Chocolate mousse or “mousse au chocolat” as the French would call it, is a classic and timeless dessert. This version, called salted butter caramel-chocolate mousse(phew!), is anything but ordinary. It’s just as classy and timeless, but this caramel chocolate mousse is also sultry and fun. And it might be better than the original, but you be the judge!
What is Salted Butter Caramel-Chocolate Mousse?
In French, this dessert is called Mousse au Chocolat au Caramel au Beurre Sale. That is quite a mouthful, which is saying something since the American version is already long. This is a classic chocolate mousse, but it also has fleur de sel and caramel sauce.
This recipe is inspired by David Lebovitz’s recipe…which I actually haven’t read. But I watched him make a version of this dessert on Milk Street, so I decided to use the general idea to make my own. And. It’s. Delicious.
How to Make Caramel-Chocolate Mousse
- Add the sugar to a large sauce pan over medium heat. Let sugar start to melt, and begin to stir when sugar starts to caramelize in spots (starts turning golden in color).
- Add butter and stir into caramelized sugar. Turn head down to medium low.
- Pour warmed heavy cream into the caramel a little at a time, whisking after each addition. By adding the heavy cream slowly, the caramel is less likely to seize up. Warming the cream beforehand also helps with this common problem.
- Remove from heat and add fleur de sel and chopped chocolate. Whisk.
- Let cool to room temperature and add egg yolks.
- Whisk the whites to soft peaks. Stir 1/4 of the whites into the caramel-chocolate with the whisk. Gently fold in the remaining whites.
- Divide evenly between 6 jars (between 4 – 6 ounce jars) and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
- Serve with whipped cream and chocolate shavings!
How to Fold in Egg Whites
Folding in egg whites in a super important step in this recipe. The egg whites lighten the salted butter caramel-chocolate mousse, giving it that mousse quality we love so much.
To fold in the whites, it’s almost always best to stir in a quarter of the whites first. This might deflate that quarter of whites, but it lightens the mousse enough so that the rest of the egg whites are easy to fold in without deflating them as well.
To fold in the whipped egg whites, imagine the bowl is divided into 4 quarters. Fold the egg whites in by quarter. Place the spatula into the center of the bowl, scoop under the chocolate and egg whites bringing the spatula toward yourself, and bring the spatula up so that the underside of the chocolate folds over the egg whites in that quarter.
Turn the bowl, and repeat until all of the whites are incorporated.
How to Make Smooth Chocolate Mousse
Sometimes mousse desserts look like they have little white flecks through out them. This is because the egg whites have been over-whipped and became grainy.
To avoid this problem, only whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Medium peaks may be okay if they are more toward the soft side, but stiff peaks are a no-no!
To test for soft peaks, dip your whisk in the whipped whites and bring your whisk upright. The tip of the whites should fall over to the side easily without holding any real shape. If the whites hold their shape a little, they should still be okay, but whip no further. It is best, however, if they don’t hold a shape.
Lastly, don’t whip your whites UNTIL you need them. They will need more whipping if you whisk them too far in advance, and this can cause them to turn into grainy whites because some of the whites will become overworked by the second whisking.Print
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 Tbs unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream, warmed
- 8 oz. good quality semi-sweet baking chocolate(comes in bar form, such as Baker’s)
- 4 egg whites
- 2 egg yolks
- 3/4 tsp fleur de sel (or flaked sea salt alternatively)
- Add the sugar to a large sauce pan over medium heat. Let sugar start to melt, and stir occasionally when sugar starts to caramelize in spots (starts turning golden in color).
- When the sugar is fully melted and deepening in color(similar to almond skins), add butter and stir. Turn head down to medium low so the sugar doesn’t burn.
- Pour warmed heavy cream into the caramel sauce a little at a time, around 6 additions. Whisk after each addition. By adding the heavy cream slowly, the caramel is less likely to seize up. Warming the cream beforehand also helps. Cold cream will cause the caramel to seize up and harden, requiring a lot of whisking to get it to smooth out.
- Remove from heat and add fleur de sel and chopped chocolate. Whisk until chocolate melts completely.
- Let cool to room temperature and stir in egg yolks.
- Whisk the whites to soft peaks. (See instructions above if this is your first time whipping whites.)
- Stir 1/4 of the whites into the caramel-chocolate with a spatula. Gently fold in the remaining 3/4 whites.
- Divide mousse evenly between 6 – 6 ounce jars (or 4 ounce jars/glasses will work too), cover, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
- Serve with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Caramel-chocolate mousse can stay in fridge for up to a week, although the quality may change by the end of the week as is the case with many airy desserts.
This recipe was inspired by David Lebovitz’s appearance on Milk Street
Keywords: salted butter caramel-chocolate mousse, chocolate mousse, caramel mousse, mousse au chocolat