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With only three ingredients and no eggs, this Easy Chocolate Mousse recipe is, without a doubt, the easiest recipe I have ever posted on this blog. But don’t let the simplicity fool you – it has all the rich chocolate flavour of a classic chocolate mousse!
This simple chocolate mousse recipe actually wasn’t even supposed to be a recipe on its own. A while back I was working on another recipe when I realised this mousse was so ridiculously good on its own that I should share it like this too.
Of course, we all know that making a traditional French-style chocolate mousse usually involves eggs, beating egg yolks with sugar, adding melted chocolate, whipping the egg whites separately and then very gently, gently, gently folding them in so you don’t ruin all those perfect little air bubbles lest you end up with thick chocolate soup.
Although chocolate soup may not be that bad. I’d be happy to list chocolate soup as my second favourite after chicken soup. But I digress.
This 3 ingredient chocolate mousse, on the other hand, is easy. If you can heat cream, and then whip it, you can probably make this with your eyes closed and a coffee in your other hand. Decaf, in my case, since caffeine makes my heart go bat-sh*t crazy. So, whatever beverage you’re into.
It’s almost not even a recipe, it’s a ratio and some instructions. This means you can easily scale the ingredients up or down depending on how much you want to make.
Want to make mousse for a crowd at a party? Just double or triple (or quadruple… you get the picture) the recipe, and you’ll have enough mousse for all your friends.
You can even leave out the vanilla and make it 2 ingredient chocolate mousse. I don’t know why you would, because chocolate + vanilla = happiness. But if you were stuck on a desert island with only chocolate, cream and a whisk… then, er, how on earth did that happen?
Anyway, where were we? Oh yes…
Let’s quickly talk about the ingredients you need for this mousse. There are only three, but using the right products will make sure this is The Best Mousse you’ve ever had.
Chocolate: The flavour of your chocolate mousse will be directly dependant on the quality of chocolate you use, so use something good.
For the best flavour, a good quality dark chocolate with between 50 – 60% cocoa solids is ideal. Anything less than 50% and you won’t get a rich chocolate flavour. Anything much more than 60% may be a bit too bitter, but if you like your chocolate on the bitter side, then you can use chocolate that is over 60%. Go crazy. I used my favourite Whittaker’s 50% dark chocolate.
If you find the mousse isn’t sweet enough with the chocolate you have used, you can simply add a bit of icing sugar to the mixture before you whip it. I know, I know, that technically makes it four ingredients, but I feel like at this point we can probably stretch that far.
Cream: The cream you need for this recipe is known by different names in different countries. Here in NZ it’s usually called standard cream or whipping cream, in other countries, it may also be known as single cream or full cream. Heavy cream (or heavy whipping cream) and double cream are generally too thick for this recipe as they contain a lot more fat (although the fat content can vary by country.) If heavy cream is all you can get, make sure you don’t overwhip the mousse as it will get too thick.
Long story short: you need a pourable, un-whipped cream that is around 35% fat. It should say on the bottle/carton that it is suitable for whipping.
Vanilla: I recommend using a good quality vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste in this recipe. As I said, the vanilla could be considered optional, although to me chocolate without vanilla is like fries without salt, so I’ll be leaving that in, thankyouverymuch.
How to Make Easy Chocolate Mousse
The process for making this mousse is almost exactly the same as making a ganache, the main difference here is we’re reversing the ratio of ingredients: 2 parts cream to 1 part chocolate.
All you have to do is heat half of the cream until just below boiling point. Add it to the roughly chopped chocolate along with a splash of vanilla.
Whisk it gently until the chocolate is melted, then whisk in the remaining cream (I recently adjusted the recipe to do it this way because adding the cold cream helps cool the mixture down faster).
Then pop it in the fridge and put your feet up for a bit. Leaving it overnight gives the best results, but I have some suggestions below for speeding this process up if you need to make and whip this on the same day.
Once the chocolate mixture is thoroughly chilled, all you need to do is whip it until peaks form.
That’s it. Seriously.
What sounds like “just chocolate whipped cream”, tastes like rich, fancy, smooth-but-fluffy chocolate mousse.
Just spoon or pipe it into
your mouth serving glasses or bowls. You can serve it straight away, or chill it again to firm it up a little more.
This is a great recipe for dinner parties because you can make the mousse mixture the day before, and then just whip it up on the day, and store it in the fridge until ready to serve.
To fancy it up, you can sprinkle it with chocolate shavings, chocolate chips, your favourite berries or other fruits, chopped nuts, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, chocolate caramel sauce, the list is really endless.
Is This Really Chocolate Mousse?
Because this recipe is always so popular, I share it regularly on my social media pages and every now and then someone comments to tell me that this “isn’t actually chocolate mousse.”
