This incredible Chocolate Mousse is so decadent yet light and airy at the same time! With just a handful of ingredients, this easy chocolate mousse recipe is simple to prepare and can be made ahead of time for holidays and parties!
There is something extraordinarily special about Chocolate Mousse. It’s a dessert that inevitably encourages you to slow down and savor each bite. It tastes delicate and special and the individual servings make you feel as if it was prepared just for you. I love to serve chocolate mousse in wine glasses, goblets, crystal ramekins – basically any clear glass container that can easily be held.
What Is Chocolate Mousse?
Chocolate Mousse is an incredibly rich, yet light and airy dessert that is the perfect after-dinner treat for chocolate lovers. The word “mousse” is the French word for foam which, if you take a look at this mousse, you’ll see it’s the perfect description of the texture.
Chocolate Mousse can be made with whipped cream alone (as we’re doing here today) or with whipped cream and eggs. One of these days I’ll be sharing my classic Chocolate Mousse recipe but today it’s all about this incredibly easy mousse with all the flavor and half the work.
Chocolate Lover Recipes
If chocolate is your love language, you’re in the right place. This chocolate mousse is sublime and so incredibly easy that we make it for any and all occasions. Holidays, birthdays, Valentine’s Day and it’s an extra special weekend treat.
Here are a few more of our favorite over-the-top chocolate desserts:
- Amaretto Chocolate Truffles
- Chocolate Chip No Bake Cheesecake
- Rocky Road Peanut Clusters
- Heavenly Hash Truffle Bars
- Chocolate Zucchini Cake
What You’ll Need
There are so many things I love about this Chocolate Mousse recipe but the short ingredient list is right at the top. In it’s simplest form, this mousse can be prepared with just 2 ingredients: heavy whipping cream and chocolate. The rest of the ingredients really help to round out the flavor and intensify and sweeten the chocolate. As always, you can find the full printable recipe with complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need:
- semisweet baking chocolate – this ingredient provides is the flavor of the mousse so use a high quality chocolate bar if you can. However, chocolate chips can be used in a pinch.
- heavy whipping cream – this ingredient is used at three different stages of the recipe. It gets melted together with the chocolate (just as if you were making a ganache), then whipped to soft peaks and folded in with the cooled chocolate and finally whipped to stiff peaks and served as a garnish.
- instant espresso powder – this ingredient is optional but really brings out the chocolate flavor. Find next to the coffee in your local grocery store. Make sure to use instant powder since it is ground much finer and won’t result in a gritty texture like regular espresso or coffee grounds.
- powdered sugar – to sweeten the whipped cream.
- cornstarch – or arrowroot powder. This acts as a stabilizer in the whipped cream.
- vanilla extract – you can use clear vanilla extract for a whiter whipped cream.
- chocolate shavings – I use a vegetable peeler and a bar of chocolate for this but you can buy chocolate shaving typically at the baking department of your grocery store.
How To Make Chocolate Mousse
- Melt chocolate and 1 cup of heavy whipping cream together. You can do this on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- Whisk in the instant espresso powder and let cool.
- Whip the remaining cup of heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form.
- Add the powdered sugar, cornstarch and vanilla extract to the whipped cream and continue to whip until firm, but not stiff, peaks form.
- Fold 1 cup of the whipped cream mixture into the cooled chocolate just until combined.
- Spoon the chocolate mousse into serving glasses or ramekins and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Continue to beat the remaining whipped cream mixture until stiff peaks form, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- To serve, top each mousse cup with a generous dollop of the remaining whipped cream and some chocolate shavings.
It’s ok to have some lighter “streaks” in your mousse to avoid over-mixing. Over mixing will cause the whipped cream to deflate and you won’t get the texture you’re after.
Trish’s Tips and Tricks
- Adding the cornstarch to the whipped cream will help to stabilize the whipped cream. If, by chance, your whipped cream becomes runny before you are ready to use it, simply re-whip it in a very cold bowl until stiff peaks form.
- Take caution not to over-mix your whipped cream. If you over-mix and the whipped cream begins to crumble there is no going back. Watch closely and stop mixing as soon as stiff peaks form. Check out my homemade whipped cream post for more information and tips.
- I was able to get 6 servings from this recipe.This chocolate mousse is very rich so you could easily get away with filling your cups a little less and getting more servings if you want.
Half the work of the recipe is figuring out what to serve it in! Basically, you can’t go wrong and there are lots of options: dessert cups, small juice cups, martini glasses, champagne glasses, or small bowls all work.
For Christmas Parties
Add half a teaspoon of peppermint extract to the whipped cream and top with crushed canes for a peppermint twist!
Keep any leftover mousse in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Chocolate Mousse FAQs
Yes, you can. The espresso powder enhances the flavor of the chocolate but it’s not necessary to make the recipe. Feel free to omit it if you prefer.
Yes, for best results the mousse needs to be chilled at all times. If possible, keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. If you need to set it out for any reason, keep it out at room temperature for as little as possible to keep the light and airy texture.
You will definitely get the best results and flavor with a high quality baking bar like Ghirardelli but chocolate chips can be substituted.
More Chocolate Desserts To Love
How To Make Chocolate Mousse
Easy Chocolate Mousse
- 8 ounces semisweet baking chocolate chopped (use a high-quality chocolate)
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream divided
- ¼ teaspoon instant espresso powder optional
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- ¾ teaspoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract clear vanilla extract will give you whiter whipped cream
- chocolate shavings optional
- Add the chopped chocolate and 1 cup of the heavy whipping cream to a small saucepan. Heat on low, stirring often, until the chocolate is completely melted and mixture is steaming. Take care not to boil. (This step can also be done in the microwave. Heat in 30 second increments at 50% power, stirring in between.)8 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- Whisk in the instant espresso powder and set the chocolate aside to cool to room temperature, stirring once or twice as it cools.¼ teaspoon instant espresso powder
- In a mixing bowl, use a hand-held mixer or an immersion blender with a whisk attachment to whip together the remaining cup of heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form.2 cups heavy whipping cream
- Add the powdered sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla extract to the whipped cream and continue to whip until firm, but not stiff, peaks form. Firm peaks will stand up but flop over at the very top whereas stiff peaks will stand up straight.2 tablespoons powdered sugar, ¾ teaspoon cornstarch, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Take 1 cup of the whipped cream mixture and gently fold it into the cooled chocolate just until combined. **Be careful not to over-mix here. I find it easiest to use a large rubber spatula to fold in the whipped cream just until combined. It’s ok to have some lighter “streaks” in your mousse to avoid over-mixing.
- Spoon the chocolate mousse into 4 to 6 (3 to 4 ounce) serving glasses or ramekins and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- Continue to beat the remaining whipped cream mixture until stiff peaks form. (This will be used to top the mousse before serving.) Cover the remaining whipped cream mixture and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- To serve, top each mousse cup with a generous dollop of the remaining whipped cream and some chocolate shavings.chocolate shavings
- The whipped cream in this recipe has cornstarch added to stabilize the cream so it should hold up in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If your whipped cream becomes runny before you are ready to use it you can re-whip it until stiff peaks form.
- Take caution not to over-mix your whipped cream. If you over-mix and the whipped cream begins to crumble there is no going back. Watch closely and stop mixing as soon as stiff peaks form.
- Storage Information: Keep any leftover mousse in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.