Chocolate Mousse Cake

Aug 12, 2020 | desserts, Recipes

This week marks the end of my Simple Summer Dessert Series, and I thought I would go out with a bit of a bang. Today, I am going to show you how to make a Chocolate Mousse Cake. At first, it may seem like this is a complicated dessert that should have no place in my simple summer dessert series. However, when broken down into its three parts, this cake is anything but difficult.

This Chocolate Mousse Cake, as I said, has three parts. First, there is the chocolate cake. Because my cake has to be gluten-free and I have very little interest in making a gluten-free cake from scratch, I used a mix which you will see in a minute. If you want to make the cake, just use your favourite chocoalte sponge cake recipe. Nothing hard about this so far. The second part of this cake is the Chocolate Mousse. The mousse has five ingredients in it, two of those are coffee and brandy. The final piece of this cake is the mirror glaze. Easy enough, right? Let’s take a look at the full process.

The Cake

As I said, I used a gluten-free cake mix to make the base of my Chocolate Mousse Cake. The brand I used is called Kinnikinnick. I’ve used this mix previously in this series when I made the Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake. The mix comes together easy enough by mixing eggs, oil, and water, then the cake mix. Because I wanted my cake to be relatively thin (and because I couldn’t find my round cake pans), I baked my cake on a rectangle sheet pan. Bake the cake and let it cool completely before moving on to the next step.

Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate mousse is this super decadent thing, that people assume must be really hard to make. It isn’t. Just like with the Chocolate Mousse Cake as a whole, we are going to break the chocolate mousse down into four parts and simplify the process.

Part 1 – The Base

The base of the mousse is a combination of egg yolks and sugar that are heated over a water bath to thicken them. Beat together four egg yolks and half a cup of sugar in a heatproof bowl. Put the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water and continue to beat the mixture for about five minutes or until it is too hot to dip your finger into. Take the bowl off the heat and continue to beat it on medium for another five minutes to cool the egg mixture down. When finished, the mixture should be pale yellow. You can do all this whisking by hand, but it is much easier to use a handheld mixer. Set the yolks and sugar aside and move on to part two.

Part 2 – Chocolate

The second step in making the chocolate mousse is to melt the chocolate together with espresso and brandy (you can use rum, Irish cream, or no alcohol at all if you would prefer). Use one cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips, a quarter cup of espresso or strong coffee, and two tablespoons of brandy. Put all three ingredients in a heatproof bowl, put the bowl over barely simmering water, and let it sit until the chocolate is melted. Stir the chocolate to make sure everything is combined.

Part 3 – The Egg Whites

While the chocolate is melting, put the egg whites in the bowl of a mixer with a pinch of salt, or use your handheld mixer. Beat the egg whites to firm peaks. This should take about four to five minutes on high speed.

Part 4 – Putting it all together

The final step to making the mousse is to mix the yolks and the chocolate. Then, to fold in the egg whites. The purpose of the egg whites is to give the mousse its characteristic airiness, for them to do that, they have to be folded into the mix rather than stirred in. Folding is a process where a spatula cuts through the center of the mix, scoops down and out towards the edges of the bowl. Repeat this until all of the egg whites have been folded into the chocolate. The best way to incorporate the whites into the chocolate is to do it one third at a time. Take a third of the whites, and fold them into the chocolate. Take another third and do the same thing, then take that final third and fold it in.

You have now made chocolate mousse. It can be chilled and eaten as-is with a few raspberries and some whipped cream, or you can use it to layer a cake as we are going to do.

Chocolate Mousse

Classic Chocolate Mousse with Espresso and Brandy
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Chocolate, Mousse, Simple Summer Desserts
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Chef’s Notes


  • 4 eggs Whites and Yolks Separated
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 cup Espresso or Strong Coffee
  • 2 tbsp Brandy or Rum
  • a pinch Salt


  • Combine the egg yolks and sugar. Beat well then set over a simmering pot of water and continue to beat until the mixture is too hot to dip your finger into. Remove from the heat and continue to beat for another five minutes.
  • In a separate heat-proof bowl combine the chocolate, espresso, and brandy. Set over the simmering water until the chocolate has melted. Mix the chocoalte, coffee, and brandy until they are smooth then mix into the egg yolk and sugar mixture.
  • Beat the egg whites on high with a pinch of salt for five minutes or until they reach stiff peaks. Fold the whites into the yolk and chocolate mixture.
  • Spoon the mousse into ramekins, cover with plastic, and cool in the fridge for two hours before serving or use to make a chocolate mouse layer cake.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Making the cake layers

With the mousse ready, it is now time to layer the cake. I used an eight-inch springform pan as my mould. To cut the cake into rounds the correct size of the pan, push the pan into the cake like a giant cookie cutter. Line the base of the pan with parchment paper, and snap the ring in place. Put the first piece of the cake in the pan, cover with half the mousse, top with the second piece of cake, then the rest of the mousse. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and put it in the freezer overnight.

The Mirror Glaze

The absolute final step in making this Chocolate Mousse Cakes is to make the mirror glaze and pour it over the cake. Before you start making the glaze, take the mousse cake out of the freezer and put it in the fridge. To make the glaze, I followed this recipe from The glaze is a combination of cream, sugar, cocoa, water, and gelatin, which is what gives it the mirror finish. I should have cooked my glaze a minute or two longer because it was a little thin, but all in all, it worked well.

Make the glaze and let it cool to room temperature. Take the cake out of the springform pan and set it on a cooling rack set over a large bowl. Pour the glaze over the cake then, put the cake on a plate, pop it in the fridge for an hour or two to finish defrosting, and for the glaze to set, then serve.


This Chocolate Mousse Cake is incredible, but it is also very rich. Serve it in small pieces with a little dollop of whipped cream. It goes great with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk. Now, I know that there are a bunch of steps to making this cake, but are any of them overly tricky? I honestly don’t think so. Do you? If you have any questions or comments, let me know in the comments section below.

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