Sure, as I mentioned above, traditional French-style mousse is made with whipped egg whites and/or yolks, but that doesn’t mean this recipe isn’t a mousse.
In fact, according to most definitions (including good ol’ Wikipedia and my go-to baking and dessert bible “Professional Baking” by Wayne Gisslen), mousse can be made using either eggs; whipped cream, or both.
So yep, I’m more than happy to call this recipe mousse.
I think a lot of people are surprised by just how good the texture of this mousse is despite only having 3 simple ingredients. They love that it’s so easy to make and because it is an egg-free chocolate mousse, there are no worries about eating uncooked eggs.
I also get a lot of comments from people who are allergic to (or choose not to) eat eggs saying they are so glad they can have mousse again, which makes my mousse-loving heart happy 💜
Mousse Troubleshooting Tips
Before we get to the recipe, I should mention a few troubleshooting tips, just in case you need them. While this is a really simple basic recipe, there is one thing that can really ruin your chocolate mousse dreams – the mixture splitting when you whip it – *insert inconsolable crying noise here*.
There are two main culprits here. The first is over-whipping. If you whip the mixture for too long, the same thing will happen that would happen if you whipped plain cream for ages – you’ll make butter. So make sure you just whip the mixture until peaks form.
The other thing that can cause splitting is not chilling the unwhipped mixture for long enough.
It really does need to be super chilled before you get your mixer anywhere near it.
Chilling the mix overnight is the safest way to make sure that it is cold enough, but if you’re having a sudden Mousse Emergency, you can speed up the process by popping the mixture in the freezer. You will need to make sure you stir it regularly though, don’t just chuck it in there and forget it. Regular stirring will make sure it doesn’t actually start to freeze around the edges.
But what can you do if the mixture does split when you’re mixing it?
It’s an easy (if a little inconvenient when you’re in a hurry) fix- put the mixture back in a saucepan over low heat, and whisk it until it comes back together. Generally, that will do the trick. Then you’ll just have to chill it again (see the tips in the recipe card for chilling it faster), and re-whip.
Don’t let any of this put you off though, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve made this mousse and I’ve only ever only had it split twice – when I’ve been particularly impatient and whipped it too soon. But as long as you know what not to do, making this mousse should be as easy as 1…2…3…
Easy Chocolate Mousse
- 500 ml whipping cream see notes
- 250 g dark chocolate roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Heat half of the cream (250mls) in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until bubbles begin to form around the edges.
- Place the chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl. When the cream is heated, pour it over the chocolate and add the vanilla. Leave to melt for a minute, then stir with a whisk until all of the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth and well combined.
- Whisk in the remaining 250ml of cream. Adding this cold cream helps to cool the mixture down faster.
- Taste the mixture, and if the chocolate is a little too bitter you can add some caster or icing (confectioner’s) sugar until it’s as sweet as you want it.
- Cover and chill the mousse mixture until it is very cold. This can either be done in the fridge or freezer.Fridge – refrigerate for several hours or overnight.Freezer – place in the freezer for 1 hour, stirring every 10-15 minutes to make sure it doesn't freeze around the edges.Chilling overnight in the fridge is the best option and gives the best results, but sometimes we just want mousse in a hurry, so the freezer option is there if you need it.
- Whip the chocolate cream with an electric hand mixer just until stiff peaks form. It won’t take very long, be careful not to overwhip it.
- Pipe or spoon the mousse into glasses or small bowls. You can serve it immediately for a softer, smoother mousse, or chill for an hour or two for a fluffier mousse.
- Store, covered, in the fridge for several days.
Nutritional Disclaimer: Any nutritional info provided is a computer generated estimate and is intended as a guide only.
Quickfire Easy Chocolate Mousse FAQ
Yes, you sure can! According to most definitions, mousse can be made using either eggs; whipped cream, or both. This mousse has an amazing texture even without eggs, and it’s great for people who can’t eat eggs.
Yes, you can. Just pop it into an airtight container and freeze. If you want to serve it frozen, put it into (freezer safe!) serving dishes first and then put them all into a container to freeze, or alternatively freeze it all in one container, then let it soften slightly at room temperature before scooping into serving dishes.
This depends on the type of chocolate chips. If they’re baking chips, which generally have ingredients to stop them from melting and spreading when baked, they won’t work well in this recipe, as they don’t melt smoothly into the cream. If the chips are just regular chocolate in chip form and are designed to melt, then you should be able to use them in your mousse.
Not using this recipe. We’re relying on the fat from the cocoa butter in the chocolate to make the mousse set, and cocoa powder doesn’t contain cocoa butter.
If you’re wondering whether you can make an easy 3 ingredient chocolate mousse with white chocolate, you sure can! My recipe for Three Ingredient White Chocolate Mousse is up now!