The trickiest elements of making a chocolate mousse are easily eliminated by using a microwave. By using it to quickly heat an inverted sugar like corn syrup, there is no chance of the accidental crystallization that often happens when boiling table sugar on the stove, and therefore no chance of a gritty mousse. A microwave is also the best method for melting chocolate—the gentle heat allows for smooth, even melting every single time. The recipe is best done with a handheld mixer, as beating the eggs to ribbon stage by hand is quite a workout.
It’s important to note that the mousse will appear very runny once completed. Do not worry that you did something wrong. A true chocolate mousse needs a few hours to set up firmly–once poured in serving glasses and refrigerated, it will come out exactly as were hoping. If you are intending to use the mousse as a pastry filling or would like to layer in a cake, refrigerate the entire bowl to set up before using.
- Whip 3 ½ cups heavy cream to medium peaks. Set aside in fridge.
- In a large bowl, whip the eggs and yolks until ribbon stage: pale yellow, and thick enough that the mixer begins to create a ribbon pattern.
- In a large microwave-safe measuring cup, heat corn syrup for two minutes till boiling. With the mixer running, slowly drizzle in the corn syrup. As you beat, the yolk mixture ("pate a bomb" in culinary jargon) will increase in size as it takes on air. Continue to beat until cool.
- In the same microwave-safe measuring cup, combine ½ cup heavy cream and liquor/espresso, then add the chocolate. Microwave on high in 30-second increments, stirring between each, until chocolate is entirely melted and mixture is smooth and pourable.
- Turn the mixer back on and drizzle the melted chocolate into the pate a bombe. Continue mixing until thoroughly combined and cool.
- Remove whipped cream from fridge. Using a rubber spatula, gently mix ¼ of the cream into the chocolate base to lighten it. Fold in the remainder of the cream in three additions until uniform in color and texture.
- Pour the mousse into 8 small bowls or goblets, cover with plastic, and refrigerate for at least three hours, or until firmly set.
Allison Robicelli is a D-list celebrity-chef chef, author, humorist, entrepreneur, general polymath, and all-around good time. You may remember her from such places as Food52, Eater, Food Network, VH1, and many other quirky corners of the food Internet. She is the author of the critically acclaimed cookbook/memoir Robicelli's: A Love Story, With Cupcakes, which has been called one of the funniest food-related books of all time. You should buy it.