James Martin’s chocolate mousse

James Martin’s chocolate mousse
  • Serves icon Serves 6
  • Time icon Hands-on time 20 min, plus chilling

Creamy, light-as-air chocolate mousse is a great way to end a dinner party. James Martin’s version of the classic dessert, made with just three ingredients, is easy to make and even easier to eat.

Want to make your dessert even more decadent? Take a look at our Crunchie honeycomb chocolate mousse.


  • 200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 50g caster sugar
  • softly whipped cream, to serve (optional)


  1. Place the chocolate and 120ml of water in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of just simmering water – do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Heat gently, stirring, until the chocolate is melted.
  2. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly, then stir in the egg yolks with a wooden spoon until well combined.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites with the sugar until stiff peaks form, then gently fold into the chocolate mixture.
  4. Spoon the mousse into individual dishes and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. Top with softly whipped cream, if desired.


Recipe from James Martin’s French Adventure by James Martin (Quadrille £20) Photography by Peter Cassidy.


What goes in chocolate mousse?
A classic French chocolate mousse is made with eggs and chocolate, sometimes with the addition of sugar and flavourings i.e. orange zest or liqueur. Modern adaptations often add whipped cream to the mix for a lighter, less intensely chocolatey finish.

How should you serve chocolate mousse?
Either in a large dish to be served up into bowls, or set in individual glasses. It can be served on its own, with a dollop of whipped cream or creme fraiche, or with a crumbly topping such as chopped praline, toasted nuts or crushed amaretti biscuits - the crunch contrasts nicely with the smooth and fluffy texture of the mousse.

Why is my chocolate mousse not fluffy?
The various ingredients have not been sufficiently whipped before being mixed, or they were overmixed when combined. A light hand is needed when mixing mousse to avoid losing all the air. Fold in using a large metal spoon and stop as soon as no streaks are visible in the mixture.

Does chocolate mousse have raw eggs?
Yes, classic French mousse uses raw egg. Some recipes call for the yolks to be whipped over a hot water bath, which cooks the yolks. If avoiding raw egg, you can use pasteurised egg whites, or opt for a recipe based on cream.

How do you make mousse thicker?
Chocolate mousse will set when chilled in the fridge. If it stays very soft, it may be that the ratio of chocolate to egg is incorrect or the eggs were insufficiently whipped. If the recipe includes cream, as this one does, it could be that this was under-whipped also. Try folding some more whipped cream through the mixture to give more body (you might want to add extra melted chocolate so the flavour is still rich), and avoid using low-fat substitutes as these will not whip in the same way as full-fat versions.

Recipe By

Find out more about chef James Martin, who created this recipe.


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Read what others say...

  1. This recipe works every time. If anyone has problems incorporating the egg yolks, leave to cool the bowl as well as the chocolate. If it’s too hot your yolks will scramble. Adding half a tablespoon of cocoa will also help.

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