Mousse au chocolate

I have made this recipe very successfully with those 5-ounce Hershey’s dark semi-sweet bars. Don’t, however, attempt it using milk chocolate. The recipe came off of a piece of junk mail; I made some refinements. The temperature of both the yolks and egg whites is raised to 145°, sufficient to declare them pasteurized.

In this recipe, ounces are volumetric (cream, rhum syrup) or by weight (everything else) depending on the ingredient. Important note: This recipe does not scale well. You can cut it in half with no problem, but do not multiply it. The present quantity represents the maximum amount to attempt in one bowl (set of bowls); the weight of the ingredients leads larger amounts to crush in on themselves yielding a less airy mousse.


6 1-cup servings (enough to make 6 people very sick).


  10 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (chopped)
  2 oz sweet cream butter (unsalted)
  5 eggs (at room temperature)
  1 oz 10° rhum syrup (optional)
  2 oz granulated sugar (about ¼ cup)
  8 oz heavy whipping cream


1. Separate the egg yolks from the whites carefully ensuring no yolk in the latter.

Prepare chocolate

2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a bain-marie,* stirring until just dissolved. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Prepare egg yolks

3. Wisk egg yolks, syrup and ½ of the sugar in a bain-marie until they reach 145°. Remove from heat immediately and beat until a) cool and b) the mixture streams off the wisk in ribbons. As long as the egg has been beaten enough, you can cheat a little by finishing it with the bowl in cool water to speed the process.

Prepare egg whites

4. Combine the remaining sugar and the egg whites wisking, again, over a bain-marie until 145°. Remove immediately and use a mixer to beat the whites into stiff peaks. You can cheat again here finding ways to cool the bowl while beating.

Mix yolks and whites

5. Temper the yolk mixture with a dollup of egg white mixing until smooth. Then fold in the rest of the whites gradually. Take care here to a) not deflate the whites and b) get a homogeneous mixture that isn’t grainy. Of all the steps, this one is the least pleasant and most risky.

Mix in chocolate

6. Fold the chocolate into the egg yolk and white mixture. Take similar, gentle care not to beat the result into a runny mess, yet attaining homogeneity.

Prepare and mix in whipping cream

7. Beat the whipping cream separately until just before becoming butter (to the point of maximum crème chantilly-ness). Fold the cream into the the mixture and serve or refrigerate. If planning individual servings, separate into bowls, etc. now.

This keeps easily a few hours in the refrigerator and is tolerable the next day. Serve with a dollup of whipped cream and garnish with shaved chocolate curls.

* double boiler: a small sauce pan over which a bowl somewhat bigger than the pan’s opening is placed warming the bowl evenly and non-violently.