- Prep time 10 minutes
- Cook time 10 minutes
- Serves 4
It took a brilliant, adventurous chemist to discover the simplest way to make chocolate mousse at home. Hervé This, the father of molecular gastronomy, discovered how to make a flawless, creamy chocolate mousse out of just chocolate and water. Yes, that's it! No need to ever go out for the store-bought stuff again.
This all happens fast as the mixture cools, so chances are you'll go too far on your first try. Don't worry—you can simply just return it to the pan, melt it, and start over.
As you're making this recipe, keep in mind that three things can go wrong. But don't you worry, here's how to fix them. If your chocolate doesn't contain enough fat, melt the mixture again, add some chocolate, and then whisk it again. If the mousse is not light enough, melt the mixture again, add some water, and whisk it once more. If you whisk it too much so that it becomes grainy, this means that the foam has turned into an emulsion. In that case, simply melt the mixture and whisk it again, adding nothing. Simple solutions to simple issues, making this recipe pretty foolproof.
Once you have the rhythm down, you can flavor it as you wish with liqueurs or coffee or spices, sweeten it to your liking, or just keep it dark and intense. In all of these scenarios, a little whipped cream up top is never a bad idea. Adapted from Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor (Columbia University Press, 2008) —Genius Recipes
(6 ounces) water
chocolate (we used 70% bittersweet; choose a high-quality chocolate you love)
Whipped cream, for topping (optional)
- Pour the water into a small saucepan (which will be improved from the gastronomic point of view if it's flavored with orange juice, for example, or cassis purée). Heat over medium-low heat and whisk in the chocolate. The result is a homogenous sauce.
- Place the saucepan in a bowl partly filled with ice cubes (or pour into another bowl over the ice—it will chill faster). Whisk the chocolate sauce, either manually with a whisk or with an electric mixer (if using an electric mixer, watch closely—it will thicken faster). Whisking creates large air bubbles in the sauce, which steadily thickens. After a while, strands of chocolate form inside the loops of the whisk. Pour or spoon immediately into ramekins, small bowls, or jars and let set.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream, if desired.