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French Chocolate Mousse with Cocoa Nib Brittle

This recipe is definitely for chocolate lovers! An adaptation of Jean-Andre Charial’s chocolate mousse (mousseux au chocolate, craquant au grue de cacao, crème glacée au caramel) for home cooks. This is a slightly simplified version of Charial’s chocolate mousse that does not lose any of its deliciousness in the translation. Almost no other dessert could be more French than this mousse.

French Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse with Cocoa Nib Brittle

Chef François de Mélogue
This recipe involves two steps: make the brittle in advance, and the chocolate mousse takes very little time.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 6 people


For the Brittle:

  • 1/3 cup Flour
  • 2/3 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice or Tangerine Juice
  • 3 tbsp Butter melted
  • 2 oz Cocoa Nibs available in most stores

For the Chocolate Mousse:

  • 1/2 tsp Powdered gelatin
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (35%)
  • 6 oz Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
  • 5 Egg whites
  • 1/4 cup Sugar

To Finish:

  • 1 quart (1.1 Litre) Caramel Ice Cream


For the Brittle:

  • Mix flour, sugar, orange juice and melted butter in your food processor.
  • Add the cocoa nibs and let sit in your refrigerator for one hour.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Put six spoonfuls of brittle batter on a silpat (see note) covered sheet pan.
  • Bake ten minutes or until lightly brown.
  • Let cool while making mousse.

For the Chocolate Mousse:

  • Mix powdered gelatin with two tablespoons of water and let sit for ten minutes.
  • Put a small amount of water in a pot to boil then remove from heat.
  • Set bowl of gelatin over till it melts and turns to a clear liquid.
  • Boil cream and mix with gelatin.
  • Pour over chocolate chips and stir until well mixed. The chocolate should be slightly warm to room temperature.
  • Beat egg whites in a stand mixer till light and frothy.
  • Add sugar and continue beating for 30 seconds on high speed.
  • Gently fold into chocolate and pour into serving vessels. I used clear glasses.

To Finish:

  • Garnish mousse with cocoa nib brittle and a spoonful of caramel ice cream.


Silpat is a silicone baking sheet. They are brilliant for baking and easy to clean. Click here to buy one.
Keyword Chocolate, French Desserts
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Chef François de Mélogue

François de Mélogue grew up in a very French household in Chicago. His earliest attempts at cookery began with the filleting of his sister’s goldfish at age two and a braised rabbit dish made with his pet rabbits by age seven. He eventually stopped cooking his pets and went to the highly esteemed New England Culinary Institute, where he graduated top of his class in 1985.

Chef François has over 30 years of cross-cultural culinary experience and brings an impressive culinary history and a unique Mediterranean cooking style. After graduating top of his class from the notable New England Culinary Institute, Chef François began his career in a number of highly acclaimed kitchens across the country, including Chef Louis Szathmary’s restaurant The Bakery in Chicago, Old Drovers Inn, a Relais and Chateaux property in New York and Joel Robuchon Gastronomie restaurant in Paris, before opening award-winning restaurant Pili Pili in his hometown of Chicago, rated in the Top Ten new restaurants in the World by Food and Wine magazine in 2003.

Chef François resides in St Albans, Vermont with his wife Lisa and ten-year-old son Beaumont, who has proclaimed himself the family saucier. Chef François' latest publication French Cooking for Beginners: 75+ Classic Recipes to Cook Like a Parisian takes you on a culinary journey well beyond the streets of Paris. Francois is a professional photographer specializing in food/product photography, real estate photography and shooting rural landscapes of Vermont and France. Explore his work on

Take a look at his website Simple French Cooking filled with delicious recipes and beautiful photos. Also follow Francois on Medium for more tempting dishes Pistou and Pastis.

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