Chocolate Chantilly – The Magic Mousse

Dan Donoghue

Chocolate Chantilly

Update: See a demo by Dan of how to make Chocolate Chantilly

Chocolate chantilly – or magic chocolate mousse – is a great dessert, easy and fast to make with a great flavor profile. The technique to create chantilly was developed by the father of molecular gastronomy, Hervé This, with the original recipe posted to his blog at There are countless variations you can make to the recipe. Try using orange juice instead of water, along with a bit of orange zest, to create an orange chocolate mousse. Or substitute 1 tablespoon of your favorite liquor for 1 Tbsp of the water to create an infused chantilly – some of my suggestions to try are Bailey’s (Irish cream), Grand Marinier (orange), or Chambord (raspberry). But overall, this is a recipe you can modify and play with to your heart’s content. Refrigerate the chantilly after it’s ready to firm it up even more, and use it as a filling in cakes and pies. Use milk chocolate with less cocoa solids to create a pudding instead of a mousse. Or play with your whisking times and how vigorously you whisk to create everything from a light, airy mousse to a rich, thick, indulgent mousse.

Two final notes before getting to the recipe and technique. First, it is absolutely critical that you use the highest quality chocolate you can. Since the recipe has only two ingredients, one of them being water, all of the flavor comes directly from the chocolate you use. Thus, if you use a low quality chocolate, the flavor profile will reflect this. On a similar note, if the water quality is not great where you live or has a flavor to it, you I’ll likely want to use filtered or bottled water for the recipe. Use the best chocolate you can find. FYI, we sell bulk chocolate that will work great in our shop. Second, you must used a dark chocolate with at LEAST a 60% cacao content (70% is preferable). The cocoa solids (fats) in the chocolate are what allow this recipe to work – they bind everything together; thus, the lower the cacao content, the runnier/thinner the end result will be – a rich milk chocolate will yield a pudding as noted above, but a chocolate that’s too light will just result in a chocolate soup.

Alright – with that said, onto the recipe!


  • 1 cup water + cold water for an ice bath
  • 2-4 Tbsp sugar (to taste)
  • 10oz high quality dark chocolate


  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring cup
  • Tablespoon
  • Saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Two nesting bowls (glass or metal)


  1. Coarsely chop the chocolate and set aside.
  2. Create an ice bath in the larger of the two bowls, filling approximately half way with ice and adding just enough cold water to allow the ice to freely move around. Set the smaller bowl inside the ice bath to allow the bowl to chill while you melt the chocolate.
  3. Add the water to your saucepan and stir in the sugar. Heat to boiling, allowing the sugar to melt into the water and create a simple syrup. When the water reaches a boil, remove from the heat.
  4. Add the chocolate to the boiling water and whisk vigorously until the chocolate is melted. The more vigorously you whisk, the better, as the whisking creates small water molecules that better interact with the chocolate.
  5. Once the chocolate is melted, pour directly into the smaller bowl in your ice bath. Whisk vigorously for 3-5 minutes, or until the chocolate takes on the consistency of a runny whipped cream. Remove the small bowl from the ice bath. Whisk briefly, allowing the mousse to reach the desired consistency (stop just before it reaches your desired consistency as it will thicken slightly upon sitting). Spoon or pipe into bowls, tartlets, or the vessel of your choice. Garnish with berries, a slice of orange, a lead mint or anything else you like. Serve immediately. Don’t over-whisk, as the chocolate will become solid and grainy.

If you make a mistake, DON’T WORRY! If you over-whisk the mixture or it becomes to think, don’t panic! Simple put the mixture back into your saucepan, heat until it is remelted, and repeat the whisking process.

Also, if you have trouble whisking vigorously for as long as this recipe requires, you can use an electric hand mixer to beat the chocolate. This will create a slightly denser result as the water molecules will be slightly larger, but it absolutely works. Just be careful to pay close attention to the thickness of the chocolate so you don’t overbeat the chocolate.

Feel free to send a message with any questions, post questions or comments with your thoughts or your favorite variations, and ENJOY!