Chocolate Mousse for One

This chocolate mousse from Elizabeth David is made with just chocolate, eggs, and water. A decadent yet deceptively easy dessert that serves just one although it can easily be scaled up with simple math.

Two individual servings of chocolate mouse in glass tumblers served on a small plate with a silver spoon resting beside.

This chocolate mousse is a seemingly sophisticated chocolate fix that draws on just three ingredients, comes together in minutes, and is satiating beyond belief. And it makes just a single serving, and we don’t think we need to elaborate on why that’s a boon.–Renee Schettler

Raw Egg Reminder

Hey, in case you hadn’t noticed, this recipe contains raw egg. Please be mindful if making it for anyone for whom this is a potential no-go, including the very young, the rather old, those expecting a child, and anyone with a depressed immune system.

Chocolate Mousse

  • Quick Glance
  • (4)
  • 5 M
  • 20 M
  • Serves 1
5/5 - 4 reviews
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In a heavy saucepan over a low flame, warm the chocolate and water or coffee until the chocolate melts. Stir until smooth. Remove from the heat and cool slightly, perhaps 5 minutes or so.

Tester tip: If you want to make things easier, heat the water in the microwave or use freshly brewed hot coffee and simply stir the chocolate into the liquid. It’ll quickly melt without you needing to wash a pan.

Separate the egg(s). In a bowl, beat the egg yolk(s) to combine. Very slowly stir the melted chocolate into the yolk(s).

In a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer on high speed, beat the egg white(s) until very stiff. Using a spatula, gently fold the white(s) over and over into the chocolate until things are perfectly blended and no streaks remain.

Place the mousse in ramekins or lovely glasses if making it for one or two or a soufflé dish if serving several guests.

Tester tip: When selecting glasses or a dish, keep in mind that’s nothing’s sadder than a small amount of mousse hiding at the bottom of a huge glass or bowl.

Refrigerate for 10 minutes if your craving is intense, 30 minutes if you have a little patience, or 3 hours or so if you’re serving at a dinner party. Don’t refrigerate it any longer than that, as this tends to make the texture too hard. Originally published May 12, 2011.

Print RecipeBuy the At Elizabeth David's Table cookbook

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

This chocolate mousse recipe is such an easy dish to make that there’s no excuse not to do it. It’s also a wonderfully adaptable recipe. I made this twice—once using a 70-percent cacao dark chocolate and again using a white chocolate. You could really use any type of chocolate here, depending upon your taste.

Keep in mind that the only sweetening in this recipe comes from the chocolate itself. With the 70-percent dark chocolate, I got an intensely-flavored mousse with very little sweetness. So if you like a sweeter mousse, you might want to use a milder dark chocolate with less cocoa solids, or even a milk chocolate.

The white chocolate version I made was a very different animal—much sweeter, but still delicious. Both versions were lovely garnished with fresh strawberries.

This chocolate mousse recipe was easy to make, with delicious results—a nice, light dessert to finish off any meal. I had some hot strong coffee on hand and used that in the chocolate. I didn’t even need to turn on my stove. All I had to do was stir the hot coffee into the chocolate and it melted perfectly.

I made 4 individual servings in ramekins, as suggested in the recipe. I’ll make this recipe again.


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    1. Claudia, when chocolate gets overheated it can seize, and it ends up becoming dry and clumpy and pretty unusable.

  1. This very straightforward chocolate mousse recipe appeared too simple to me. I was surprised to get such good results without cream, but the mousse does come out creamy and light. Using the microwave to melt the chocolate, the recipe took less than 5 minutes to complete. I used it as the top layer of a multi-layered chocolate cherry pie and used kirsch instead of rum. I would use this mousse in similar applications, to add another element to a fancy dessert. I probably wouldn’t serve the mousse all by itself, though. But if you wanted to make a really simple dessert, the strong dark chocolate flavor goes great with tart fruit.

  2. I was looking for a non-dairy chocolate dessert for Passover dinner (for 25!) and this was the perfect one. It came out rich and fluffy and everybody loved it. I will make it again. Only recommendation: use high-quality chocolate!

    Small tip: I had some leftover mousse, so I baked it in a thin layer and cut it in small pieces–et voilà! Small “biscuits” to dip in the mousse.

    1. Magnificent to hear that everyone loved this, Sarah! (Chocolate mousse for 25?! Brave soul!) And what you did with the leftover mousse was simply brilliant! Appreciate you sharing that trick! Props to you not only for cooking for so many but for being creative while you’re at it. Wishing you and yours a lovely Passover and looking forward to hearing which recipe on our site you try next…!

  3. Thank you, David, for sharing such a lovely recipe. Two questions, if that’s OK:

    1) What size should the egg be? I realize what’s “large” in Europe is equivalent to “Extra Large” in North America.

    2) I had bought couverture 80% cocoa solid chocolate not realizing it would set heavier than 66% (my French friend said, “no more than 70%!”, after the fact). Can I compensate for the extra cocoa solids with extra egg and / or water and achieve the same lightness?

    Thank you!

    1. Rowena you’re more than welcome. Regarding the egg size, these are standard U.S. large eggs, which I believe are the same in Canada, where you are. And about the chocolate, I’m not entirely sure, to be honest. You’ll have to play around if you’re using a higher percentage, as there are all kinds of chemical reactions that occur. My fear with more water is the chocolate may seize. You could try adding a tablespoon of egg white. That might give you the lift you’re looking for. Hope this helps.

  4. HI there, I’m having trouble stopping my melted chocolate from seizing. I’m using Lindt Dessert 70%. Heating gently with water has it seizing as soon as the chocolate is half melted. Any tips please???

    1. Hi Patricia, since you are having issues, you might want to try a bittersweet chocolate or possibly swap out that bit of water with coffee in future attempts. Sometimes you can salvage seized chocolate by adding a bit more water, which seems counterintuitive, but the extra water causes a phase inversion which can save that clumpy, grainy mess.

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