Water and chocolate. That’s it. That’s all you need to create that wonderfully light, yet remarkably stable, chocolate mousse we all love. This deceivingly simple recipe was developed by Hervé This, the French chemist who coined the term “molecular gastronomy.” Basically, this guy discovered that in order to get that perfect mousse texture, melt chocolate and water together then incorporate air into the mixture while it’s chilling. Thank you, Mr. This.

It’s tricky to get the amount of whisking just right without over-doing it (and getting a crumbly mess), but don’t stress. The recipe is so forgiving that if the consistency is off, just melt and start over again. Or you can get creative and roll the mousse into truffles, coating them with cocoa or nuts.

Personalize your 6-minute mousse by adding spices and flavorings, like cinnamon or kahlua-spiked water. Or make it vegan by swapping in dairy-free chocolate.

Recipe adapted from Food52.


Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 minute
Total time: About 6 minutes

Servings: 4

7-oz. good quality dark chocolate (See note below)
2/3 cup water
Optional: 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

chocolate mousse

Photo by Jeanne Kessira

1. Put water and chocolate into a medium saucepan over medium-low heat and whisk until chocolate is melted.

chocolate mousse

Photo by Jeanne Kessira

2. Once homogenous, pour the mixture into a bowl resting in a shallow pan filled with ice cubes to chill.

3. Whisk the mixture until it thickens (if using an electric mixer, watch carefully because it will thicken much quicker).

4. Once the consistency resembles that of whipped cream, dish into ramekins and either serve immediately or refrigerate until serving.

Note: I used 85% chocolate, which made for a really intense flavor (remember, you’re only using chocolate and water, so that’s all you’ll be tasting). I would recommend using 70% if bitterness isn’t your thing.

Check out these chocolate-y recipes for more sweetness:

11 Struggles Only Chocolate Addicts Will Understand
Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles
Dark Chocolate Pistachio Bark
Hot(ter) Chocolate