Julia Child’s Chocolate Mousse

One more Julia recipe done!

This week’s JC100 recipe is her Chocolate Mousse – something I’ve been terrified to make at home since I first started cooking. And not just her chocolate mousse – any chocolate mousse.

Earlier this week, Susan and I got to work – and our mousse turned out delicious! Light, airy, and super chocolatey.

The only thing I might change would be to use a little less coffee because I could barely taste the orange and I wanted more of that flavor with the chocolate.

But, just like her omelette recipe, this wasn’t hard to make at all. I’m just learning – fast – that Julia’s recipes are meant to be read, in full, before you begin. Maybe more than once. If you know what step comes next, the actual recipe isn’t complicated. Lots of mixing and folding in this one.

And then, of course, the unfair part of this recipe: once the mousse is made, you have to let it chill for 2 hours before eating.

We definitely didn’t make it that long.


[Chocolate Mousse-a cold dessert]

Among all the recipes for chocolate mousse this is one of the best, we think; it uses egg yolks, sugar, and butter, and instead of cream, beaten egg whites. The orange flavoring suggested here is delicious with chocolate…

For about 5 cups serving 6 to 8 people

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup instant sugar (very finely granulated)
  • 1/4 cup orange liqueur
  • A pan of barely simmering water
  • A basin of cold water
  • 6 ounces or squares semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 4 Tb strong  coffee
  • A small saucepan
  • 6 ounces or 1/2 sticks softened unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup finely diced, glazed orange peel (optional)
  • 4 egg whites
  • pinch salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  1. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together until mixture is thick, pale yellow, and falls back upon itself forming a slowly dissolving ribbon. Beat in the orange liqueur.
  2. Then set mixing bowl over the not­ quite simmering water and continue beating for 3 to 4 minutes until the mixture is foamy and too hot for your finger.
  3. Then beat over cold water for 3 to 4 minutes until the mixture is cool and again forms the ribbon. It will have the consistency of mayonnaise.
  4. Melt chocolate with coffee over hot water. Remove from heat and beat in the butter a bit at a time, to make a smooth cream.Beat the chocolate into the egg yolks and sugar, then beat in the optionaì orange peel.
  5. Beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks are formed; sprinkle on the sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed, pgge 159. Stir one fourth of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Fold ín the rest.
  6. Turn into serving dish, dessert cups, or petits pots. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

This recipe is excerpted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. Copyright © 1961 by Alfred A. Knopf. Reprinted with permission from the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.


  1. I love chocolate mousse!! Julia’s sounds amazing. Will add it to my ever growing list. :)

  2. Chocolate mousse is such a classic French dessert, I almost always have it when I’m in a French restaurant and I adore your way of serving it here!

  3. I’ve never had the courage to make chocolate mousse myself (unless you count the surprisingly delicious tofu kind) but I am a huge fan of it. Actually, let’s be real, I’m a huge fan of anything chocolate. This looks so yummy!

  4. Love the cute little chocolate shell cups!

    • It’s a campaign leading up to what would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday this year. A group of bloggers get sent a recipe each week to make (if they want) and blog about it. Super fun!

  5. This looks heavenly, Brandi! I love chocolate mousse but haven’t attempted it yet. I must, though, yours looks amazing!

  6. Brandi, this mousse looks SO rich, so soft, and soo irresistible. I’m practically drooling at work right now at the pictures! Everyone needs a good mousse recipe and this definitely looks like a winner.

    • Thanks Sally! It turned out way better than I thought – I was pretty scared of this recipe :)

  7. Chocolate mousse was, interestingly enough, one of those dishes I attempted early on when I started to learn about cooking. It wasn’t until after I made it (thankfully successfully) that I learned that people thought of it as hard. Same with risotto. I think a lot of it comes down to patience and being detail oriented so you don’t scramble the eggs. Of course I cannot say that all of my early cooking projects were that successful. My first few attempts at bread were horrible.

  8. 2 hours? I would die waiting!! :-)

    • uh yeah….we maybe made it one hour. still good! probably better after the full two, but that’s just cruel to have to wait that long :)

  9. Oh yum! And they look so fun in martini glasses :)

  10. Mmm I love a good chocolate mousse! It’s great in things but delicious just eaten with a spoon!

  11. Wasn’t it so good!? The filled mini cups are so cute!

  12. love it in those little cups :) looks luscious!!

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  14. what a fun idea putting it in those choc cups! yum!

  15. I love that you were able to make this with Susan! Wish I was there, hanging with you too! Looks lovely. Glad to be part of the JC 100 with you. :)

  16. I can’t wait to try this! It just looks perfect! love the photos too!

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