French Chocolate Mousse

Classic mousse might be the world’s most perfect chocolate dessert: creamy and smooth with a deep, intense flavor. My daughter adored this as a child, and finds it no less appealing now that she’s grown up.


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8 ounces bittersweet chocolate*
2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa
1/3 cup butter, cut in small pieces
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 eggs, separated , room temperature**
1/4 cup Cognac or brandy
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sugar
~ whipped cream
* Use best quality chocolate such as Scharfenberger or Valrhona.** Room temperature eggs whip better than cold ones. If you forget to take them out ahead of time, put them in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes.NOTE: NOTE: Uncooked eggs may carry the risk of salmonella.  If salmonella is a concern in your area, pasteurized eggs (available in many supermarkets) may be substituted without affecting the recipe’s outcome.

1. Melt the chocolate. Whisk the cocoa, butter, espresso, and salt into the warm chocolate and mix until smooth. Cool to room temperature—approximately 5 minutes.

2. Whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Add them to the cooled chocolate mixture and mix well.

3. Add the brandy and vanilla and set aside.

4. Place the egg whites in a clean mixing bowl and beat until frothy.

5. Slowly add the sugar and beat until the whites hold stiff peaks. Do not over beat.

6. Mix one-quarter of the egg whites in to the chocolate to lighten the mixture.

7. Gently fold the remaining egg whites into the mousse, folding only as much as is necessary to incorporate the whites.

8. Divide the chocolate mousse evenly among 6 dessert glasses, or place it in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4–6 hours or overnight.

9. Remove the mousse from the refrigerator 20 minutes before serving.

10.Top with whipped cream when ready to serve.



Preparation Time: 
25 minutes plus 4–6 hours downtime.