S'mores Chocolate Mousse
This s’mores mousse features a brown sugar graham cracker crust, fluffy chocolate mousse, and a homemade marshmallow topping. It’s so versatile in how it can be served and makes such a fun dessert!
Let’s first go over the big picture for this recipe. All of the elements can seem a little overwhelming if you’ve never made mousse before, but hang on to a couple tips I’ll share here and you’ll be just fine!
1. Make the crust – a simple graham cracker crust baked for just 10 minutes. You can press this into any kind of oven safe serving dish – I chose my 3″ ramekins for the size, popped them out, and created an exposed mousse look. If you want to serve this in something like parfait glasses, or something that won’t be oven safe, no problem. Bake the crust in a normal pan, and let it begin to cool. After a few minutes it will be cool enough to touch, but still easy to work with. Break apart the cooked crust and place in your intended serving dishes. Then set aside.
2. Make the mousse – through a process of mixing yolks, cream, chocolate, and sugar, you’ll have a fluffy chocolate cloud to rest on your crust. I use powdered gelatin in this version, but that’s optional. You can find unflavored powdered gelatin in your jello aisle at most grocery stores. Gelatin is a stabilizer and helps keep the mousse in place when I want to achieve the exposed look. If you are serving mousse in something with sides, like a ramekin or parfait cup, gelatin isn’t as crucial. You will want to use a high quality chocolate so that it melts properly. I used Ghirardelli fudge caramel squares and I was not sad about it at all. You’ll let the mousse rest for at least couple hours, or overnight, to let it set.
3. Make the marshmallow topping – I don’t overly love marshmallows, but I LOVE a good meringue. When you give it a little heat from your kitchen torch, it creates the tastiest marshmallow effect. Plus, I love any excuse to pull out the torch.
As I said in the overview, how you present this is so versatile – naked look, parfait glasses, etc. For a classy and super simple approach, I suggest layering it in a parfait glass or something similar. For the elegant naked look I used in the pictures, here’s how I did it:
1. I cut out small rounds of parchment paper for the bottom of ramekins, then sprayed with nonstick spray. When it comes to things potentially getting stuck, I don’t like to risk it!
2. I made the simple crust by combining graham crackers, brown sugar, butter, and a dash of salt. I pressed it into the ramekins, baked for 10 minutes, and then let them cool in the ramekins for a few minutes. After easily popping them out, I found it helpful to do the assembly on a cookie sheet.
3. I used acetate to wrap around the crust and taped the end that met to create a mold for my mousse. You don’t have to, put you can also spray the inside of the acetate to have a little easier time later unwrapping it off the mousse. You can also use acetate for make Milk Bar style cakes and so many other things! It’s a fun addition to your kitchen collection.
Start by melting 200g of high quality chocolate. You can do so over a double broiler or carefully in the microwave. Set aside and it’ll be all ready for you in a moment.
Mix together egg yolks and sugar, and also set aside. Then heat up 1/2 cup of cream over the stove on medium heat. Once it’s hot and simmering, you’ll use it to temper your egg yolk mixture. Tempering is a process of “shocking” the eggs. If I just dumped all my eggs into my hot cream, I would quickly risk creating scrambled eggs. But by adding just a bit of cream into the eggs and whisking quickly, it gives the eggs a little jump without scrambling. Once you’ve done that, you can then add the rest of the hot cream. Just remember to keep whisking to keep the temperature down.
Whisk over low heat until combined and you see its beginning to thicken. Take off the heat and add your melted chocolate. Mix well and set aside to cool.
Beat the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream until medium stiff peaks form. When your chocolate mixture has cooled, you can add it to the whipped cream. You just don’t want it too warm where it will melt and deflate your cream. Combine together by folding. Don’t mix! Over mixing can also cause your cream to deflate. Just fold gently and when it’s combined, pour into your serving cups.
Place in the fridge and let it set (will take at least a couple hours). You can make the crust and mousse the day before to spread out the steps. I recommend making and toasting the meringue day of for freshness.
Start by heating up your egg whites and sugar in a bowl or sauce pan over boiling water (just not having the water touch the bowl/pan). Whisk the eggs and sugar together until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Add this mixture to either a stand mixer or a large bowl with a hand mixer. Begin by mixing on low. While it’s mixing, add the remaining meringue ingredients. Then increase speed to medium-high. This will take usually about 5 minutes until stiff peaks form like you see in the picture.
You can either spoon the meringue on top of your set mousse or use a piping tip to achieve a certain look. If you’re using acetate, it’s helpful to let it rest in the fridge a bit longer (or pop it in the freezer for a bit) before removing. Once it’s removed, use a kitchen torch to give it a nice golden marshmallow touch.
As always, happy baking!
S'mores Chocolate Mousse
Graham Cracker Crust
- 6 graham crackers
- 2 TB brown sugar
- 4 TB unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp unflavored powdered gelatin
- 1 TB water
- 1 ½ cup heavy cream, divided
- 3 egg yolks
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 200 grams high quality chocolate* (I used Ghirardelli fudge caramel squares)
- 3 egg whites
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- ¼ tsp salt
Graham Cracker Crust
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Put graham crackers in a food processor and blend into fine crumbs.
- Pour crumbs in a bowl, add remaining crust ingredients, and mix until combined.
- Press tightly into greased mini ramekins or baking dish of choice. Bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden.
- Combine gelatin and water in a small bowl and set aside for about 5 minutes to let it "bloom", or thicken. (Gelatin is optional but will help stabilize the mousse, especially if you are doing a naked mousse that will stand on its own.)
- In a heat-proof bowl, heat 200g worth of chopped Ghirardelli fudge caramel squares (or other high quality chocolate of choice) over a double broiler or carefully in the microwave on 15-30 second bursts until melted. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl whisk together 3 egg yolks and ¼ cup sugar. Set aside.
- Over the stove, bring ½ cup of heavy cream to a simmer.
- Pour a little bit of cream into the yolk mixture to temper (shock) the eggs and prevent them from cooking, then pour the egg mixture into the rest of the cream. Cook on stove on low for about 4-5 minutes until it thickens. Whisk continually so it doesn't scramble.
- Pour chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Add bloomed gelatin. Whisk together well. Set aside to cool.
- Using a hand or stand mixer, beat 1 cup heavy whipping cream on high till stiff peaks form. Gently fold cooled chocolate mixture and whipped cream together, being careful not to over mix which can deflate the mousse.
- Pour the mousse mixture you just folded together over the graham cracker crust. To create the naked mousse look like you see in the picture, wrap acetate around the crust to create a mold.
- Put in the fridge and let it set at least 2-3 hours. After set, you can remove the acetate.
- Place a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (just don't let the pan touch the water). Place egg whites and sugar in the bowl, and whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.
- Place the eggs in a stand or hand mixer with whisk attachment and add the vanilla, tartar, and salt. Beat on high until stiff peaks form.
- Spread or pipe onto mousse. Let set in fridge until ready to serve. If desired, just before serving use a torch to toast the meringue to create a crisped marshmallow-like effect.