Culinary Arts

Chocolate Cake Filling: Mousse

Dominique Ansel

Lesson time 11:23 min

Chef Dominique’s silky dark chocolate mousse relies on smooth ganache and lightly-whipped cream. Learn his techniques for perfectly textured mousse that can be enjoyed on its own or as a layer for chocolate cake.

Dominique Ansel
Teaches French Pastry Fundamentals
James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Dominique Ansel teaches his essential techniques for making delicious pastries and desserts in his first-ever online class.
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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. Traditional chocolate mousse ingredients are heavy cream, egg yolks (or egg whites), sugar, vanilla, and 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 1. 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. 2. 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. 3. 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. 4. 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. Chef Dominique Ansel’s Chocolate Mousse Recipe - 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, brin...

The Art of French Pastry

Celebrated for his innovative twists on classic desserts, Cronut® creator and James Beard Award-winner Dominique Ansel has been called the “world’s best pastry chef.” In his MasterClass, Dominique teaches his essential techniques for perfect pastries. Learn baking and more with his precise methods, add classic recipes to your repertoire, and explore texture and flavor inspirations to delight friends and family with your own decadent desserts.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

This was truly a MasterClass, both in techniques taught and quality of instruction. The recipes were complex yet approachable.

I have learned so many new techniques, but mostly patience and a renewed passion from a genius chef. He is beyond inspiring.

Amazing class. That's truly inspiring. I hope Dominique will open a second class.

It's very good. I gained an understanding of what's involved in a bakery... especially the effort that goes into these creations..


laura J.

I love this video, yum, so wonderful wish I could be at the end of his counter waiting for a slice. My family will challenge me to make this, wish me luck.

Ramona W.

Couldn't wait until the Chocolate Cake Mousse was set....I took a spoonful for the picture and had to of course try it...I could eat the whole bowl! I know it's for my cake, so I have to settle for just 1 spoonful. Delicious, creamy, fluffy, light, not too sweet and leans more towards dark chocolate flavor.

Nicolas E.

Chef, does this Musse recipe work if I change the 308 grams of chocolate for Dulce de Leche or Nutella maybe?

Sylvia S.

Delicious recipe! I made it again. This time I used for the mousse the 70% Valhrona chocolate and yes, you do not to add sugar to the mousse. It turned out very good, but I still prefer using the 66% Valhrona. I did not make the meringue, the glaze is too beautiful to cover! ❤️

Wendy M.

Master Baker Ansel placed the extra mousse into a small cup, is it possible to use this recipe for a molded mousse? Will it keep its shape after the two hours in the fridge?

A fellow student

Does anyone have a good recommendation for a great brand of cocoa powder? I tried Guittiard but am wondering if Valrhona is better?


It was smooth, fluffy and delicious! Incredibly easy too. I do suggest if you are going to follow the quantities on the workbook, to separate the batch in smaller containers when putting it on the fridge. If you have all in one big container, it will take more than 2 hours to set. Loved this class!

A fellow student

His many small helpful tips about technique really make these lessons useful.

Kathie E.

I love , love, love this class. I am a cook in a restaurant and Dominique's way of explaining things resonates. I didn't expect this and I am pleasantly surprised.

A fellow student

what if i dont eat gelatin? how can i do the same with AGAR? or can i do it?