This Magical Melt-in-Your-Mouth 5-Minute Chocolate Mousse sounds too good to be true But, trust me, if you have a few minutes to spare, you can make an incredibly delicious dessert that will bring rave reviews from everyone!
I had a little trouble giving this recipe a name. There were so many descriptives I could have used. Amazing. Miraculous. Crazy-Delicious, Ridiculously Easy. French-inspired. And on and on it went. They all applied, but in the end, I decided on Magical Melt-in-Your-Mouth 5-Minute Chocolate Mousse.
But it truly is amazing, miraculous, crazy-delicious, ridiculously easy, and French-inspired! I've been testing and tweaking this recipe for several weeks and everyone I've served it to has agreed. From guests at fancy dinner parties to the workers who recently replaced our roof, the bowls have returned with barely a hint of chocolate left!
Why would I call this recipe magical, amazing and miraculous? Several reasons. First of all, because it's SO easy and, as the name implies, takes just 5 minutes to put together (hands-on time). Secondly, because the ingredient list is so short; chocolate, water (yes, WATER!), sugar and vanilla.
Last but not least, it's magical, amazing and miraculous because chocolate and water don't (or aren't supposed to) get along. Water makes chocolate seize and it's common knowledge in the culinary world to keep them as far apart as possible. Water and chocolate are often dubbed, "worst enemies"!
But not in this 5-Minute Chocolate Turtle Mousse recipe. Actually, the two become best friends in this recipe... and end up getting married! You'll see when you read the simple steps:
- Combine chocolate, water, sugar and vanilla in a microwave-safe bowl.
- Cook on high power for 2-3 minutes, until the chocolate is nicely melted
- Transfer the mixture to a blender and give it a good 1-2 minute whir, whir, whir.
- Get out your prettiest little bowls and portion the chocolatey mixture between them.
- Refrigerate. An hour later, you've got a fabulous dessert worthy of royalty (or at least your fanciest, danciest guests!).
- Get an award for the BEST dessert on the planet.
I didn't come up with this recipe. Last summer while doing research on French cuisine in preparation for a trip to France, I came across an interesting chocolate mousse recipe on the Food 52 website. They labeled it a "genius recipe", created by a French Chemist named Hervé This. It looked wonderful and the recipe didn't sound too complicated so I decided to try it. These were the instructions:
- Heat water in a saucepan until hot, then add the chocolate and stir until melted.
- Fill a bowl with ice water and set another bowl on top of it.
- Pour the chocolate mixture into the top bowl and whisk until thickened.
- Pour into bowls and serve.
I got as far as step 3 but then ran into a bit of trouble. I whisked and whisked and whisked. And whisked. For at least 5 minutes. The mixture wasn't getting any thicker. So I got out an electric mixer and mixed, mixed, mixed. It was still quite watery so I mixed a little more. At this point, it was slightly thicker. I was tired of mixing and poured the uncooperative chocolatey liquid into bowls and stuck them in the fridge. I was resigned for a BIG flop.
45 minutes later, I checked on my little chocolate bowls. Wow, the mixture had firmed up nicely! I tasted a small spoonful. Wow, smooth, velvety and delicious! I took a spoonful to Scott and his eyes got big as the chocolatey mixture melted in his mouth. "Wow, so good!", was his response.
That's when I started getting excited and began thinking of a zillion possibilities for variations. And I wondered if there might be an easier way to make this mousse, utilizing the microwave and a blender. I tried out the new method and I'm happy to report it works great!
This 5-Minute Chocolate Mousse definitely falls into the category of recipes we call Ridiculously Easy. This collection of Café recipes is super popular with our readers who have busy lifestyles and limited time in the kitchen but enjoy great food. You can read more about these recipes in this post and see the whole collection here.
My short explanation of these Ridiculously Easy recipes? They're "the recipes that make you look like a kitchen rock star with minimal effort on your part".
I decided to go with a caramel-pecan variation for my first adaptation, kind of like the old-fashioned Turtle candy, but in a bowl. I used our easy Microwave Caramel Sauce as a topping and added a scatter of butter-toasted pecans for a nice crunch.
The butter-toasted pecans come together quickly, again in the microwave. No need to heat your oven!
Besides using caramel and pecans, there are so many other ways to serve this Magical Melt-in-Your-Mouth 5-Minute Chocolate Mousse. Here are a few ideas:
- Top it with fresh raspberries and a dollop of whipped cream; a heavenly combination.
- A drizzle of Raspberry Coulis would be amazing - and so pretty!
- For a holiday variation, top it with crushed candy canes and a spritz of whipped cream.
- Sub a small portion of the water for Crème de Menthe, Peppermint Schnaps, Grand Marnier, Chambord or any other favorite liqueur. (If you're guests are all adults and don't mind a hint of alcohol).
- Add some orange zest to the chocolate mixture before chilling then serve with a dollop of whipped cream, an orange slice and a pretty mint sprig.
- Add a tablespoon or two of peanut butter to the chocolate/water mixture.
- Top the mousse with a few slices of banana and a drizzle of this Ridiculously Easy Butterscotch Sauce.
Melt-in-your-mouth texture, fabulous flavor
I would describe the texture of this 5-Minute Chocolate Mousse as "melt-in-your-mouth delicious". It's not a classic light, airy mousse but rather one with a soft, fudgy consistency and intensely delicious chocolate flavor.
If you're doubtful that such a simple recipe could be so amazing, miraculous, crazy delicious and Ridiculously Easy, don't take my word for it. Whip up a batch of this 5-Minute Chocolate Mousse. The smiles across the faces of family and friends will assure you, it's true!
Café tips on making this 5-Minute Chocolate Mousse
- This recipe calls for a microwave-safe bowl. What does that mean? A microwave-safe bowl won't melt or heat up when used in the microwave. For this recipe, it's really nice to have one with a handle as you need to remove the bowl from the microwave several times to stir. I love this Pyrex microwave-safe bowl set. I use these cups ALL the time. The handles don't get too hot in the microwave.
- What type of chocolate to use for this 5-Minute Chocolate Mousse? There are several options. For a deep, intense chocolate flavor, I like to use a 60 or 70%, good quality chocolate like Ghiradelli, Lindt, or Callebaut. You can use chocolate bars or chips. I have also tried it with everyday Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips with good results. If I'm using less than 60% chocolate, I decrease the sugar a bit as lower percentage chocolate already has more sugar. The mousse made with Nestle's semi-sweet chips comes out a little softer than the dark chocolate mousse, but still delicious!
- I like to portion my mousse out in small bowls as it is quite rich. I use a scale to keep the portions even and aim for around 60g or 2 ounces. That gives me 8 equal portions.
- This 5-Minute Chocolate Mousse can be made several days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. I like to let it sit out for 30-60 minutes before serving to let the chocolate flavor shine.
- It also freezes well but be sure to give it time to thaw before serving.
- I like to garnish these chocolate mousses with a little sprinkle of flaky sea salt. I'm a big fan of Maldon which is harvested in England but this summer I discovered Fleur de Sel which is a fabulous French sea salt. Both of them are "finishing" or "garnishing" salts which means they're used for a delicious crunchy finish.
Thought for the day:
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Where can I flee from Your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, You are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, You are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there Your hand will guide me,
Your right hand will hold me fast.
What we're listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoy this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations and ideas for variations.
This Magical Melt-in-Your-Mouth 5-Minute Chocolate Mousse sounds too good to be true, but, trust me, if you have a few minutes to spare, you can make an incredibly delicious dessert that will bring rave reviews from everyone!
- 1 ½ cups 60-70% chocolate chips or 9 ounces of good quality 60-70% chocolate in bar form (if using less than 60% chocolate, see notes in the Café Tips above in the post.)
- 1 cup hot tap water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- flaky sea salt if desired for garnish
- 2 cups whole or pecan pieces
- 1 tablespoon butter I use salted
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt I use Morton's Kosher Salt
- caramel sauce recipe You'll have more than you need for the mousse but it keeps well in the refrigerator and can be used on ice cream and other desserts.
Set out 6-8 small bowls or ramekins. (I like to fill my bowls with about 2 ounces (60g) of mouse and save a bit of room at the top for toppings so I use 3-ounce bowls.) Place the bowls in a pan or low, flat storage container for storing in the refrigerator. Set aside.
Combine chocolate, water, sugar and vanilla in a medium-size microwave-safe cup or bowl. Cook on high power for 1-2 minutes or until the chocolate is melted. Stir to combine and ensure all the chocolate is melted.
Transfer the mixture to a blender container and blend on high speed for 1-2 minutes. (1 minute for a high-power blender like a Vitamix or Wolf, 2 minutes for a regular blender.
Allow the chocolate mixture in the blender to sit for 30-60 seconds to let some of the air bubbles rise to the top then stir the mixture slowly for 10-15 seconds to release some of the bubbles.
Portion the chocolate mixture into the bowls (it will be thin at this point)then transfer the pan to the refrigerator. Sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt, if desired. Refrigerate for 45-60 minutes until the chocolate is firm.
I like to allow the chilled mousses sit at room temp for 30 minutes before serving.
The mousse can be refrigerated for several days before serving. Cover the bowls with plastic wrap or place them in an airtight container. This mousse also freezes well. Thaw before serving.
Lay out several thicknesses of paper toweling on a work surface near your microwave.
Combine the pecans, butter and salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook on high power for 1 minute then remove from the microwave and stir well. Repeat this cooking and stirring 4 more times for a total of 5 minutes or until the pecans are a nice golden brown.
Turn out onto the prepared work surface and carefully taste a pecan. Sprinkle with a bit more salt, if needed. (I like to use fine salt at the end rather than kosher salt).
Make one batch of this microwave caramel sauce as directed in the recipe. If you’re in a hurry, a good quality store-bought caramel sauce will also work! (We love Trader Joe’s caramel sauce.)
Drizzle each mousse with a tablespoon or two of the caramel sauce then top with a spoonful of the butter toasted pecans. Add a dollop of whipped cream and a mint sprig for a fabulous, restaurant-quality dessert!
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips to ensure success.
If you prefer to use Metric measurements there is a button in each of our recipes, right above the word “Instructions”. Just click that button to toggle to grams, milliliters, etc. If you ever come across one of our recipes that doesn’t have the Metric conversion (some of the older recipes may not), feel free to leave a comment and I will add it.
Nutritional information does not include the pecans or the caramel sauce as these are optional toppings.