Trust the French to transform just a few simple yet good quality ingredients into a most elegant dessert. This dark chocolate mousse is also an extremely light chocolate mousse. This recipe essentially consists of 70% dark chocolate with whipped, organic egg whites. It’s fluffy yet still an intensely chocolatey, dark French chocolate mousse – without any cream!
A version of this recipe was originally posted on 8 October 2018 but is now updated to better explain the recipe process along with a short video.
It’s not unlike this egg white-based light-as-a-feather white chocolate mousse with orange blossom.
This dark chocolate one is intense and rich for serious chocolate lovers.
Egg Tips for Making Chocolate Mousse
The recipe is basically just using a few best quality ingredients: good bittersweet (couverture) chocolate – I use 70% cacao; a spoonful of unsweetened cocoa powder, a little sugar, fresh, organic egg whites and only one egg yolk.
My tip? Ensure your egg yolk is at room temperature. It doesn’t matter for the egg whites, but the yolk if cold and added to the chocolate will seize the chocolate up while added. If this does happen, then just add a spoon of boiling water to fix it. Otherwise, to make it EVEN EASIER, I add the egg yolk to the whites at the end of whipping.
Problem completely solved!
Classic French Chocolate Mousse Recipe
As you can see from the recipe card below, the recipe is so easy: it’s basically melting (good quality) dark chocolate and unsweetened chocolate powder together over a pan of simmering water, then folding in whipped egg whites with a little sugar and an egg yolk as if as an afterthought. Although slightly tweeked with more dark chocolate, less powder and the addition of salt, this is my favourite recipe originally inspired by chef Raymond Blanc. I also added the yolk in the egg whites rather than adding it to the chocolate.
Speaking of Blanc, this recipe uses many fresh egg whites. Only ONE egg yolk is used, so I’d suggest making any of the recipes from the egg yolk recipe database in advance. That way you can put aside plenty of egg whites (I normally store them in a clean jam jar in the fridge for up to 5 days) to make this mousse – and indeed, homemade macarons!
French Chocolate Mousse – No Cream!
A classic French chocolate mousse like this doesn’t need any cream. The egg whites make this light and fluffy and we can appreciate the good quality of the chocolate.
According to my Larousse Gastronomique, a French Mousse is literally a foam and can be savoury as well as sweet. It’s created by whipping up many egg whites to achieve this and cream is normally not used – although many recipes add a touch of cream to lighten it up. Personally I prefer it without the cream; that way the chocolate shines through completely.
See a demonstration of this recipe – NOW ON VIDEO
Little Sugar in a Chocolate Mousse
Little sugar is used in this chocolate mousse, too. Too much sugar not only makes the mousse become grainy but it also interferes with the flavour of the intense chocolate.
“What’s the point of having good quality ingredients if you mask it with too much sugar?” I agree with many French pastry chefs that shout this out from the Parisian rooftops here!
As the dark chocolate mousse was chilling nicely in the fridge, we popped along to Wood Cottage in Le Vésinet (just west of Paris, in les Yvelines), for a FREE (!) jazz concert. It’s an annual event at the end of the summer – and a real treat. Now classed a historical monument, the 1864 Wood Cottage buildings look remarkably like chocolate, don’t they?
While we’re on the subject of chocolate, stay tuned for the most incredible Parisian chocolate shop personality just 5 minutes’ walk from Le Moulin Rouge in Montmartre, à l’Etoile d’Or with Denise Acabo. Meanwhile,
Have you made any of the recipes from le blog, my books, or fancy making this dark chocolate mousse recipe? Please leave a comment below or take a picture and hashtag it #MadAboutMacarons on Instagram / Facebook, or just tell your friends to join me on le blog! Thanks so much – I love to see you enjoying the recipes!
French Dark Chocolate Mousse Recipe
A French classic dessert with no cream: a light yet intensely bittersweet dark chocolate mousse for serious chocolate lovers who love their chocolate rich and airy.
- 170 g (6oz) 70% dark (bittersweet) cooking chocolate (a cup)
- 10 g (2 tsp) unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Van Houten)
- 170 g (6oz) organic egg whites (from 5 large fresh eggs)
- 30 g (1oz) sugar
- 1 organic egg, separated (at room temperature)
- pinch salt fleur de sel*
Melt the chocolate and cocoa powder together in a bowl over a pan of simmering water (Bain-marie), taking care not to overcook the chocolate (don't have the water at a rolling boil, just simmering gently). As soon as the chocolate begins to melt, switch off the heat and stir until completely smooth, then take the bowl off the heat.
Separate the extra egg, keeping the yolk aside for later (it's important the yolk is at room temperature).
In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites (using a stand mixer or electric beaters) with the sugar until soft and strong peaks form. Add the extra egg white and continue to whisk.
When the whites are strong and hold well, continue to whisk in the egg yolk and add the fleur de sel.
Gradually add the whipped egg whites to the chocolate using a strong yet flexible spatula, folding each carefully until well blended together. Repeat folding gently until the consistency is completely mixed together, light and airy.
Either transfer the bowl to the fridge or pour/spoon into serving glasses and place in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours until ready to serve.
Serve chilled and top with fresh fruit, shaved chocolate or a sprig of mint.
Serve chilled with chocolate macarons (see the recipes in both my books), crispy almond tuiles, or garnish with a sprig of mint, edible flowers or fresh fruit. If you really want the cream, add a dollop of freshly whipped Chantilly cream.
* Variations: Omit the salt and add a teaspoon of soluble coffee granules for a mocha treat - or add the zest of an orange or lime for a citrus take on the recipe. Add a tablespoon of Cognac or Grand Marnier liqueur for a special occasion (adults only).
Note: see list of egg yolk recipes for the leftover egg whites needed for this recipe.
Recipe demonstrated fully on VIDEO HERE.