Chapter 11 of 17 from Dominique Ansel

Chocolate Cake Filling: Mousse


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.

Topics include: Serving the Mousse

Dominique Ansel

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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Class Info


For me, chocolate mousse is something really special. An honored tradition for so many years, and I always remember grabbing a spoon when I mix a large batch of sugar creams and tasting the chocolate mousse before I build my cake. Its light, it's delicate, and I always want to share this experience with people. In our location, Dominique Ansel Kitchen, we actually make the chocolate mousse when people order it. And I think the best way of enjoying chocolate mousse is actually straight from the mixing bowl, when you just mix it together. A good chocolate mousse will be very light, very airy, very fluffy. And a bad chocolate mousse be just dense and very heavy. And you should be able to finish a whole bowl of chocolate mousse by yourself if-- if it's really well done. So just remember, everything has to be ready before we build a cake. We have our chocolate sponge ready. Now, we're going to mix-- mix the mousse in order to build the cake. So for this chocolate mousse, four simple ingredients-- gelatin sheets, milk, chocolate, and cream. Very easy, we're going to start soak the gelatin sheets. They come in a dry form. So for the gelatin sheets, very important to soak them in cold water. With warm water, the gelatin sheets will just melt right away. And what we're looking for here is to rehydrate these gelatin sheets. If you don't have gelatin sheets, you can always use gelatin powder. It's not exactly the same amount. We'll have to refer to the workbook for this. Once the gelatin is soaking in cold water, we're going to start warming up the milk. For the chocolate mousse, one great way to flavor them is actually to flavor the milk before we do the ganache. So we have the milk and the chocolate. We can always add a little bit of hazelnut paste in the milk before we pour it over the chocolate. We can also add other things in the milk before we do the ganache, like peanut butter or coffee. Just mix it with the milk and then pour it over the chocolate. One good way to tell if your milk is hot enough is, once again, when you whisk it and you remove the whisk, to see this foam forming on top. It means that it's simmering and it's close to a boil. But very important to look at this foam forming, and you'll see a little bit of steam coming out from the side of the pan. So that-- that will be the right time to, like, slow down the heat underneath, so you don't boil everything over. When you put the milk on the stove, don't walk away from it. It will just boil over. So if you-- you see milk going up, the best way is to turn off the heat or put it on the side and whisk it as soon as you can, just like this. [WHISKING] So we're just trying to bring the milk to a boil to make sure that we actually melt all the chocolate. So we're going to pour the liquid over the chocolate and let it melt for a little bit. And then we'll create the immersion. Once we emulsify this mix, we'll add the rest of the milk. So you can make a gana...

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 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.

James Beard Award winner Dominique Ansel teaches essential pastry-making techniques, from dough and fillings to stunning presentation and decor.

A downloadable cookbook accompanies the class with lesson recaps, recipes, and supplemental materials.

Upload videos to get feedback from the class. Dominique will also critique select student work.


Dominique Ansel

Dominique Ansel Teaches French Pastry Fundamentals