CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to France Magazines today CLICK HERE

Recipe: Mousse au chocolat

PUBLISHED: 16:56 07 October 2014 | UPDATED: 11:45 02 September 2015

Mousse au chocolat  © Snap and Stir

Mousse au chocolat © Snap and Stir

Archant

Find out the origins of this rich chocolate mousse and make your own with Mary Cadogan’s easy recipe

No matter what style or class of restaurant – from humble workers’ café to gourmet destination – you will pretty much always find mousse au chocolat on the menu. There are countless variations, but the basic recipe of dark chocolate, whipped egg whites and a little sugar is pretty much universal. Cream is a popular addition, as is a little butter, adding a velvety richness to the mousse and tempering the bitter flavour of the dark chocolate.

The origins of this crowd-pleasing dessert are a bit fuzzy. Since chocolate was introduced to France from Spain in the early 17th century, French chefs have been cooking with chocolate in all manner of desserts. Mousse means foam, and it is the combination of whipped egg whites stabilised with melted chocolate to trap the air bubbles that gives this dessert its texture. Change the balance of chocolate and egg whites, and it can range from light and frothy to dense and creamy.

As with all simple recipes, the quality of ingredients is key, particularly the chocolate. I would recommend choosing a good quality, dark cooking chocolate with at least 60% cocoa solids, which is what will give the essential ‘chocolatiness’. A word of warning though – go over 80% and you are looking at a seriously bitter flavour. In France, I would go for Lindt, or in England for Green & Black’s, but if you have a favourite brand then use that. For perfect results, you need to be careful to heat the chocolate gently. Break it up to speed up the process and stir it occasionally until just melted. Overheating will result in it becoming thick and grainy and there is no rescuing it if that happens. Also, take care not to whip your egg whites too stiffly, just until they hold their shape in a light foam. Over-whipping will make it difficult to fold them into the chocolate. Just remember that a good mousse needs at least four hours in the fridge to chill to perfection, so if you are able to make it the day before serving, it will be all the better for it.

RECIPE

This is undoubtedly a rich dessert so small portions are greatly appreciated. It looks wonderful served in small cups or sherry glasses with a couple of crisp biscuits such as langues de chator tuiles on the side.

Serves 6

Ingredients

150g dark chocolate, preferably at least 60% cocoa solids

25g butter

3 eggs

2 tbsp caster sugar

100ml double cream

Method

1. Grate 50g of the chocolate and set aside in a bowl in the fridge. Break up the remaining chocolate and put in a heatproof bowl with the butter. Either set the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water until melted or place in the microwave on medium for 1½-2 mins, stirring halfway through.

2. Leave the melted chocolate to cool for a few minutes. Separate the eggs, putting the whites into a large bowl and stirring the lightly beaten yolks into the melted chocolate. Whip the cream until it just hold its shape, then fold into the chocolate and egg yolk mixture.

3. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then gradually whisk in the caster sugar. Fold one third of the egg whites into the chocolate, using the whisk blades to cut through the mixture until evenly combined, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Spoon carefully into six small dishes, or glasses, and leave to set for at least four hours, or overnight. Just before serving sprinkle with the reserved grated chocolate.

TIP: To fill the glasses neatly, spoon the mousse into a large food bag, snip off one corner and pipe the mousse into the glasses.

Article by Living France Living France

More from Language and Culture

Thursday, November 15, 2018

France has historically been on the leading edge of eco-friendly projects and regulations. While many argue that much more needs to be done to meet environmental goals in France and globally, here are 11 ways that French government, companies and people are striving to be green.

Read more
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

What’s in a name? A lot, it turns out. Find out the fascinating stories behind the names of these places in France featuring dragons, gods and Sardinian kings.

Read more
Thursday, November 1, 2018

Michel and Alain Roux have unveiled the menu at their new French-inspired riverside brasserie, Roux at Skindles

Read more
Friday, September 21, 2018

As a floating restaurant opens in Paris, we take a look at some of the city’s alternative dining experiences, involving famous rail carriages, secret doorways and eating in total darkness.

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Kate Mosse was a guest speaker at the Cheltenham Literature Festival in October 2018 and spoke about finding inspiration for her latest book – and beginning of a new series of novels set in France – The Burning Chambers.

Read more
Culture and attractions
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Agnès Poirier’s latest book explores the history of Paris 1940–1950 and the influential people that lived through the time. The French writer spoke about her book this year at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.

Read more
Friday, November 30, 2018

Gather the family and see how many of these animals you can name in French

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Want to take your French language skills further? These tips will have you chatting and joking away with the locals in no time!

Read more
Learning French
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Pigs, processions and high prices - why truffle season is a serious business in France

Read more
Monday, October 1, 2018

If you’re looking for a great wine to take home to impress your guests, you can now discover the best bottles in your neighbourhood at the touch of a button

Read more
Subscribe for

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

France Forum

Questions about France? Visit our free France forum to get help and advice from thousands of other Francophiles and expats. Topics include: property, tax, law, travelling, pets, education, healthcare and much more.

Join the forum

Most Read

Join us on social media

France magazine
Living France magazine
French Property News magazine

Enter our competitions

Win books, DVDs, travel and even holidays in France in our great competitions! Take a look at our latest competitions…

Enter now