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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.

I am new to this, it has opened my eyes to making beautiful and perfect pastries. To think of ideas and invoke fun connections and experiences to others.

Very fun to try all this recipes and watching professionals working on then step by step.

Very much enjoyed listening to this class. Wish I had a cronut right now!

The class was amazing, so much to learn. Can't wait to try it all at home. I was excelent and really expands our creativity. Congrats you guys and thanks for bring to us such inspiring teacher.


Zhan Y.

What do you do if you are using powdered gelatin? Do you still squeeze the water out?

Radhi D.

Great tips! But does a mousse not have eggs? I thought all mousse is supposed to have eggs....

Betsy L.

So delicious! Wish I had some leftover. I made my cake a little higher so filled more, but this mouse was divine!

Neda G.

Is it possible to substitute gelatin with corn starch? Its very hard to find gelatin where I am.

Hasan A.

If we are using powdered gelatin do we just add in the powder and water or are we going to make it wait in cold water?

Hasan A.

In the last video mousse is shown as an fluid liquid but in this one it seems so hard how should i make it more fluid.

A fellow student

Do you put the mousse on the cake layers first and then freeze or do you make mousse and refrigerate for 1-2 hours and then put on cake and then freeze?

Nancy A.

In the video, you can clearly see that he uses 4 gelatin sheets; however, in the recipe it says to use 2. Can others confirmed that the recipe worked well with just the 2 sheets as stated in the recipe or is there an error in the written recipe?

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.