Julia Child’s chocolate mousse

The end of this marathon is getting very near, four more recipes left to go and the person behind today’s recipe is none other than Julia Child. Yes, her chocolate mousse recipe was also amongst the ones we’ve tried for this marathon and let me tell you, she’s a legend not for nothing.

In case this wasn’t obvious before I should note, that when it comes to recipes (and food), I am one of a picky and hard to please kind and it does not happen often that I find no fault in a recipe.

Yet, when I’ve tried this mousse I’ve had a little epiphany moment: the texture was beyond good, having just the right balance of air and rich flavor that chocolate mousse should have.

The little espresso shot that went into this mousse gently melted with chocolate resulting in a subtle coffee flavor and a truly exquisite dessert. If you like coffee flavored things that is.

On the matter of the jury…

As much as I’d like to have the deciding vote in the competition, a panel of judges evaluated all 12 recipes and as I have mentioned before in the case of chocolate orange mousse, the jury in this competition were strictly into pure chocolate mousses and would not accept any additional spice. Meaning, coffee, though adding subtle and very welcome undertones to the dessert was the reason this recipes isn’t scored higher.

In term of process, this does take a few more steps than most chocolate mousse recipes, but the resulting combination between the light-rich texture is something I wouldn’t mind slaving hours in the kitchen for.

Recipe from Eat.Live.Travel.Write.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Julia Child's chocolate mousse
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
  • 170 g bitter or semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 170 g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 60 mls espresso coffee
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 170 g, plus 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 30 mls orange liqueur (I used Grand Marnier)
  • 15 mls water
  • pinch of salt
  1. In a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water, melt the chocolate, butter and coffee, stirring occasionally until combined. Remove from heat.
  2. Prepare for the next step by filling a large bowl with ice-cold water.
  3. In another heatproof bowl beat the yolks of the eggs with the 170g of sugar, liqueur, and water for a couple of minutes until the mixture is thick and pale yellow.
  4. Then transfer the bowl over a pot of simmering water and continue to beat the mixture until is is a little foamy. Remove from heat and continue to beat over the bowl of ice-water for another 3-4 minutes until it has the consistency of runny mayonnaise.
  5. Fold the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg yolks and beat until smooth. Set aside.
  6. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites with salt until it starts to foam then add the tablespoon of sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks.
  7. Fold in gently about ¼ of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate/egg yolk mixture at a time, but don't overwork it or it will loose the "airy" texture.
  8. Divide between serving dishes and leave to set in the fridge for at least 4-5 hours.

Previous posts in the chocolate mousse marathon:

33 thoughts on “Julia Child’s chocolate mousse

  1. It sounds really like the best of the mousses you have presented. Julia Child of course… I always add coffee to most chocolate desserts I make (it enhances the chocolate flavour and makes it more elegant) and of course I have no doubts technically the recipe is perfect. Thank you for sharing all these delights!
    By the way, where have you got such sensational cups?

    • I agree coffee and chocolate complement each other perfectly. These cups are part of a tea set I’ve got from my parents for the wedding (and they are so delicate that their main function is to pose for photos) :)

    • You can barely feel the orange, but I think it gives a texture dinension and maybe subtle traces here and there, this is more on marriage of coffee and chocolate :)

  2. This is my first time visiting your blog and I see so many chocolate mousse recipes! My son loves eating chocolate mousse and if I need to make them, I know now that your blog is the place that I can find the best recipes…

    • LOL! Well, as much as I love chocolate, these have been quite exceptional weeks for me to make that much. I can assure, once the the winner is announced, I’m back to posting a variety of different things :)

  3. I think I will really enjoy making this one. I love just a hint of coffee in my chocolate. I always add a teaspoon to my chocolate ice cream mix. People can’t tell there’s coffee in there until I tell them and they say, “THAT’S what I taste but I couldn’t put my finger on it (should have said tongue, I know)”

  4. Now with this recipe, and tone of your speech… so far this must be the winning one! I start to read between lines of your post (teehee). Well, don’t worry I’ll wait till the last one… can’t wait which one wins! I love this cup… is this some kind brand name set? I love this…

    • I’ve checked the back of the cups but I only found “Best Home Porcelain” written, maybe it’s available where you live?

    • Espresso was great! It’s a bit like getting the daily caffeine dose in a dessert :)

  5. Now, this is one I’ve actually made…and it drew rave reviews from the family. It’s so gorgeous in your beautiful china!

    • I can relate to the raving reviews, I’m thinking of making this one very soon too :)

  6. Hear, hear for “the greater good of chocolate!” (from your reply to a comment above) — I totally agree!

  7. Ahhhh, this chocolate marathon is just delicious, I’m glad I’ve stopped by : )
    I would love to try every single recipe!

    • I’d recommend not to be trying them all in one day (from experience) as it can seriously damage the relationship with chocolate for a while :)

  8. I made the 5 minute mousse with a couple of changes–used heavy cream instead of water and then added one egg white with a tablespoon of sugar–put it in the fridge for 20 minutes and they came out very nice. To be honest, this may be my go to recipe– at least for mousse– till such time as…well. Nah. Why make the effort for a slightly better mousse that might take another hour of work?

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