Chocolate mousse is the decidedly decadent, old-school dessert you’ve been overlooking for far too long. And honestly, I get it: Classic chocolate mousse is a little fussy and requires separating eggs, getting melted chocolate to the just right temperature, and lots of careful folding. But did you know there’s an easy two-ingredient version that absolutely anyone can pull off?
This chocolate mousse is the fastest, fanciest dessert I know, and the results are so creamy, rich, and perfectly sweet that we’re willing to call it the only dessert you need to master for life.
Easy Two-Ingredient Chocolate Mousse
A very good chocolate mousse should be two things: light and airy, and yet deeply rich and decadent. The very classic French pastry version uses egg whites for volume and egg yolks for creaminess, and it really requires your complete attention while you’re making it. Our (equally-delicious) version is far less complicated: It uses a simple ganache for decadence and whipped cream for airiness, and calls for no eggs whatsoever.
With just a pint of heavy cream and some chopped chocolate, you can pull off a very impressive dessert with ease. All you need to know how is how to whip the cream.
Chocolate Mousse = Whipped Cream + Easy Folding
This easy chocolate mousse makes the most of its two ingredients by using the cream three different ways. You’ll melt the chocolate with some of the cream to create a soft ganache, whip more cream to soft peaks for garnishing, and then whip the rest to medium peaks for the mousse. To keep the mousse light and airy, you really want to focus on the following two steps:
Carefully whip the cream to medium peaks. If you swipe your whisk through the cream and lift it up, the tip of the cream should barely curve over — that’s a medium peak. As you’re whipping the cream, you’ll start to see the beaters (or whisk) leaving a trail, and that’s when you’ll want to slow down and keep an eye on things. If you over-whip the cream, you’ll end up with a grainy mousse (although you can try to remedy it by whisking in a few extra tablespoons of cream). An electric hand mixer and a nice big bowl are my tools of choice, but a big balloon whisk and a chilled mixing bowl work well, too.
Gently fold the cream into the chocolate in thirds. Folding is one of those kitchen techniques that isn’t defined enough, so here it is: Folding is essentially mixing together two ingredients without stirring — it’s a motion that feels like equal parts swooping and tucking. A big, flat spatula helps to do a lot of the work for you. Swipe it down under the chocolate, then scoop it up and over the whipped cream as you add it. When folding, don’t stress about getting the mixture perfectly uniform — especially during the first two additions. Each addition will lighten the chocolate, making it taller and lighter.
Serving Chocolate Mousse for Dessert
You can portion chocolate mousse into small ramekins or even pretty cocktail glasses and then chill it before serving, which means it’s also an ideal make-ahead dessert for dinner parties. It will be set in as little as an hour, but four hours will give you nice, firm mousse, perfect for topping with more whipped cream. And while it isn’t mandatory, adding something a little crispy or crunchy to the top of chocolate mousse (think: chopped hazelnuts, crumbled toffee or brittle, even crispy breakfast cereal) really sends it over the top flavor-wise, and cements its status as the only dessert recipe you need, ever.