clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Julia Child’s Chocolate Mousse


Adapted from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking via David Lebovitz

Notes: I use Guittard Chocolate, 64% cacao. Lebovitz used Green and Black, 72% cacao. I mention this because I cut the sugar to ½ cup due to the extra sugar in the chocolate. If you are using a darker chocolate, you might want to use ⅔ cup sugar, which is what the original recipe calls for.

What I love about this recipe is that there isn’t any whipped cream. One recipe I tried this week tasted too much like chocolate-flavored whipped cream. This one has body with a nice lightness thanks to the whipped egg whites. The key to making this recipe successfully is getting those egg yolks to that pale yellow ribbon stage — see DL’s photo for guidance. If you don’t get that consistency in the yolks, the finished mousse will not have that nice chew.


  • 6 ounces (170g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped (see notes above)
  • 6 ounces (170g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup (60ml) dark-brewed coffee
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • ½ cup (116g) to ⅔ cup (170g), plus 1 tablespoon sugar (see notes above)
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) dark rum
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • dark chocolate for shaving over top, optional


  1. Heat a saucepan one-third full with hot water, and in a bowl set on top, melt together the chocolate, butter and coffee, stirring over the barely simmering water, until smooth. Remove from heat.
  2. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.
  3. In a bowl large enough to nest securely on the saucepan of simmering water, whisk the yolks of the eggs with the ½ to ⅔ cup of sugar (see notes), rum, and water for about 3 minutes until the mixture is thick, like runny mayonnaise. (You can also use a handheld electric mixer. Note: Be sure this mixture is thick before removing bowl from heat. )
  4. Remove from heat and place the bowl of whipped egg yolks within the bowl of ice water and beat until cool and thick, as shown in the photo in DL’s post. Then fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until frothy. Continue to beat until they start to hold their shape. Whip in the tablespoon of sugar and continue to beat until thick and shiny, but not completely stiff, then the vanilla.
  6. Fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remainder of the whites just until incorporated, but don’t overdo it or the mousse will lose volume.
  7. Transfer the mousse to a serving bowl or divide into serving dishes, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until firm.
  8. Use a microplane grater or peeler to shave chocolate overtop before serving (optional).
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: chocolate, mousse, Julia Child