Extra virgin olive oil and bittersweet chocolate make a smooth and fruity match. Here, they work together to make an elegant chocolate mousse that’s rich and decadent without weighing you down at the end of a meal. The perfect make-ahead dessert for your next dinner party!

a close up of 2 glass cups of olive oil chocolate mousse topped with raspberries, whipped cream and nuts.
Photo Credits: Mark Beahm

This chocolate mousse recipe uses no heavy cream or butter. Rather, at its base is an ingredient that may surprise you: extra virgin olive oil.

Before I moved to Barcelona I had never considered combining chocolate and olive oil. I quickly began to notice it everywhere, from chocolate olive oil cake to a rustic and old-style Catalan dessert of toast with melted chocolate, a drizzle of peppery Spanish olive oil, and flaky sea salt. 

Chocolate and olive oil both have a fruity flavor that gets overpowered by more standard pairings. When you combine them, though, they each amplify the earthy and fruit-forward notes of the other. A delicious match! Traditional chocolate mousse is typically made with milk chocolate and cream. In this refreshing take, olive oil lends a richer flavor and bittersweet chocolate ensures it’s far from cloying.

This chocolate mousse recipe requires planning ahead–give yourself at least 4 hours for the mousse to chill in your refrigerator. While this may seem inconvenient at first glance, it’s actually perfect for dinner parties and holidays. Make this sophisticated dessert the day before your big night. You'll free up time to focus on last-minute preparations and spending quality time with your guests. 

Table of Contents
  1. Ingredients for Olive Oil Chocolate Mousse
  2. How to Make Chocolate Mousse
  3. Are Raw Eggs Safe to Eat?
  4. Make Ahead and Storage
  5. What to Serve with Chocolate Mousse
  6. Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Mousse Recipe
Ingredients for chocolate mousse, including chocolate, olive oil, eggs, salt, sugar, vanilla extract, espresso, and lemon.


Ingredients for Olive Oil Chocolate Mousse

The key to exceptional flavor in this mousse is high-quality bittersweet chocolate and superb extra virgin olive oil. I add coffee and lemon zest to accentuate the fruity flavors, but feel free to leave them out for a more classic chocolate mousse flavor. 

  • Bittersweet chocolate: Use chocolate with 60 to 70 percent cacao. If you’re willing to spend an extra minute chopping, bars are generally cheaper and better quality than chips.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: A fruity and sweet olive oil like Arbequina or Nocellara works particularly well with chocolate. Avoid grassy, overly bitter, or spicy varieties. 
  • Eggs: Separate the yolks and whites, being careful not to get any yolk in the whites or they won't whip up well. (Or for an eggless version of chocolate mousse, check out my Vegan Chocolate Pudding.)
  • Sugar: This mousse uses just enough sugar to balance the bitter chocolate and olive oil without making it overly sweet. Sugar is also an essential ingredient for whipping the eggs.
  • Coffee (optional): Coffee complements the chocolate. I also found that adding a small amount of liquid helps emulsify the melted chocolate and egg yolk mixture. You can use cooled strong coffee or espresso. Or, dissolve 1 teaspoon of instant espresso powder in 2 tablespoons of room-temperature water.
  • Vanilla extract: Vanilla complements the chocolate and adds depth and complexity to the mousse.
  • Lemon zest (optional): I love the bright, floral hint lemon adds to dark chocolate desserts. You could instead use orange zest or leave it out entirely.
  • Salt: Salt brings out the other flavors in the mousse. Without it, the mousse would taste bland.
a close up of glass cup of olive oil chocolate mousse topped with raspberries, whipped cream and nuts.


How to Make Chocolate Mousse

This lighter version swaps out the butter and cream but keeps the same technique as a classic chocolate mousse. The yolks and whites are whipped separately and folded together with the melted chocolate and olive oil in stages. The mousse comes together in about a half hour, but plan on at least 4 hours for it to set before serving.

  • Melt the chocolate: Melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, using your microwave's chocolate melting function, or microwaving in 30-second bursts, stirring with a spatula each time, until the chocolate is completely smooth. Or, melt in a heat-safe bowl over simmering water, stirring constantly.
  • Add the olive oil: Add the olive oil and stir with a spatula or whisk until fully combined and shiny. Set aside to cool slightly.Melted chocolate and olive oil that have been stirred in a glass bowl with a rubber spatula until smooth.
  • Beat the egg whites: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and ¼ cup (50g) of the sugar on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 4 minutes. The meringue should be shiny and roughly quadruple the volume of the egg whites. When you lift out the whisk, the meringue should stick up in a sharp point.Egg whites that have been beaten in a stand mixture until pale and thick.
  • Beat the egg yolks: In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks, remaining ¼ cup of sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and, if using, 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 2 tablespoons coffee. Continue whisking until pale and thick, about 2 minutes.Egg yolks, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and coffee in a glass bowl with a whisk.
  • Combine the chocolate and egg yolks: Use a wide spatula to fold the melted chocolate into the egg yolk mixture until fully combined. It will be thick and shiny, similar to brownie batter.A glass bowl with a rubber spatula mixing the melted chocolate and egg yolk mixture.
  • Fold in the beaten egg whites: With a wide spatula, gently fold one third of the beaten egg whites at a time into the chocolate mixture. To preserve as much of the air as possible, fold the mousse gently, rotating the bowl a quarter turn after each fold. Mix until no streaks of egg white remain before adding the next third.A glass bowl with a rubber spatula mixing the melted chocolate and egg yolk mixture together with the beaten egg white mixture.
  • Chill: Spoon the mousse into 8 ramekins, cover with plastic, and chill for at least 4 hours before serving.


