Easy Chocolate Mousse

updated Feb 8, 2024
christmas

This two-ingredient version of this classic dessert might be the only dessert recipe you need for the rest of your life.

Serves4

Prep15 minutes

Cook1 hour

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Chocolate mousse is the decidedly decadent, old-school dessert you’ve been overlooking for far too long. And honestly, I get it: Classic chocolate mousse is a little fussy and requires separating eggs, getting melted chocolate to the just right temperature, and lots of careful folding.

But did you know there’s an easy two-ingredient chocolate mousse that absolutely anyone can pull off? With just a pint of heavy cream and some chopped chocolate, you can pull off a very impressive dessert with ease. All you need to know how is how to whip the cream.

This easy chocolate mousse is the fastest, fanciest dessert I know, and the results are so creamy, rich, and perfectly sweet that we’re willing to call it the only dessert you need to master for life.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: Pearl Jones/Kitchn

Ingredients in Chocolate Mousse

A very good chocolate mousse should be two things: light and airy, and yet deeply rich and decadent. The very classic French pastry version uses egg whites for volume and egg yolks for creaminess, and it really requires your complete attention while you’re making it. Our (equally-delicious) version is far less complicated: It uses a simple ganache for decadence and whipped cream for airiness, and calls for no eggs whatsoever.

  • Heavy cream: This easy chocolate mousse makes the most of its two ingredients by using heavy cream three different ways. You’ll melt the chocolate with some of the cream to create a soft ganache, whip more cream to soft peaks for garnishing, and then whip the rest to medium peaks for the mousse.
  • Chocolate: You can use your favorite type of chocolate, such as semisweet or bittersweet. We recommend good-quality chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate.
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: Pearl Jones/Kitchn

If You’re Making Chocolate Mousse, a Few Tips

To keep the mousse light and airy, you really want to focus on the following two steps:

  • Carefully whip the cream to medium peaks. If you swipe your whisk through the cream and lift it up, the tip of the cream should barely curve over — that’s a medium peak. As you’re whipping the cream, you’ll start to see the beaters (or whisk) leaving a trail, and that’s when you’ll want to slow down and keep an eye on things. If you over-whip the cream, you’ll end up with a grainy mousse (although you can try to remedy it by whisking in a few extra tablespoons of cream). An electric hand mixer and a nice big bowl are my tools of choice, but a big balloon whisk and a chilled mixing bowl work well, too.
  • Gently fold the cream into the chocolate in thirds. Folding is one of those kitchen techniques that isn’t defined enough, so here it is: Folding is essentially mixing together two ingredients without stirring — it’s a motion that feels like equal parts swooping and tucking. A big, flat spatula helps to do a lot of the work for you. Swipe it down under the chocolate, then scoop it up and over the whipped cream as you add it. When folding, don’t stress about getting the mixture perfectly uniform — especially during the first two additions. Each addition will lighten the chocolate, making it taller and lighter.
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: Pearl Jones/Kitchn

How to Serve Chocolate Mousse

You can portion chocolate mousse into small ramekins or even pretty cocktail glasses and then chill it before serving, which means it’s also an ideal make-ahead dessert for dinner parties. It will be set in as little as an hour, but four hours will give you nice, firm mousse, perfect for topping with more whipped cream.

And while it isn’t mandatory, adding something a little crispy or crunchy to the top of chocolate mousse (think: chopped hazelnuts, crumbled toffee or brittle, even crispy breakfast cereal) really sends it over the top flavor-wise, and cements its status as the only dessert recipe you need, ever.

Easy Chocolate Mousse

This two-ingredient version of this classic dessert might be the only dessert recipe you need for the rest of your life.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 1 hour

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups

    cold heavy cream, divided

  • 1 cup

    good-quality chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate (6 ounces)

  • Garnish options: grated chocolate or crunchy toppings, such as chopped nuts, toffee, or brittle

Instructions

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  1. Heat 1/2 cup of the cream in a microwave-safe bowl for 1 minute. Add 1 cup chocolate chips and stir to combine. Set the bowl aside for 5 minutes for the chocolate to melt.

  2. Whisk the chocolate and cream together until smooth. Set aside to cool while you whip the remaining cream.

  3. Place the remaining 1 cup cold cream in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer or with a whisk by hand until soft peaks form. Transfer 1/2 cup to a small bowl and refrigerate for topping the finished mousse before serving. Continue whipping the remaining whipped cream until stiff peaks form.

  4. Fold the whipped cream into the cooled chocolate mixture with a large spatula in three additions. Work swiftly and gently and don’t stress if there are streaks of cream in the chocolate mousse.

  5. Divide the mixture between 4 ramekins or cocktail glasses. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 4 before serving. Dollop with the reserved softly whipped cream and sprinkle with grated chocolate or chopped hazelnuts, if desired.