Cook's Illustrated Chocolate Mousse

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  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 5 Tablespoons water
  • 1 Tablespoon brandy
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons chilled heavy cream


1. Melt chocolate, cocoa powder, espresso powder, water, and brandy in a mdeium heat-proof bowl set over saucepan filled with 1 inch of barely simmering water, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from heat.

2. Whisk egg yolks, 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar and salt in medium bowl until mixture lightens in color and thickens slightly, about 30 seconds with mixer. Pour melted chocolate into egg mixture and whisk until combined. Let cool until just warmer than room temperature, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. In clean bowl of standing mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg whites at medium low speed until frothy 1 to 2 minutes (w/ hand mixer, use medium speed, and may take longer). Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, increase mixer speed to medium high, and beat till soft peaks form when whisk is lifted, about 1 minute. Detach whisk and bowl from mixer and whisk last few strokes by hand, making sure to scrape any unbeaten whites from bottom of bowl. Using whisk, stir about one-quarter of beaten whites into chocolate mixture to lighten it; gently fold in remaining whites with rubber spatula until a few white streaks remain.

4. In now-empty bowl, whip heavy cream at medium speed until it begins to thicken, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to high and whip until soft peaks form when whisk is lifted, about 15 seconds more. Using rubber spatula, fold whipped cream in mousse until no more white streaks remain. Spoon into 6 to 8 individual serving dishes or goblets. Cover with plastic wrap, and refridgerate until set and firm, at least 2 hours. (Mousse can be refridgerated up to 24 hours.)


  • Serves 6-8
  • Time?

  • They liked the Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate best; if you make this a day in advance, leave it out at room temp for 10 minutes before serving; serve with very lightly whipped cream and chocolate shavings; a hand-held mixer can be used instead of a standing mixer, but times will be longer.
  • When testing, they tried premium high-end boutique chocolates, and were unsatisfied with the results - grainy and bitter.

  • Recipe by Cook's Illustrated (Jan & Feb 2006)
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