Chocolate Mousse Challenge plus a Mousse Recipe Round Up

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I planned a Mousse-a-Palooza gathering for some friends a week ago. We taste tested and compared 4 different types of chocolate mousse…one classic with raw egg, one with no eggs, one with marshmallows and one made in the blender. I promised Nick I would have this Chocolate Mousse Challenge before he headed off to college for the start of his sophomore year. Nothing worse, in his mind, than reading about my chocolate mousses on facebook when he had just moved into his first apartment, eating boxed mac and cheese and pb sandwiches (that’s the extent of his cooking repertoire as far as I’ve witnessed).

I knew what ingredients were imperative for my  favorite chocolate mousse…but would my friends and family be in agreement? When I hound my family for a recipe critique…asking the tough questions like, “Are these chocolate chip cookies better than my usual recipe?” I always get the same response…they want to try both side by side. Personally, I think it’s a ploy for more cookie baking, but I can understand that a true comparison of recipes needs a serious taste test. I gathered the Skinny Chick tasting team…they were up for the challenge.

Here are the 4 mousse recipes and our critiques:

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Julia Child’s: fluffier, lighter, smooth, sweeter, what you’d eat at a fine restaurant, like French silk pie (recipe below)

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Alton Brown’s: airy, dense chocolate flavor, intense, more authentic, coffee addition more pronounced (recipe to come)

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Blender Chocolate Mousse: like pudding, not as sweet, tasted like Angelina’s (Parisian) hot chocolate

when freshly made, smooth, syrupy

(note: this was sampled before fully chilled).

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Nigella’s Instant Chocolate Mousse: least chocolaty, grainy before cool, can taste marshmallows, too sweet

(note: this one was also sampled before fully chilled).

I tried to even the playing field by only using coffee, coffee liqueur and/or vanilla as flavorings.  Julia Child’s mousse called for Grand Marnier,  an orange liqueur,  so I replaced that with Kahlua. I also used semi-sweet chocolate for each recipe, even if the recipe called for bitter-sweet. Julia’s and Alton’s were the clear favorites…with the Classic Mousse au Chocolate edging out Alton’s egg free version by a hair. Those two were made ahead of time and served fully chilled.  All were enjoyed, and the two quick versions were much more palatable, and given more favorable reviews,  after a brief time in the fridge. Nigella’s had an obvious marshmallow taste according to my testers, and came in fourth place, but the family and teenage friends who sampled had no complaints.

Chocolate Mousse or Mousseline au Chocolat

Ingredients

    Recipe adapted from Julia Child
  • 4 eggs, separated*
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup coffee liqueur (I used Kahlua)
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup strong coffee
  • 6 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream and berries, optional for serving

Instructions

  1. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together until the mixture is thick, pale yellow ribbon (will take a few minutes). Beat in the coffee liqueur.
  2. Set the mixing bowl over a not-quite-simmering pot of water and continue beating for 3-4 minutes..
  3. Then place the bowl over cold water and beat for another 3-4 minutes until the mixture is cool and thick like mayonnaise.
  4. Combine the chocolate and coffee in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave and stir at 30 second intervals till smooth and melted.
  5. Whisk in the butter, a little at a time until smooth and creamy.
  6. Beat the chocolate into the egg yolks and sugar mixture. Set aside.
  7. Beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Sprinkle in the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Stir a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the rest carefully till most of the egg whites are incorporated. Turn into a serving dish or dessert cups.
  8. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve with berries and whipped cream if desired.
  9. Total time: 2 1/2 hours
    Yield: 6-8 servings, depending on size of serving dishes
    *Note: Use pasteurized eggs if serving to the very young, elderly or immune suppressed. Their is always the risk of salmonella when eating raw or undercooked eggs.
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Look at all these other mouth watering recipes for mousse and desserts incorporating chocolate mousse from my blogger friends (they’ve all given me permission to share)…even some with a twist like dates as an ingredient…so something for everyone!

Chocolate_Pomegranate_Mousse

Chocolate Pomegranate Mousse from Marnley of Cooking with Books 

Brownie_Bottom_Chocolate_Coconut_Cream_Cake

Brownie Bottom Coconut Chocolate Cream Cake from Julie of Willow Bird Baking

Chocolate_Mousse_Brownies from Diethood

Chocolate Mousse Brownies from Kate of Diethood

Chocolate-Date-Mousse-2

Chocolate Date Mousse from Caroline of Chocolate & Carrots

Mousse-Cake

Mousse Cake from Karyn of Dieter’s Downfall

Easy-Double-Chocolate-Mousse-via-GourmandeintheKitchen.com-raw-paleo-vegan

Raw Chocolate Mousse from Sylvie of Gourmande in the Kitchen

And don’t miss out on this batch of incredible mousse recipes, too:

Dark Chocolate Mousse from Paula of Vintage Kitchen Notes

Tofu Chocolate Mousse from Kim of Ninja Baking

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart with Nutella Tart from Aimee of Shugary Sweets

Chocolate Mousse Cake from Joan of Chocolate, Chocolate and More

Chocolate Avocado Mousse from Lessie at Modern Christian Homemaker–Healthy Recipe

Raw Chocolate Mousse from Stephanie of The Recipe Renovator–Dairy, Sugar and Gluten Free

Chocolate Mousse Raspberry Parfaits from Carolyn of All Day I Dream of Food–Low Carb and Gluten Free

Easy Chocolate Mousse from Jeanette of Jeanette’s Healthy Living–Egg Free and Dairy Free

Vegan Avocado Chocolate Mousse from Kate at Food Babbles

Espresso and Chocolate Tres Leches Cake from Roz at La Bella Vita

Strawberry Chocolate Mousse Parfait from Stephanie of The Culinary Life

White Chocolate Mousse with Pomegranate Sauce from Cathy of Noble Pig

Disclosure: I used a bar of gourmet Kallari 70% Cacao Chocolate in one of the mousse recipes. Made in Ecuador, “Kallari is committed to community viability and economic growth, through knowledge sharing, the preservation of Kichwa cultural traditions and natural resource conservation.”  There admirable practices include paying their workers up to four times the salary of even the Fair Trade growers. If you see this chocolate in your area, please try some…and support their mission. Kallari provided me with 3 chocolate bars to test, but they did not compensate me in any way for this review.  All opinions are my own.

And a huge thank you to my mousse taste testers: Cathy, Sue, Terry, Beth, Shelli, Ellen and Gini!

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Mousse_Testers

 Safest Choice is the brand of pasteurized eggs I can find locally.

Bring your favorite chocolate dessert to Roxana’s home baking #chocolateparty and win amazing prizes from OXOCalphalonKeurigImperial SugarHoney Ridge Farmsand Land O Lakes® Butter

Comments

  1. Lizzy, I won’t mind volunteering for any kind of chocolate mousse tasting!

  2. Now that’s what I call a party! Love it. I held a chocolate ice cream party with some blogger peeps a while back…my teeth are still aching from all the sugar lol

  3. Oh man, how does one sign up for that kind of thing?

  4. A Mousse-A-Palooza sounds like my kind of party! All yummy desserts and I’m sure everyone had a great time:@)

  5. Wow would my friends be happy if I invited them to taste test four batches of Chocolate Mousse! A great idea, Lizzy! I have made Julia’s before, but now I must try Alton’s…all four look fantastic!

  6. There´s nothing like comparing side to side. This was a fun chore! I´m very intrigued by the blender mousse, very.

  7. Can you eat raw egg mousse?

  8. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) says:

    SO MUCH FUN! What lucky family and friends you have ;)

  9. Lora @cakeduchess says:

    You make the most perfect mousse for this month’s SRC challenge. Luscious and tempting and now how do I get a cup here right now for breakfast…hmmm?;)

  10. You planned a mousse-a-palooza? We NEED to be next door neighbors!

  11. Mmm! I wonder when’s your next sampling? Please invite me so I can go over and help you taste them! All chocolate mousse look and sound delicious, got to try them one day!

