It was a wise old chef who taught me this recipe, which gives maximum results for minimum effort. You can vary the coffee flavor here by substituting a different alcohol, such as rum or cognac.

Serves 4

  • 250g/9oz dark chocolate
  • 4 egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 30g/1oz sugar/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons espresso coffee
  • 3 tablespoons Kahlua
  • candied rose petals (p.00), mint sprigs, whipped cream, or cocoa, for decoration


4 mousse pots or ramekins (175ml/6fl oz/¾ cup each)

1. Fill a small saucepan with a 2.5cm/1in depth of water and bring to a boil. Chop the chocolate and leave it to melt in a heatproof bowl over the water.

2. Whisk the egg whites with the salt in an electric mixer until they hold a stiff peak. Add the sugar to make a light meringue, beating until the whites are glossy and hold a long peak, 1-2 minutes.  Don’t let the meringue wait more than 5 minutes as it will start to deflate.

3. To make the mocha mixture: Bring the cream and coffee to a boil in a small pan and pour it over the chocolate.  Let the mixture stand for 15 seconds, then stir until smooth.  Take the bowl off the pan of hot water and stir in the Kahlua.  Add about a quarter of the meringue and stir it until mixed – the heat of the chocolate will lightly cook the meringue. Add this mixture to the remaining whites and fold them together as lightly as possible. Spoon the mousse into the mousse pots or ramekins, cover and chill for at least 2 hours until set.

4. Just before serving, top the mousse with candied rose petals, a sprig of mint, a large rosette of whipped cream, or simply a dusting of cocoa.

Getting Ahead: Mocha Chocolate Mousse keeps well up to 2 days in the refrigerator.

On the Side: A crisp cookie, preferably a homemade Small Diversion (p.00).

In the Glass: Chocolate mousse overwhelms almost everything except a fortified sweet wine such as Port or a dark Sherry.

From Good Food NO FUSS by Anne Willan, 2003

Photo CREDIT: Simon Wheeler