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What is chocolate mousse?
Chocolate mousse is a staple among chocolate desserts. It is very popular for all ages. Its texture is easy to recognize as it has a light, airy look, its chocolate flavor is intense and it’s soft and melting on the palate.
This dessert is a real treat and a light and simple finale to any meal.
Here, Valrhona shares all its tips from renowned pastry chefs and chocolatiers to help you make the perfect chocolate mousse.
A chocolate mousse recipe by Valrhona
Chocolate mousse has lots of variants, including egg white mousse, mousse made with crème anglaise, mousse made for gateaux or desserts, low-fat mousse, and so on.
There are even egg- and dairy-free versions, all of which are suitable for people with allergies or lactose intolerance or who have adopted a vegan lifestyle.
We will focus first on the famous old-fashioned chocolate mousse, the most classic version with a strong, irresistible taste.
Given the ingredients required to make a chocolate mousse, it’s important you master emulsifying and whipping first.
Chocolate mousse: egg white base
To make this mousse, we will need:
- Heavy cream 36%
- Egg yolks
- Egg whites
The steps for making your egg-white chocolate mousse are as follows. First, make a ganache and add the egg yolk, then fold in the beaten egg whites.
- Bring the cream to a boil and completely melt the chocolate.
- Add a portion of chocolate cream and stir until the ingredients bind together.
- Check the temperature is above 95°F (35°C), at which most of the cocoa butter will have melted.
- Add the second portion of cream to this unstable, saturated fat mixture.
- Stir vigorously until the mixture has a shiny elastic center, which is a sign that it has started to emulsify.
- Add the remaining cream, mix, then blend to complete the emulsion.
Note: Check out top pastry chefs’ tips for a good emulsion.
- Add the egg yolks to the chocolate and cream mixture. Remember to check the temperature is between 115 and 120°F (45 and 50°C).
- Beat the egg whites until stiff, then add a quarter to the preparation.
- Stir with a spatula then fold in the remaining whites.
To store the mousse in the refrigerator, you need to let it sit for at least 12 hours.
Please note that, because this recipe contains raw egg yolks, it can only be kept for 24 hours for food safety reasons.
To present it, you can add some Gianduja Noir shavings for example.
How to beat your egg whites into stiff peaks
Egg white is mostly water and a small amount of a protein called ovalbumin. It is the egg white’s proteins that break up when beaten and cling onto the air bubbles, trapping them in the whites’ water content and stopping them from escaping.
This is why it is important you beat your egg whites at medium speed to encourage lots of tiny air bubbles to form; these will maintain their volume when you mix for a final time.
If you used your beater at top speed, this would cause large, fragile air bubbles to form. They would burst when you mix for the final time and the mousse would lose a lot of its volume.
In this recipe, we will incorporate caster sugar at the start and during the whipping process to help the egg whites retain their body. The egg whites are ready when they look like shaving foam and a tip forms at the end of the whisk when you hold it up. When they have reached this stage, we say they have formed “stiff peaks”.
Chocolate Mousse with Crème Anglaise
To make chocolate mousse with crème anglaise, you will need the following ingredients:
- Heavy cream 36%
- Whole milk
- Egg Yolk
Basic Crème Anglaise recipe
- Heat the cream and milk together.
- Whisk together the sugar and yolks (but don’t let them blanch), then pour in some of the cream and hot milk.
- Cook at 185°F (84°C). Remember that it is important to get the temperature right for a smooth, creamy crème anglaise.
- Strain the preparation.
Melted chocolate emulsion with hot crème anglaise
As you make the melted chocolate and hot crème anglaise emulsion, you need to keep the mixture above 95°F (35°C), which is the cocoa butter’s melting point and the ideal temperature to create an elastic, shiny center.
- Partially or completely melt the chocolate.
- Split the crème anglaise into batches, then combine them one by one with the chocolate.
- Combine using an immersion blender.
Making frothy whipped cream
We're going to whip the cream and give it a frothy texture. Again, the mixer’s speed should be medium (not fast) so that a maximal amount of air is incorporated and the cream expands as much as possible.
Your cream must be as airy as possible when you incorporate it into chocolate mousse. You might have seen whipping represented in a pyramid, with the ideal texture at the top.
If the whipping is overdone, the cream’s texture becomes denser and loses its volume. This isn’t advisable for a mousse. The ideal texture is stiff peaks.
- Temper the chocolate and crème anglaise mixture at 115-118°F (45-48°C). For milk chocolate, the temperature should be 100-105°F (38-40°C), or 95-100°F (35-38°C) for white or blond Dulcey chocolate.
- Stir in some of the cream, then fold in the rest.
The mixture’s final temperature should be between 80 and 88°F (27°C and 31°C) so that the whipped cream doesn’t break down, and the cocoa butter in the chocolate doesn’t crystallize too quickly. Use this mousse in assembled desserts or serve it in glasses.
To store the mousse in the refrigerator, you need to let it set for at least 12 hours.