  12. What an interesting and fun experiment! I wonder which I’d like the best.

  13. I want a Mousse-a-Palooza! What a great afternoon, morning, night, all day experience that would be!

  14. Liz, what I wouldn’t give to be a taste tester for your Mousse-a-palooza! I’ve always wanted to do one of these taste testings – make five versions of something and then eat (and judge). I love pigging out and judging things ;) They all look wonderful but I can tell through your descriptions why Julia’s and Alton’s were the clear winners. I’d definitely prefer those ones too.

  15. Chocolate mousse rules! So good and it has been way too long since I had some. They all look great but by description I would try the Alton Brown’s first. Hope Julia won’t mind.

  16. It’s a tough job, Liz, being your taste-taster. It was probably verrrry difficult to round up your posse. What a great idea. I am putting that in my bonnet and may pull that off some day. Just so much fun. Hope Nick enjoyed.

  17. What a great idea Liz! I can remember many moons ago when my mother was on a quest to find THE chocolate mousse recipe. She tested numerous varieties on us to no one’s complaint and finally settled on a Knox gelatin recipe.Anyway from your descriptions alone, I would have probably chose Alton’s. Good luck getting your son back to school!

  18. Thank you for your sweet research, Liz! Happy Mousse Monday!

    P.s. Thank you, too, for sharing Julia Child’s classic chocolat how-to.

  19. What a great idea Liz, and I do like the idea of Kahlua in this chocolate mousse…yum!
    Have a great week my dear :D

  20. Oh a chocolate mousse challenge sounds like so much fun! It’s a tough job but someone has to do it ;).

  21. these chocolate mousse look awesome Lizzy not always I find here pasteurozed eggs!

  22. Can I have them all! I love mousse as well as all the delicious desserts featured here.

  23. Ooh, perfect looking mousse!

  24. Now, that’s a tough one..I can’t choose, I’m just gonna have to drool over all of em’..:)

  25. I love chocolate mousse and to be honest, I’ve never met one I couldn’t make friends with.

  26. LOL I can see why your kitchen has been so busy lately! At least mousse doesn’t take too awfully long to make! I’m sure all your “guinea pigs” were delighted at the idea of a “mousse- off!” What a great start to the week Liz!

  27. Julia Child’s recipe sounds the best to me!

  28. Love this mousse challenge.. I can see a total difference in just looking at them side by side. I pick Julia’s…. then Alton’s. Heck.. I would shove all of them in my mouth..who am I kidding. :)

  29. I’m still waiting to hear back on my application to join the Skinny Chick Tasting Team! :)

  30. All of your taste testers have big grins on their faces. I would too if I had been so lucky. :)

  31. This is chocolate overload to the extreme. I love every bit of it.

  32. Mousse tasting? Count me in!!! Haha sounds like heaven :)

  33. Good old Julia!! I can imagine hers was the best ever! what a great line up of chocolate heaven!
    Mary x

  34. Dawn @ Words Of Deliciousness says:

    What a fun challenge, I know I would be up for something like this. I thought they all looked so yummy and chocolate is always my favorite.

  35. Lizzy,
    I’ve been wanting to make mousse for the longest time and just never had a good recipe for it. I’ll take your advice on this one.
    Annamaria

  36. How fun! Can I be your friend in real life??

  37. Thanks for including me in the palooza of yumminess. Mousse is just one of the best things on the planet!

  38. Hehehe, i totally laughed at this. I can picture your son in front of his dormroom computer, drooling at your dessert posts :) These mousses all look really great!

  39. Haha mousse tasting sounds like a dream come true! :D
    What a gorgeous recipe!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  40. What great fun – a mousse-a-palooza!

  41. Excuse me while I go get a towel to clean up. What a round-up of such a delicate and addicting little treat. Thanks for the critique of the different recipes. Great post Liz!

  42. Oh good grief…you’re making me want dessert!! Yummy line up, Liz!

  43. I think that this round-up is chocolate nirvana, Liz! Every recipe sounds so enticing! Thank you for including my cake in the round-up!

    xo
    Roz

  44. What a wonderful collection of recipes, all from people who know whereof they speak and write and cook. And kudos to you for making all the versions and making theml ook so beautiful. Your prop selections are wonderful! Fabulous post!

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