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Recipe for Julia Child’s chocolate mousse

Wendy Maeda/Globe staff; Food styling/Valerie Ryan & Sheryl Julian

Makes 10 small or 6 medium servings

Julia Child describes this mousse as one of the best. It uses eggs, sugar, and butter instead of cream. Note that the eggs are not fully cooked so take care whom you serve this to (no one very young, old, or pregnant) or use a pasteurized egg product. The recipe can be divided among 10 small ramekins or custard cups or 6 larger ones. The mousse will use every bowl in your kitchen. It’s worth it.


4eggs, separated
¾cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
¼cup orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
6ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
¼cup strong liquid coffee
¾cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch of salt

1. Have on hand 10 ramekins or custard cups ( ⅓ cup each) or 6 small bowls (¾ cup each).


2. In a bowl combine the egg yolks and ¾ cup granulated sugar. Beat for 5 minutes or until the mixture is thick and pale yellow and leaves a ribbon trail on itself when the beaters are lifted.

3. Beat in the orange liqueur and continue mixing until blended.

4. Place the bowl over not quite simmering water and beat for an additional 3 minutes until the mixture forms tiny bubbles and is too hot for your finger.

5. Transfer the bowl to a cold-water bath and continue beating for an additional 3 minutes until the mixture is cool and again forms a ribbon. The consistency will be similar to mayonnaise.

6. Set another bowl over not quite simmering water. Add the chocolate and coffee and let the mixture sit until the chocolate melts.

7. Remove the chocolate from the heat and beat in the butter a little at a time to form a smooth cream.

8. Beat the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture.

9. In an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and salt until they hold soft peaks. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

10. Gently stir one-quarter of the whites into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the remaining whites.


11. Spoon the mousse into the dishes. Set on a tray, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.


1cup heavy cream
1teaspoon vanilla extract
1tablespoon confectioners' sugar
Grated chocolate or a few springs fresh mint (for garnish)

1. Chill the bowl and beaters for the cream. With an electric mixer, beat the cream until it holds soft peaks.

2. Add the vanilla and confectioners’ sugar and continue beating until the cream holds stiff peaks; do not overbeat.

3. Garnish the cups with whipped cream and chocolate or mint. Adapted from
“Mastering the Art of French Cooking”