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5 Types of Mousse You Can Make with Chocolate

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If you are a fan of desserts, you must be familiar with chocolate mousse. Although there is a lot of savory and sweet mousse that you can find, chocolate mousse remains the most popular flavor to date. This dessert is loved by many for its airy, light texture yet rich chocolate flavor that melts in the mouth as it is served cold.

To get the texture and flavor you want to achieve, you can create your chocolate mousse using different methods. Read on to find out the types of chocolate mousse you can make with chocolate. 

What Is Mousse Cake?

mousse cake

Mousse cake is a dessert with a soft and airy texture. The key to this light texture is the folding technique. Instead of mixing ingredients the usual way, an “aerator” component is incorporated into a “base” by making a folding movement.

Aerators can be whipped cream, meringue, pâte à bombe, or a combination of them. Meanwhile, the base may vary from melted chocolate, crème anglaise, fruit puree, fruit curd, to custard.

The folding technique itself aims to combine and trap the air bubbles in the aerator into the base, resulting in an airy texture that feels light in the mouth. It also makes the mousse soft and fluffy.

In some recipes, gelatin is added to the mousse cake, especially if the base contains chocolate. With the addition of gelatin, the mousse will have a firmer or harder texture. If you are avoiding gelatin, then it can be replaced with agar-agar.

Why Do They Call It Mousse Cake?

chocolate mousse cake with cherries

The word 'mousse' itself comes from French which means ‘foam', due to its foamy and airy character. As we have learned, all the air that is trapped into the mixture makes for a cake that is very light and fluffy in texture.

With its light texture, mousse is a perfect component to add into cakes. When combined with other layers that are heavier or have a more solid texture, a contrast is created, making your dining experience much more multidimensional and fun. Not to mention that mousse instantly makes your cake fancier. This is why mousse is often a component included in cakes. However, mousse cake on its own also remains very popular.

Read more: Embassy Recipes, Chocolate Mousse With Coffee Jelly

5 Types of Mousse You Can Make with Chocolate

types of Chocolate Mousse

Depending on the aerator and base you use, you can create several types of mousse with chocolate:

  • Simple ganache: chocolate + milk/cream
  • Pâte à bombe: egg yolks and/or whole eggs + hot sugar syrup
  • Crème anglaise: egg yolks + sugar + milk/cream
  • Crème chiboust: milk + sugar + cornstarch + vanilla bean + gelatin + egg yolks + egg whites
  • Sabayon: egg yolks + sugar + water + wine

1. Simple ganache

Using a ganache is the easiest way to make chocolate mousse. Ganache itself is a basic component that any chocolate enthusiast should know, and its versatility also shines through in chocolate mousse.

To make a simple ganache, you will only need chocolate and milk/cream. Heat the milk until almost boiling, pour onto the chocolate and blend. To make the mousse, simply fold in a soft peak whipped cream gently.

2. Pâte à bombe

Pâte à bombe is a classic base to add into a chocolate mousse. It is the most frequently used, yet the most complicated to make. 

In a pâte à bombe, hot sugar syrup is combined with whipped egg yolks. Sometimes whole eggs are used in combination with the egg yolks. The method is similar to making an Italian meringue; the only difference is that egg yolks are used instead of egg whites.

The pâte à bombe is then incorporated into a mixture of chocolate and whipped cream, folding it in gently to create a chocolate mousse. Mousse made with a pâte à bombe base results in a mousse cake with a creamy texture and a rich chocolate flavor.

Read more: 5 Ideas for Chocolate Cake Fillings and Toppings

3. Crème anglaise

Crème anglaise, or also called English cream or vanilla sauce, is another base that you can use for your chocolate mousse. Unlike the creamy pâte à bombe, the crème anglaise is a pourable cream that has the consistency of a sauce.

A crème anglaise is a type of cream that contains egg yolks, sugar and milk/cream. To make mousse using crème anglaise, strain it and mix it into a bowl of chocolate. Then, gently fold in soft-peak whipped cream.

Chocolate mousse made with a crème anglaise can then be piped to your cake mold or scooped into caneles. For the latter, keep the mousse in a bowl then keep it in the fridge for at least 3 hours until crystallized.

4. Crème chiboust

Crème chiboust is also known as St. Honore cream, named after the 19th century French pastry chef Monsieur Chiboust who had his own pastry shop in Rue Saint-Honoré. 

A crème chiboust is a pastry cream lightened with Italian meringue and stabilized with gelatin. This base is then incorporated with chocolate and cream, same as the method above.

Compared to other mousses, it has a lower fat content. This makes the flavor of the cake really shine through, which is perfect for making fruit flavored mousses. However, this also makes it less creamy, which makes it less recommended for chocolate mousse since we want that rich and airy texture.

5. Sabayon

Sabayon is the French name for the Italian dessert zabaglione (or zabaione), which is believed to have originated in Italy in the 1500s. It is a light and mousse-like sauce that has a creamy texture even though it does not contain any dairy ingredients. 

Sabayon is made with egg yolks, sugar and wine (traditionally Marsala, but you can also use white wine). You can use less sugar if you want to create a savory mousse. 

To make a chocolate mousse with sabayon base, incorporate chocolate into the sabayon, then gently fold in a soft-peak meringue to the sabayon. 

Read more: What is the best chocolate to cream ratio for making a ganache?

Troubleshooting Common Chocolate Mousse Cake Issues

troubleshooting mousse cake

My mousse cake is sandy or too thick

If your mousse feels grainy and has a sandy texture, or it’s too heavy or too thick, it may be because either your cream or your base is too cold. This causes the fat in the chocolate to crystallize, which makes the texture too sandy or thick.

My mousse cake is too runny

If the consistency of your mousse is too runny, the base of your mousse may be too hot. This turns the whipped cream and its fat liquid, thus resulting in a mousse that is too runny.

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