Rich, creamy, smooth and oh-so-chocolatey, there’s nothing quite like chocolate mousse. It’s simplistic but so luxurious and satisfying. This Milk Chocolate Mousse offers so much to delight the senses in all the right ways spoonful after wonderful spoonful.
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How to Achieve a Rich and Creamy Texture for Chocolate Mousse
When indulging in chocolate mousse, we are expecting a strong chocolate flavor, a richness from the cream and eggs, yet a balanced lightness to create the perfect mouthfeel. To achieve all of this, I started by using milk chocolate in this mousse recipe. The milk chocolate has a sweet taste but full chocolate flavor that’s enhanced and complemented by the strong coffee in the recipe. I found that using bittersweet or dark chocolate made the chocolate mousse a bit too bitter than what I was going for here. I wanted a recipe that was as kid-friendly as it is adult-friendly, so milk chocolate was the right choice for this chocolate mousse.
A full cup of heavy cream is used in this mousse recipe which helps develop a richness and creaminess that’s unmatched. By folding it in gently to the chocolate, the whipped cream helps create a smoothness that’s idyllic in chocolate mousse. Folding in the cream also helps maintain a lightness to the mousse. One additional tip I learned from Cook’s Illustrated that I incorporated here was not to beat the egg yolks before adding them in. Beating the egg yolks creates too much air in this recipe, which can dilute the chocolate flavor. Definitely not what we are going for here.
How to Make Milk Chocolate Mousse
To make milk chocolate mousse, start by coarsely chopping then tempering the chocolate over low heat. To temper chocolate, set a saucepan with a small amount of water (about 1-2 inches deep) over low heat and place a heatproof bowl over top of the bowl. Place the chocolate inside and allow the steam from the simmering water underneath gently melt the chocolate. Once the chocolate is melted, add in the butter one tablespoon at a time. Stir in the vanilla, hot coffee and salt.
In a clean bowl set over the simmering water, stir the egg whites constantly so they don’t scramble, just until they’re warm. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, whip the egg whites, gradually adding the sugar. Whip the egg whites to soft peaks (see below for a how-to) then gently fold them in (see below for tips on folding), a little at a time, to the chocolate mixture.
Finally, beat the heavy cream in a bowl to soft peaks and fold into the chocolate mixture. Spoon the chocolate mousse into 6 to 8 ramekins or small dishes and set in the fridge, covered, for at least 2 hours. Add a dollop of whipped cream and some chocolate shavings just before serving.
How to whip egg whites and heavy cream to soft peaks
As you’ll see in the recipe, it calls for whipping the egg whites and the heavy cream (separately) to soft peaks. This means when you lift the whisk away from the eggs or cream, the peaks are just starting to hold their shape. They’re soft and melt back into themselves after a second. So, when you’re whipping, stop every once, watch what’s going on in the bowl for visual cues that the egg whites or cream are starting to come together. Stop whipping every once in awhile, lift the whisks out of the bowl and see how they’re progressing.
How to fold in egg whites and whipped cream
Once you have whipped the egg whites and cream to soft peaks, the recipe calls for folding these into the chocolate mixture. We want to do this to maintain a light texture to the chocolate mousse. To fold, use a scoop and fold motion. Use a spatula with a wide and flexible blade for this. A wide spatula helps scoop more of the mixture at once and makes the task go more quickly. A flexible blade helps you scrape along the curve of the bowl and scoop up every last bit of the liquid batter. Try also using a big bowl, as this will help you have the space you need to get under the batter and scoop and fold properly. Here’s a great step-by-step resource for folding in egg whites or heavy cream.
Additional Tips for Making Milk Chocolate Mousse
- Plan to make this chocolate mousse at least 2 hours, preferably more, before you plan to serve it. The flavors need time to blend while chilling in the fridge and the texture will firm up nicely. Serve the chocolate mousse within twenty-four hours after preparing it because after that, the flavor and texture will begin to deteriorate
- After you chop the milk chocolate, save the little shavings and small pieces left on your cutting board for garnishing the mousse when you are serving it. Makes for a nice touch and you won’t have to take an extra step to shave more chocolate for garnishing
- For more flavor variations, try substituting the hot coffee for your favorite flavored liquor or rum in an equal amount
Useful Kitchen Tools for Making This Recipe
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For more chocolatey recipes, give these a try:
- Chocolate Mint Brownie Cups
- Baked Chocolate Fudge Doughnuts
- Salted Caramel Stuffed Dark Chocolate Cookies
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