Julia Child’s Chocolate Mousse

chocolate mousse served with whipped cream, selective focus,

Mousseline au Chocolat

†Excerpted from Mastering the art of French Cooking by Julia Child. Copyright ©1961 by Alfred A. Knopf. Reprinted with permission from the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. as part of the JC100 Celebration.

Makes about 5 cups, serving 6 to 8 people

  • A 3-quart porcelain or stainless steel mixing bowl
  • A wire whip or electric beater
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup instant sugar (very finely granulated)
  • ¼ cup orange liqueur
  • A pan of not-quite-simmering water
  • A basin of cold water

Beat the egg yolks and sugar together until mixture is thick, pale yellow, and falls back upon itself forming a slowly dissolving ribbon. Beat in the orange liqueur. Then set mixing bowl over the not-quite-simmering water and continue beating for 3 to 4  minutes the mixture is foamy and too hot for your finger. Then beat over cold water for 3 to 4 minutes until the mixture is cool and again forms the ribbon. It will have the consistency of mayonnaise.

  • 6 ounces or squares semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 4 Tb strong coffee
  • 6 ounces or 1 ½ sticks softened unsalted butter
  • A small saucepan
  • Optional: ¼cup finely diced, glazed orange peel

Melt chocolate with coffee over hot water. Remove from heat and beat in the butter a bit at a time to make a smooth cream. Beat the chocolate into the egg yolks and sugar, then beat in the optional orange peel.

  • 4 egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tb granulated sugar

Beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks are formed; sprinkle on the sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed. Stir one-fourth of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the rest.

Turn into serving dish, dessert cups, or petits pots. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

  • 2 cups vanilla-flavored crème anglaise (custard sauce), or lightly whipped cream sweetened with powdered sugar

Pass the sauce or whipped cream separately.


Turn the preceding mousse into a lightly oiled, 6-cup ring  hold. Cover with oiled, waxed paper. Chill for 3 to 4 hours until well set. Remove paper, dip mold for 1 second in very hot water, and unmold on a chilled serving dish. Fill center of mousse with crème anglaise or lightly whipped cream.

Or use the charlotte Malakoff system, lining a cylindrical mold with ladyfingers dipped in orange liqueur.

“It has such a lovely flavor and texture that it brings tears to your eyes when you taste it. It’s that good.”

~ Julia Child in “The French Chef, Mousse Au Chocolate”


More Julia Child Recipes






  • I am a mom of 2 who travels a lot for work (I work in the event/conference/tradeshow industry). I grew up  and currently live in Northern California.

18 thoughts on “Julia Child’s Chocolate Mousse

    • Laura Leigh Goyer says:

      Thanks Mary! The coffee flavour is really prominent so its like eating a frozen cafe mocha. 🙂

  1. Trish Worth says:

    Laura, your parents are very fortunate to have a cook for a daughter. I would be rapt if one of my sons made this for me. You’ve made a very special effort for this chocolate mousse. I make mine with Toblerone (pretty easy). Now I need to try the Julia Child version.

    • Laura Leigh Goyer says:

      Hi Trish,

      Your version with Toblerone sounds great. I image the little bits of nougat add a nice crunchy/chewy texture. I was quite nervous when it was time to un-mold mine, but it came out beautifully. Much better than I expected 🙂

      For me, the hard work really starts when the cooking ends. I’ve signed up for a photography course next week that I hope will help me get more comfortable with my camera.

      Thanks so much!

  2. Helene says:

    Fabulous mousse! Love the way you did it. When I do my blog post I will direct my readers to your site to enjoy your dessert! Have a great day!

    • Laura Leigh Goyer says:

      Hi Helene, I can’t wait to see your version of Julia’s recipe. If it’s anything like your rolled omelette, it will be spectacular! Thanks very much for stopping by.

  3. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says:

    I’m impressed you went the molded route! It turned out great. My girls and I watched Julia make the mousse and molded version the other night so it’s fun to have seen someone make it since. I bet it tasted fabulous!

    • Laura Leigh Goyer says:

      Thanks Rachel! I watched her too, but then went online to research the charlotte Malakoff method she referred to in the recipe. That’s when I stumbled upon the idea of adding the ‘handles’ to help lift the frozen mousse before un-molding. It gave me a little more confidence before I did the big flip 🙂

    • Laura Leigh Goyer says:

      I’m always so inspired by your gorgeous photography! Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you have a happy long weekend 🙂

    • Laura Leigh Goyer says:

      Thanks Kristen! It really was delicious, and making it as a frozen dessert gave it a fantastic texture. I didn’t dip the ladyfingers in orange liquor as Julia suggested, but we loved the contrasting crunch they added.

  4. Giovanni Vidotto says:

    Great change to your website, Laura! What theme are you using? Your dishes look like works of modern art.

    • Laura Leigh Goyer says:

      Thanks Giovanni! I appreciate the feedback. The move to a self-hosted solution was a little scary for me, but I think I have it all sorted out now. This theme is one of the free WordPress themes – Twenty Eleven – but I will probably be upgrading to a premium theme in the near future since I’m still looking for something with a bit more flexibility.

      Hope you’ll be enjoying the sunshine this weekend 🙂

    • Laura Leigh Goyer says:

      Hi Elizabeth,
      It’s a bit strange that I can’t put a ‘like’ button on my wordpress.org blog, yet I can still use the ‘like’ button on other blogs. I guess its not a two-way street. Glad you stopped by.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *