The Ultimate Chocolate Mousse

Here’s a festive one for ya! Anyone who knows me knows that chocolate is one of my favorite things — and this dessert definitely delivers in the chocolate department. And the sweet department. AND the rich department. All of those are good if you ask me!

Warning: this isn’t one of those easy-to-make mousses — it’s the real deal. But when you taste how light and airy it is, you’ll be okay with the work that goes into it. These would make the perfect Christmas Eve dessert with a cup of tea or coffee with a little Baileys thrown in, sitting by the fire. So cozy!

I got this recipe from Tyler Florence’s “Tyler’s Ultimate” cookbook. The first time I made these was for my best friend Melissa’s baby shower — I had to sextuple (Is that a word? Yep, it is.) the recipe to make 24 servings, and it was a LOT of mixing. If you can avoid that, do. And while this recipe is overflowing with chocolate goodness, it was even a little sweet for ME. Which is hard to believe. My solution (discovered while eating the leftovers — I know, life is tough) was to garnish with a bunch of raspberries. The fruit cut through the sweetness perfectly — it was a match made in heaven.

I had leftovers from the shower, so in an attempt to avoid gorging myself on them, I took some to work for my coworker Amber. She loved them so much that she requested I make them again for HER baby shower this month. Something about pregnancy and chocolate, I think! Well — chocolate goes with everything, doesn’t it? Some other ideas for you if you decide to take the plunge:

TW’s Tips

  • Since I was making these for get-togethers, I put them in disposable cups, but if you’re not making a lot of them, I’d recommend using martini glasses to get a little fancy, or little ramekins.
  • If you have a KitchenAid mixer, you’re in luck. I had just a hand mixer and when it comes to whipping egg whites to stiff peaks, you’ll be blessing that KitchenAid.
  • Next time I make this, I’m going to try cutting the sugar that is added to the egg whites to see if I can rein in the sweetness a bit.
  • I used a good quality dark chocolate bar for the garnish, and cut it into rough matchsticks with a chef’s knife.
  • I don’t have a double boiler, but putting a glass bowl on top of a saucepan worked just fine to melt the chocolate.
  • Folding everything together, especially if you are doubling, tripling or sextupling (!) the recipe, is no small feat. Just be patient and it will all come together. I promise.

Enjoy! If you’re a chocolate lover like me, you’ll be thanking me.

Chocolate Mousse


  • 6 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, cold
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream and chocolate shavings, for garnish


Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan containing about 1-inch of barely simmering water (or use a double boiler). Stir with a wooden spoon until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and let cool slightly. Then grab a whisk and beat the egg yolks into the chocolate, 1 at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Set aside.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

In a chilled bowl, beat the heavy cream until it begins to thicken up. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and the vanilla and continue beating until the cream holds soft peaks.

Now that you’ve got the elements prepared, put it all together. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Then, fold in the whipped cream. Take care not over work the mousse or it will be heavy. Divide the mousse between 4 individual glasses, preferably Moroccan glasses. Cover and chill for several hours. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings before serving.

Grammy Tanny’s Grasshopper Pie

I had the best intentions to make this a pre-Thanksgiving, “Make this!” post. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. So, I’ve miraculously transformed it into a post-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas, “Make this!” post. Genius!

If I was banished to a desert island and was allowed only one dessert, this would be it. Grasshopper pie has been a stalwart at virtually every holiday celebration with the Tanny side of my family, and it’s not Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter without it. I have fond memories of sneakily checking out the fridge upon walking into my Gram’s house to confirm that it was securing resting inside, ready for consumption.

My grandmother makes the best grasshopper pie, hands down. It’s the perfect combination with its rich, chocolate-y, buttery cookie crumb crust, juxtaposed with the fluffy, slightly minty filling. Don’t get me wrong — it’s filling. I’ve put that to the test. But not in a super rich, fudge sort of way. More like an “I really want to eat another piece…I might be able to fit it…well maybe not…eh, I’ll give it a go” sort of way.

The first key to making this pie is using the right cookies for the crust. No Oreos please. (I love me some Oreos, but specific cookies must be used to get this right. No deviation is acceptable!) The correct ones:

It’s fair to say that these are probably not going to be easy to find at the grocery store. But they’re there. Believe me. In the cookie aisle, they are usually up on the top shelf, and easy to miss. When I bought them last week, the grocery store clerk actually asked me what they were. Apparently she hadn’t seen them before. So there ya go. The secret is out.

Important to make this in a glass pie plate so you can microwave the crust to set it. Otherwise it will be crumbly and won’t hold together. I learned that the hard way.

Another key is making sure you melt the marshmallows ALL the way. Keep stirring and melting until there are no lumps. Otherwise you’ll have unpleasant pieces of chewy marshmallow in your pie, instead of a smooth, creamy, minty filling. And let me specify — it doesn’t taste like marshmallows. Or whipped cream. It somehow becomes its own identity. And a yummy one, at that. I hope this brings you as many delicious memories as it has brought me. Bon appetit!

Grammy Tanny’s Grasshopper Pie


  • 1 package (sleeve) chocolate wafers, crushed (I put them in a ziploc and use a rolling pin)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 40 large marshmallows
  • 3/4 cup milk (less if skim)
  • 3/8 cup green creme de menthe
  • 3/8 cup white creme de cacao
  • 1 pint heavy cream, whipped stiff


Melt butter. Stir in chocolate crumbs. (Reserve some for topping.) Press into a 10-inch pie plate on the bottom and up the sides. Microwave 2 minutes. Cool.

Melt marshmallows in milk in the microwave, stir until blended and no lumps remain. Mix in liqueurs and chill 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it starts to thicken.

Fold whipped cream into the thickened marshmallow mixture. Turn into cookie crust. Decorate with reserved cookie crumbs. Refrigerate or freeze. How good does that look?