Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hervé This's/Heston Blumenthal's White Chocolate Mousse Recipe

White Chocolate Mousse

"I invented it — but it was so easy, I'm embarrassed!"
Hervé This, Wired magazine, 2007.

Hervé, a French chemist, is considered the father of modern gastronomy and apparently he is the source of inspiration for Heston Blumental. Hervé invented a mousse recipe, calling it chocolate chantilly. His recipe contained just two ingredients, chocolate and water. Recipes don't get too much simpler than this. You only need to buy (or borrow or steal) chocolate.

Mousse made this way has a much stronger chocolate flavour since there is no cream used. Water has a neutral taste and does not dilute the chocolate flavour. 

You probably think that you should not mix chocolate and water. Water makes chocolates seize, becoming grainy or lumpy. That’s correct but if water and chocolate are heated together, it becomes a simple and delicious chocolate sauce. If this sauce is whisked over ice it becomes mousse. 

I slightly modified the original recipe, replacing dark chocolate with white chocolate. The result was excellent. Even though the chocolate has been diluted with water the mousse was still pretty sweet. 

I made this recipe couple of times but the result was not 100%. I learnt my lesson. For white chocolate you need to use less water compared with dark chocolate. I kept whisking over ice expecting the mixture to turn into mousse. It turned thick but not into mousse. I put the mixture in the freezer but it didn’t firm up. However leaving the mixture in the refrigerator did the trick. It firmed up after a little while. So if your mousse seems runny, don’t be alarmed, add more chocolate or it should firm up after spending time in the refrigerator. The original recipe suggests dark chocolate. I suppose dark chocolate will produce a better result, it will turn into mousse during whisking and you won't need to refrigerate.

The recipe is almost fool proof, you cannot spoil the ingredients. If for some reason the mixture turns grainy, reheat it. If the mixture is too runny, reheat it with more chocolate. If the mixture is too firm, reheat it with more water. If anything goes wrong, just reheat and start over again. If it does not work out, you will end up with delicious chocolate sauce.

Recipe modified from here. You can watch Heston Blumenthal preparing this mousse here.

½ cup water
225 grams white chocolate
Ice cubes

  1. Add water and chocolate to a saucepan over low-medium heat and whisk continuously until the chocolate has melted
  2. Place the saucepan over a bowl filled with ice cubes and whisk
  3. Keep whisking. The mixture will thicken, having a texture similar to thick cream, then it will get thicker. If the mixture does not firm up, place in refrigerator. 
White Chocolate Mousse


  1. wow, really?! I never realised you could do that! thanks so much for sharing this little trick with us, I;m going to do that the next time I need some easy chocolate mousse!

    1. You are welcome, I was pleasantly surprised too. The sauce (pre mousse) was really delicious too.

  2. Knowing how easy this is is almost dangerous!

    1. It certainly is dangerous, one of the many dangers in life:)

  3. Your mousse looks fabulous! It's an excellent idea to share it with us. I have heard about this method (either because of HB or HT), but have never tried it. You have encouraged me to do it soon. It looks easy indeed. Thank you!

    1. Thank you. Ever since I heard about this method I was really curious to try. The texture might be even better with dark chocolate (and also less sweet). Even though the white choc was mixed with water it was still very sweet surprisingly.


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