How to Make Chocolate Mousse

This is a serious dessert mousse, friends. A chocolate experience so rich, velvety and decadent, a few tablespoons is really all that any one person needs. I usually chuckle when I watch Mrs. Pastry eat chocolate bars, because she nibbles them like a mouse, savoring every tiny morsel. However even I — a man known to wolf chocolate bars down by the handful — eat this only incrementally, off the tip of a spoon.

With a little pâte à bombe on hand, chocolate mousse is a ridiculously easy thing to make. You just want to make sure, as Camille pointed out, that your pâte à bombe is warm so it combines easily with your melted chocolate. The recipe goes like so:

4 ounces pâte à bombe
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
8 ounces (1 cup) heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

Begin by whipping the cream just about to the soft peak stage (or less), you want it a little loose and runny. If you haven’t already, prepare your pâté à bombe, and while it’s whipping, melt your chocolate in the microwave. I use couverture chocolate for mousse, since the extra cocoa butter makes it even silkier than usual. Couverture, however, can be hard to find, so use whatever pricey Euro-style semi-sweet you can lay your hands on. Melt it by giving it several short bursts of high heat in the microwave…20 seconds for the first one, stir, then as many shots of 10 seconds as it takes to get it warm and melty, stirring between each burst. Stop before it’s completely melted, and stir it with a spoon until it’s smooth. Add the warm chocolate to the warm pâte à bombe (which can also be heated gently in a microwave if it’s pre-made, just be careful!):

Stir it until it’s uniform…

The mixture will firm up here and look a little rough. Ain’t no thang.

No matter, I just add in about a third of the whipped cream…

…and whisk it in until it’s all smooth:

I then do the same with the remaining cream…

…and that’s pretty much it! If you like a lighter mousse, add more whipped cream and/or whip the cream to a stiffer, more voluminous state. You’ll likely want to do that if you’re planning on using your mousse to fill a cake or pastry. If you’re just going to eat it, though, my advice is to leave it dense and intense.

This entry was posted in Chocolate, Chocolate Mousse, Desserts & Cookies. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to How to Make Chocolate Mousse

  1. pigflyin says:

    Thanks for sharing the know how of pate a bombe! It is fantastic. The problem is that I cannot stop licking it from the bowl.

    I have always hated all the chocolate mousse recipe that I have tried so far. This is the best. Just made a batch some some choice bourbon and it is glorious. Exactly how I like it. Thanks Joe Pastry.

    • joepastry says:

      I’m very glad it’s such a hit! And isn’t that the truth with pate a bombe. The risk is that you’ll just eat it by the spoonful and pass over the mousse completely. It’s VERY addictive stuff. Thanks for the comment!

      • pigflyin says:

        Thanks again joe! I now very comfortable with this … and yesterday I used this to make butter cream to fill my macarons and it is so easy and stable. The question is, how do I warm up the frozen pate a bomb after I freeze it? … ok, i must confess that I have been spooning and eating my box of frozen pate a bomb.

        • joepastry says:

          Don’t worry, most of us eat pate a bombe that way! ;) Just let the frozen pate a bombe thaw out at room temperature. That’s the only way I know to do it, as if you warm it too much the eggs will cook. Thanks for the email! – Joe

  2. Natasha says:

    Hi there! I’ve been using this recipe for chocolate mousse for a long time. For some reason though, the last few times I’ve made it, the melted chocolate and pate a bombe mix get so dense as I stir them together that it becomes impossible to break down once I add the whipped cream. No matter how much I mix them together the result remains a delicious mousse but not smooth, rather it has sticky pieces in it, from the chocolate/pate a bombe mix. How can I correct that to get a perfectly smooth mousse? Or what am I doing wrong?

    • joepastry says:

      It sounds like the chocolate is seizing. Try letting the chocolate cool down a bit more before you combine it with the pate a bombe. That should fix the problem.

  3. Mariana J says:

    Im going to have to disagree with your inital statement that all a person needs is a few tablespoons because the only reason I havent devoured it all is because I have guests coming tonight. Amazing recipe, Joe, thank you!

