Culinary Arts

Chef Dominique Ansel’s Recipe for Chocolate Mousse

Written by MasterClass

Feb 8, 2019 • 3 min read

The chocolate mousse—one of Chef Dominique’s favorite desserts on its own—is best made and used straight away while it is fresh and at the peak of its flavor and texture. This chocolate mousse forms an integral part of Chef Dominique Ansel’s chocolate cake recipe.

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Traditional Chocolate Mousse Ingredients

  • Heavy cream
  • Egg yolks (or egg whites)
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla
  • Dark or semisweet chocolate chips

Traditional chocolate mousse gets its creamy texture from creating a custard with the eggs, sugar, and cream. Traditional chocolate mousse doesn’t include gelatin because it’s meant to be soft and eaten soon after being made. Chef Dominique Ansel’s chocolate mousse recipe omits the eggs, sugar, and vanilla, doubling down on dairy with cream and milk. Chef Dominique incorporates gelatin into the mousse for his chocolate cake to stabilize it and give it a pleasing texture, even when chilled. Gelatin comes in two forms: sheets and powdered. Either can be used in place of the other (at a ratio of 3 sheets per 1⁄4-ounce packet of powdered gelatin).

Tips for Making Perfect Chocolate Mousse

  • Making mousse begins with making ganache. Pouring the hot milk over the chocolate helps to melt the chocolate fully so it creates a ganache with a smooth texture.
  • Once the ganache is made, it’s important to allow it to cool to room temperature so that when it is folded into the whipping cream, it does not melt the cream, thus deflating it and knocking out all the air that helps give the mousse its light, airy texture.
  • Consistency is key when pouring the mousse onto the cake. Use the bottom of the ladle to lightly tap the mousse, which will help create an even layer across the biscuit and over the top of the finished dessert.
  • The cake will need ample time to freeze so that it sets properly so do not try to rush this step. This step is essential to creating the ideal texture for the mousse, which should always be served chilled. If it comes to room temperature, it can become too soft to stay in place while cutting the cake.

How to Make an Easy Chocolate Mousse Variation

If you want to add flavorings to your mousse, such as peanut butter or white chocolate, mix them into the milk while it’s heating to ensure they dissolve evenly into the chocolate mixture. To make a silky hazelnut dark chocolate mousse, for example, start with the dark chocolate mousse recipe above, and add in 100g (1/3 cup) store-bought hazelnut paste as you warm up your milk. You can purchase hazelnut paste online.

dominique-ansel chocolate mousse

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Recipe: Chef Dominique Ansel’s Chocolate Mousse Recipe

Serves
1 kg (enough for an 8-inch cake)
Total Time
30 min
  • 2 each gelatin sheets (silver strength/160 bloom)
  • 448g (2 cups) heavy cream
  • 312g (1 1⁄3 cups) whole milk
  • 308g (11 oz) dark chocolate (70% cocoa content), finely chopped

Tip: If you can’t find gelatin sheets, use powdered gelatin. One gelatin sheet = 1 scant tsp (2.3g) powdered gelatin. For every tsp of gelatin, bloom in 1 tbsp (15g) water.

Equipment

  • Stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment
  • Hand blender
  • Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Thermometer
  1. Soak the gelatin sheets in a bowl of ice water until soft, about 20 minutes. (If using powdered gelatin, sprinkle 2 tsp (6g) gelatin over 6 tsp (30g) water in a small bowl, stir, and let sit for 20 minutes to bloom.) Tip: Whether using sheet or powdered gelatin, you must use cold water since warm or hot water will immediately dissolve the gelatin and you will not be able to work with it.
  2. In a small pot, bring the milk to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a whisk. Remove from heat.
  3. Place the dark chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Pour half of the hot milk over the chocolate and let it stand for 30 seconds.
  4. Stir gently with a spatula until the milk has melted the chocolate. Once melted, pour in the remaining milk, and stir to combine.
  5. Switch to a hand blender and emulsify the ganache until smooth, glossy, and free of any lumps or soft peaks.
  6. Squeeze out any excess water from your bloomed gelatin sheets. Whisk the bloomed gelatin into the hot ganache until the gelatin has dissolved.
  7. When finished, the ganache should have the consistency of mayonnaise. Let cool to 90 to 95°F (32 to 35°C).
  8. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cream until medium-stiff peaks form. Tip: At room temperature, the ganache will remain smooth but won’t melt the whipped cream.
  9. Using a large rubber spatula, slowly pour the ganache into the whipped cream as you constantly fold until fully incorporated. Be careful not to overmix, so as not to deflate the airy texture of the mousse.
  10. Cover the mousse with plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface, to prevent a skin from forming.
  11. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours to set.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.