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:
Julia Child’s: fluffier, lighter, smooth, sweeter, what you’d eat at a fine restaurant, like French silk pie (recipe below)
Alton Brown’s: airy, dense chocolate flavor, intense, more authentic, coffee addition more pronounced (recipe to come)
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).
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.
- 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
- 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.
- Set the mixing bowl over a not-quite-simmering pot of water and continue beating for 3-4 minutes..
- Then place the bowl over cold water and beat for another 3-4 minutes until the mixture is cool and thick like mayonnaise.
- Combine the chocolate and coffee in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave and stir at 30 second intervals till smooth and melted.
- Whisk in the butter, a little at a time until smooth and creamy.
- Beat the chocolate into the egg yolks and sugar mixture. Set aside.
- 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.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve with berries and whipped cream if desired.
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 from Marnley of Cooking with Books
Brownie Bottom Coconut Chocolate Cream Cake from Julie of Willow Bird Baking
Chocolate Mousse Brownies from Kate of Diethood
Chocolate Date Mousse from Caroline of Chocolate & Carrots
Mousse Cake from Karyn of Dieter’s Downfall
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!
Safest Choice is the brand of pasteurized eggs I can find locally.