Light and Fluffy Chocolate Mousse

We're thrilled to bring you kitchen wisdom from our friends at America's Test Kitchen. This week, they're sharing a lightened-up version of chocolate mousse for something decadent yet easy on the waistline.

We love a challenge (who doesn’t?), so we tackled the ultimate in decadent desserts—chocolate mousse. We knew we had our work cut out for us to lighten up this rich classic.

Here’s what we found: Three chocolates are better than one when trying to save on fat and calories. Semisweet chocolate adds rich chocolate flavor and creaminess, while Dutch-processed cocoa lends intense chocolate flavor. The white chocolate chips add creamy sweetness.

Instead of folding in whipped cream, as traditional recipes do, our recipe relies on fat-free Italian meringue made by beating hot sugar syrup into whipped egg whites for a mousse with a billowy, thick texture. Italian meringue is made with sugar syrup, rather than sugar, and is thus more stable. It lends a creamy lushness to desserts without any added fat.

Keep reading for the recipe.

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Light and Fluffy Chocolate Mousse

Light and Fluffy Chocolate Mousse

Notes

We prefer the smooth, rich flavor of semisweet bar chocolate here, but semisweet chips may be substituted.

To make ahead: The chocolate mousse can be refrigerated for up to three days before serving.

Light and Fluffy Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
2 tablespoons Dutch‐processed cocoa
6 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup (2 1/3 ounces) sugar
3 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Directions

  1. Combine the semisweet chocolate, white chocolate, cocoa, 6 tablespoons of the water, and vanilla in a medium bowl set over a large saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Heat the mixture, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Bring the sugar and remaining 1/3 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and cook until the mixture is slightly thickened and syrupy (about 235ºF on a candy thermometer), 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the syrup from the heat and cover to keep warm.
  3. In a large bowl, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and whip the whites to soft peaks, 2 to 5 minutes.
  4. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and following the photo, slowly add the hot syrup, avoiding the whisk and the sides of the bowl. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and continue to whip until the meringue has cooled slightly (just warm) and is very thick and shiny, 2 to 5 minutes.
  5. Gently whisk one-third of the meringue into the chocolate mixture until combined, then whisk in the remaining meringue. Divide the mousse evenly between six 4-ounce ramekins or pudding cups. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, about 12 hours, before serving.
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