Pudding is made by cooking the milk and sugar base and adding cornstarch to thicken the mixture. Mousse is made by folding beaten egg whites or whipped cream into a cold milk and sugar base. Unlike pudding, mousse is not cooked and the addition of air to the mixture leads to a fluffier consistency and lighter texture.
The name "mousse" comes from the French word meaning "foam." The light and airy texture of this classic dessert comes from whipping air into cream and gently folding it into the chocolate mixture.
For the best chocolate mousse, it is important to use the highest quality chocolate available. The better the chocolate, the better the mousse. Semisweet or bittersweet chocolate is preferred because it will impart a rich flavor without being too sweet.
This recipe incorporates a splash of cognac or coffee liqueur into the chocolate mixture for added panache. Brewed espresso also works well if you prefer a non-alcoholic option.
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups Farmer's All Natural Heavy Cream, divided
8 oz. chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 tablespoon cognac, coffee liqueur, or brewed espresso
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large mixing bowl, whip the egg yolks and granulated sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
In a small saucepan, gently warm 3/4 cup of the heavy cream over low heat until it just begins to steam. Do not boil. (Return the remaining 1 1/4 cups of heavy cream to the refrigerator until ready to use in step 8.)
While whisking the egg mixture, slowly pour half of the warm cream into the egg mixture to temper the egg yolks. Once combined, pour the combined egg yolk and cream mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining warm cream.
Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken and reaches 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate, your choice of cognac, coffee liqueur or brewed espresso, and the vanilla extract. Mix well until the chocolate has melted.
Pour the chocolate mixture into a medium bowl, cover and chill thoroughly.
Once the chocolate has chilled, whip the remaining 1 1/4 cups heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture until combined and no white streaks show.
Spoon into serving bowls and chill until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, top with additional whipped cream and garnish with chocolate curls.
Topping and Garnish:
Chocolate curls or chocolate shavings
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