I also add some Khalua to the chocolate mixture and this coffee-flavored liqueur is the perfect complement to this decadent dessert. It’s still early enough for you to make this dessert for dinner tonight and what’s even better about the recipe is that the mousse can be made up to five days before serving it so if you’re still figuring out your dessert for your Valentine’s dinner tomorrow night, you’ve got plenty of time. Pull together the 5 ingredients (yes, only 5!) it takes to make this mousse and get in the kitchen!
7 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp of your favorite liqueur, or just water if desired
4 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
Pinch of coarse salt
Combine the chocolate and water in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Heat until the chocolate is almost completely melted, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir until the mixture is smooth. Set aside and let cool to near room temperature.
In a clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the egg whites and the salt. Whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. They should be thick and smooth.
Stir the egg yolks into the cooled chocolate mixture. Add one third of the whipped egg whites to the bowl with the chocolate and fold gently to lighten up the mixture. Fold in the remaining egg whites gently with a spatula just until no visible streaks are left.
Portion the mixture into 4-6 individual serving dishes (or 2 larger serving dishes, for a romantic, share-friendly dessert). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours. Serve with freshly whipped cream, if desired.