Eric Ripert’s Chocolate Mousse

Photographs by Melanie Dunea

Le Bernardin chef Eric Ripert is known for his way with fish. But after knowing him for almost 20 years — God help us both — I can tell you that his desert-island food is chocolate. Whether nibbling leftover Valentine’s Day truffles from La Maison du Chocolat at home in the morning, sneaking fèves of Valrhona from the pastry kitchen at the restaurant, or working through the stash of Eclat bars in his office in lieu of a 3 o’clock coffee, chocolate is his one daily constant. “I don’t have breakfast. I have chocolate,” he told me.

Eric Ripert’s Chocolate Mousse

Serves 8 (or 4 at my house)

  • 1 1/4 cups chopped 70% dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 10 tablespoons cream
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1.5 sheets of gelatin (softened in ice water)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened whipped cream (whipped to medium peaks)
  • Cocoa powder (for dusting)
  1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler.
  2. In a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, combine milk and cream and bring to to a low simmer.
  3. In another small bowl, whisk together sugar and egg yolks.
  4. While whisking the eggs, temper them with a little bit of the hot cream mixture and heat to 179° F.
  5. Pull cream and egg mixture off the heat and add gelatin until dissolved. Strain cream over the chocolate and mix until emulsified. Set aside.
  6. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar and egg whites. Place over a double boiler and mix until the sugar is dissolved. Transfer to a stand mixer, then whip until cool.
  7. Fold the meringue into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the whipped cream until completely incorporated.
  8. Transfer to a serving bowl and chill for 2 to 3 hours.
  9. Garnish each serving with 1/2 cup whipped cream and dust with cocoa powder.