This easy chocolate mousse recipe is made with just two ingredients – heavy whipping cream and chocolate chips – and layered with roasted almonds and homemade toasted meringue to create a decadent s’mores-inspired chocolate mousse parfait!
1cup (125 g)semisweet chocolate chipsdivided (see notes)
1cup (240 mL)heavy whipping cream
½cup (70 g)roasted salted almonds
2large egg whites
⅛teaspooncream of tartar
¼cup (50 g)granulated sugar
scant ⅛ teaspoonground nutmeg
Make the Chocolate Mousse: Place ¾ cup (about 95 grams) semisweet chocolate chips in a glass measuring cup. Fill a large skillet halfway with water and heat to a low simmer. Once the water is simmering, turn off the heat and place the measuring cup in the water, then stir until the chocolate is just melted. Remove measuring cup from the skillet and set aside.
In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the whipping cream on high for about 1 minute, until soft peaks form. Pour in the melted chocolate and continue beating for several seconds until pillowy and fully combined. Divide the mousse into 4 small glasses, bowls, or canning jars (*the original recipe produces 6 servings; however I chose to make my servings slightly more generous). Refrigerate for about 1 hour. Wash the bowl of the stand mixer well. Egg whites will not whip properly if any fat remains in the bowl.
Make the Almond Layer: Chop the almonds. In a small bowl, stir them together with the cinnamon. Set aside.
Make the Meringue: As close as possible to serving time, return the skillet of water to just barely a simmer. Separate the egg whites and place in the stand mixer bowl along with the cream of tartar, sugar, and nutmeg. Hold the bowl just touching the warm water and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is fully combined and no longer gritty, about 2 minutes. You want to reach a temperature of 160°F (71°C) to ensure that the eggs are completely safe to consume. Rub the mixture between your fingertips to ensure the sugar is fully dissolved. Move the mixing bowl to the stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment. Beat the mixture on high for about 5 minutes, until it is bright white and glossy with stiff peaks.
Assemble the Parfaits: Top each glass of chocolate mousse with a handful of the almond mixture, then add the remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips divided between the glasses. Use a small spatular or spoon to top each jar with meringue and form it into peaks. Use a kitchen torch to brown the outside of the meringue for a few seconds, or toast the parfaits under a broiler for 2 minutes (*if you are using a broiler, ensure you are using heatproof containers and that the glass size allows for plenty of headroom in the oven). Serve immediately.
Tips For Success:
*Feel free to substitute the chocolate chips with chopped semisweet chocolate (60%-65% cocoa content).
While you can certainly use a large spoon or spatula to divide the mousse among the glasses, if you wish for a cleaner presentation, feel free to transfer the mousse to a pastry bag, fitted with a large round tip, and use this for distributing the mousse into the cups.
Make Ahead: Assemble the mousse and store refrigerated, then assemble the almonds and store in a sealed container at room temperature. As close as possible to serving, make the meringue and assemble the parfaits. Avoid refrigerating the meringue as it becomes tough when chilled.
Recipe reprinted and shared with permission from Pretty Simple Cooking by Sonja and Alex Overhiser (De Capo, February 2018).