  4. Khan says:

    Hello! Could you please tell me, how much is 4 ounce of pate a bomb in terms of either cups or gram measurements? I have Googled it but I could not come up with any good results. How can I use this pate a bomb for other mousses such as lemon mousse? Thanks!

  5. khan says:

    I was able to make pate a bombe successfully without thermometer, but still my chocolate seized, there were medium flakes of chocolates in my mousse. My mousse was half velvety and half tiny chocolate sheets. I don’t know where I did wrong. Does yolks cause chocolate to seize? Is it because I did not use thermometer that caused my chocolate to seize? I know any drop of water make chocolate seize. I made Italian meringue following your recipe without thermometer too. The meringue mixture was so hard that my thin spatula was standing on its own inside the raw meringue without any support. I piped them into beautiful, adorable, cute, little birdies nest. I decided to make pate a bomb with the yolks. THEN, I decided why not make mousse out of it instead of putting it away in the freezer. I wanted to pipe my mousse inside my nest but the chocolate seized. Since the chocolate seized, my piping nozzle got jammed with the chunks of seized chocolates. I was pressing to hard that the mousse came out of the other end of the bag instead of the nozzle. It was a mess. The mousse still tasted good, I am sure it would have tasted much much better if it had not seized and as for my little, adorable nests they just magically melted in my mouth. I wanted my meringue to be hard so it took me a while to bake.

    • joepastry says:

      Hello Khan!

      Good for you for being so adventurous! I have a question: are you sure the chocolate “seized”? It may have simply hardened. If the pâté a bombe was cold when you added the melted chocolate this could have very easily happened. Most of the time when chocolate seizes it forms dry clumps of solids. Sheets like you describe are more consistent with hardening. Do you think that is what happened?

      - Joe

  6. peter gama says:

    hi joe, and hi khan, i find when something like this happens and there are bits in my mousse, i get out my stick blender and blend the mousse just enough to get rid of any lumps, the mousse might go a bit loose but then it will reset again.. however don’t blend to much because blending this mix might cause it to thicken to much once its set and it might set to hard. You can also try adding the cream into the bomb first, then adding the chocolate, doing it this way, after adding the cream to the bomb, you will have to pour the chocolate all in to this mix, then very quickly whisk. Alternatively add a bit of cream to bomb to loosen it up a bit then add chocolate then add the rest of the cream..one more thing, i try and insure that the chocolate is more or less at the same temperature of the bomb when i mix these to, i check the temperature with my finger so it feels the same temperature..hope this was any help

    • joepastry says:

      Nice Peter! I’d add that yes, blending too long incorporates too much air, but otherwise it works great. Love the other tips also, Peter. Thank you!

      - Joe

  7. peter gama says:

    youre welcome :)

  8. Khan says:

    The truth is, I did not want to have scrambled egg so I completely cooled my bombe before adding melted chocolates. Sheets of chocolate are way better then scrambled chocolate egg. I can pass it off saying, my chocolate did not seize, I intended to put chocolate chips in my mousse. But deep down I know my chocolate seized.

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  10. Mariana says:

    Joe,
    Once all incorporated, does it go in the fridge or can it be used right away?

  11. Martin says:

    Hi Joe,
    excellent website of yours, i especially like that you explain what’s actually happening during processing (biochemistry stuff i’d say). Since i am (still) mere beginner i learned a lot here. Also we (me and friend) created some short videorecipes in different languages (we already did czech and french). This time english was in the line and I decided to do this very chocolate mousse (since it gained me several marriage offers) and of course i mentioned source of the recipe (so if you will be detecting increase of visitors from youtube, that might be it). And if you want, you can see the result.
    Thank you for your work :)

    • joepastry says:

      I’m delighted and flattered, Martin!

      I loved the video — especially the eyewear! Best of luck with the series. I will look for future episodes in English!

      Cheers and thanks!

      - Joe

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