Julia Child’s Chocolate Mousse

Julia Child's Chocolate MousseI’ve always had a crush on chocolate mousse. As a child it would be the first thing I would grab from the dessert bar at a buffet dinner. It would almost always be 1980’s fancy, spooned into a wine glass and topped with a strawberry. I almost never order dessert anymore (guess I misplaced my sweet tooth somewhere along the way) but if there’s chocolate mousse on the menu chances are pretty good I’ll find room for it.

Julia Child's Chocolate Mousse

I was approached several weeks ago and asked if I would be interested in joining JC100, a culinary celebration leading up to Julia Child’s 100th birthday. Slightly intimidated and with visions of flopped soufflés and burned beef bourguignon, I accepted the invitation. I admit to feeling relieved when this week’s recipe to cook was chocolate mousse. I can do chocolate mousse (and so can you.) It’s actually pretty easy, so don’t feel intimidated.

Julia Child's Chocolate Mousse

I swapped the orange extract for a splash of brandy. If you’re like me and more likely to have booze on hand than flavour extracts, add what you think would taste great. Coffee liquor? Grand Marnier? Creme du Menthe? Whiskey? Or leave it out entirely.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Julia Child's Chocolate Mousse
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The Endless Meal - Serves: Makes 5 cups
  • 4 eggs, divided
  • ¾ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup orange liquor (optional)
  • 6 oz (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate
  • 4 tablespoons strong coffee
  • 6 oz (1 cup) butter, softened
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ cup finely diced glazed orange peel (optional)
  1. Beat egg yolks and sugar together until mixture is thick, pale yellow, and falls back upon itself forming a slowly dissolving ribbon. Beat in orange liquor.
  2. Set the bowl over a pot of not-quite-simmering water and continue beating for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is foamy and too hot for your finger.
  3. Then beat it over a bowl of cold water for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is cool and again forms the ribbon. It will have the consistency of mayonnaise.
  4. Melt chocolate and coffee over a pot of hot water. Remove from heat and beat in butter a bit at a time, to make a smooth cream. Beat the chocolate into the egg yolks and optional orange peel.
  5. Beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks are formed; sprinkle on sugar and beat till stiff peaks are formed. Stir one fourth of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the rest.
  6. Turn into serving dish, dessert cups or petits pots. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
After eating half a serving of this I realized it is actually too sweet for my taste. Next time I'll use less sugar or a darker chocolate. If you're like me and don't have much of a sweet tooth, reduce the sugar by at least half :)

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.


About Kristen

Kristen Stevens is the creator and editor of The Endless Meal. She is also the owner of a small underground restaurant in Vancouver, Canada.
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  1. nani says


    I can see little white lumps on your mousse. are those the egg whites that were a bit too hard after whipping?


    • says

      There were never any hardened egg whites in the mousse so that’s definitely not it. It looks like some of the dust from the chocolate shavings to me. :)

  2. Bruce says

    Tried it with some friends at our weekend BBQ – EVERYONE raved. Thanks for another amazing receipe.


  1. […] While a classic French chocolate mousse isn’t exactly comfort food to me, it can be to others. In fact, it may be a favourite of a loved one. Jordan Danger (@GirlCrafted) of Girl Crafted tasked herself with making a chocolate mousse for her significant other. That is, after asking where chocolate mousse could be found on a dessert menu in Ottawa. Hint, try a steak house. Click here to read about Danger’s first attempt at none other than Julia Child’s recipe. For the recipe she attempted click here. […]

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