French Chocolate Espresso Mousse Recipe

French Chocolate Espresso Mousse Recipe

[Photographs: Lauren Weisenthal]

This is a traditional French chocolate mousse inspired by Pierre Herme's recipe that's been punched up a bit with the addition of espresso powder. Many cooks, fearing raw eggs, have taken to using gelatin and cream instead of eggs in mousse, but I find those recipes to be leaden and missing the point. This is the real deal.

For best texture, serve after chilling for only 45 minutes. The mousse will keep for two days in the fridge, but it will begin to deflate and the texture will become much more dense.

Learn The Technique!

Right this way for a step-by-step slideshow of the techniques used in this recipe!

  • Yield:4
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time:1 hour, 15 minutes


  • 6 ounces high-quality chocolate (60-70% cacao is ideal)
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4 egg whites
  • Pinch cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. 1.

    Chop chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl large enough to contain all of the ingredients and accommodate the folding process. Place the bowl over a bain marie or a simmering water bath. Make sure the bowl is not touching the water and the water is kept to a simmer. Take off the heat when the chocolate is melted.

  2. 2.

    Gently bring the milk to a boil and whisk in the espresso powder until it is completely dissolved. Pour over the melted chocolate and slowly whisk. Add the egg yolk and whisk until fully incorporated.

  3. 3.

    Combine egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar in large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Whip on medium speed until they reach medium peak stage. Increase speed to high and gradually add sugar in a slow, steady stream, and whip until egg whites are firm and glossy.

  4. 4.

    Using a large rubber spatula, add 1/3 of whites to chocolate mixture and gently whisk to combine and lighten. Gently fold in remaining 2/3 egg whites until there are no streaks. Portion into individual servings or a large bowl. Chill for 45 minutes before serving for peak texture, or up to two days.