What could be more divine than chocolate mousse? Light yet satisfying, silky smooth and flavourful, it is the perfect finish for any meal.
This classic French dessert has been served in France since the early 19th century.
Alexandre Viard, a chef to Louis XVI and Napoleon, described it in the 1820 edition of his culinary encyclopedia, Le cuisinier royal ou l’art de faire la cuisine (the royal cook, or the art of cooking). The term “mousse au chocolat” also appears in a French language dictionary published in 1857.
The popularity of this tasty chocolate dessert really began to take off when the French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), who was also known for his culinary skills, came up with a recipe he first named “mayonnaise au chocolat.”
Today, of course, it is a favourite worldwide.
Amazingly simple to prepare, Chocolate mousse is traditionally made with only two ingredients, dark chocolate and beaten egg whites.
It can be made richer by incorporating some or all of the egg yolks and/or butter, and lighter by adding cream.
The basic recipe can also be varied by adding a little coffee or orange extract, or even your favourite liqueur.
Mousse au chocolat (chocolate mousse)
Preparation time: 20 minutes + 4 hours refrigeration
Serves 6 to 8
- 200 grams (7 ounces) superior-quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 25 grams (1 ounce) butter, cut into small pieces
- 6 eggs, separated
- 35 grams (1 ¼ ounces) caster sugar (super fine sugar)
- pinch of salt
- Place chocolate pieces in a heat-proof bowl placed over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring until the chocolate has melted. Remove from heat and add butter, mixing thoroughly until smooth. Allow to cool to lukewarm.
- Separate the eggs. Incorporate three of the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture, stirring well. Transfer to a larger bowl.
- Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and beat until stiff peaks are obtained. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until completely dissolved and whites are firm.
- Fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture, taking care not to overmix. Add the remaining egg whites and gently fold into the mixture until homogeneous and streak-free.
- Fill large serving dish or individual ramekins and refrigerate at least four hours before serving.
Can be served with fresh strawberries or wafers.
Because chocolate mousse is made with raw eggs, any leftovers should be promptly refrigerated and consumed within 24 hours.