Are Raw Eggs Safe to Eat?

Most classic chocolate mousse recipes call for raw eggs, both the yolks and whites. While there is some risk, it is generally not an issue for most people as most eggs purchased at the store are pasteurized. Those with compromised immune systems, pregnant women, young children, or older adults should avoid raw eggs due to the risk of salmonella. If you want to avoid using raw eggs, you can temper the egg yolks and whites over a bain-marie (water bath).

I’ve tested preparing this mousse with a bain-marie several times, and while it wasn’t quite as airy, it was still rich and delicious. Keep in mind that it will take an additional 30 minutes of prep time, requires a few more dishes, and there is a risk of overheating and scrambling the eggs. Follow the recipe as directed, adding these steps to heat the egg whites and yolks to 160°F:

  • To heat the egg whites: Add the egg whites and ¼ cup of the sugar to a heat-proof glass bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer and set it over a pot of simmering water on low heat. Don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Cook in the bain-marie, using a spatula to stir the egg whites to heat evenly and prevent them from curdling, until they reach 160°F on an instant thermometer. Then transfer the egg whites to a stand mixer and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  • To heat the egg yolks: combine the egg yolks, the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, coffee, and salt in a heat-proof glass or stainless-steel mixing bowl. Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water on low heat. Don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Cook in the bain-marie, whisking constantly until the yolk mixture reaches 160°F. Take the bowl off the heat and whisk in the lemon zest and vanilla extract.
Overhead shot of a glass of chocolate mousse with a bite taken out, showing the airy texture.


Make Ahead and Storage

The chocolate mousse can be made up to 4 days in advance and kept in the refrigerator, making this an excellent make-ahead dessert for a dinner party. When I’m serving the mousse the same day I make it, I just cover each ramekin with plastic wrap. 

If you're planning on making the mousse a day or more in advance, I'd suggest gently pressing the plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the mousse to prevent a skin from forming.

Overhead shot of chocolate mousse in glasses with whipped cream, crushed pistachios, and fresh raspberries on top.


What to Serve with Chocolate Mousse

Nothing beats homemade whipped cream and a generous dollop lightens the richness of the dark chocolate.

You can make a classic whip cream by whisking cream with a touch of sugar and vanilla extract until thickened. Or, you can borrow the Greek yogurt whip from our chocolate olive oil cake if you’d like. You can also garnish the chocolate olive oil mousse with fresh berries, candied orange peels, sugared cranberries, chopped toasted nuts, or crushed amaretti cookies.

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Recommended for this Recipe: Nocellara or Arbequina EVOO

We love these rich, fruity and smooth, extra virgin olive oils for baking, particularly with dark chocolate.

a bottle of nocellara Italian extra virgin olive oil from the mediterranean dish.
4.64 from 11 votes

Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Mousse

photo of author mark beahm.Mark Beahm
a close up of 3 glass cups of olive oil chocolate mousse, some topped with raspberries, whipped cream and nuts.
A rich and decadent chocolate mousse that won't weigh you down at the end of the meal. Extra virgin olive oil lends a nice velvety richness with a fuller depth of flavor. This elegant make-ahead dessert is delicious on its own, or you can finish with whipped cream, crushed nuts, fresh seasonal fruit, cookies and more. Just be sure to give the mousse at least 4 hours in your refrigerator to chill.
Prep – 30 minutes
Chilling Time 4 hours
Total – 4 hours 30 minutes
Cuisine:
Spanish
Serves – 8
Course:
Dessert

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces (227g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 large eggs separated
  • ½ cup (100g) sugar, divided
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons room temperature strong coffee, espresso, or 1 teaspoon espresso powder dissolved in 2 tablespoons water (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
  • Toppings of your choice (optional, like whipped cream, fresh berries, crushed toasted nuts or amaretti cookies)

Instructions
 

  • Melt the chocolate. Melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, using your microwave's chocolate melting function, or microwaving in 30-second bursts, stirring with a spatula each time, until the chocolate is completely smooth. Or, melt in a heat-safe bowl over simmering water, stirring constantly.
  • Add the olive oil. Add the olive oil to the melted chocolate and stir with a spatula or whisk until fully combined and shiny. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • Make a meringue. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or using an electric whisk, beat the egg whites and ¼ cup (50g) of the sugar on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 4 minutes. The meringue should be shiny and roughly quadruple the volume of the egg whites. When you lift out the whisk, the meringue should stick up in a sharp point.
  • Beat the egg yolks. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks, remaining ¼ cup of sugar, salt, vanilla, and lemon zest and coffee (if using) until pale and thick, about 2 minutes.
  • Combine the chocolate and egg yolks. Use a wide spatula to fold the melted chocolate into the egg yolk mixture until fully combined. It will be thick and shiny, similar to brownie batter.
  • Fold in the beaten egg whites. With a wide spatula, gently fold one third of the beaten egg whites at a time into the chocolate mixture. To preserve as much of the air as possible, fold the mousse gently, rotating the bowl a quarter turn after each fold. Mix until no streaks of egg white remain before adding the next third.
  • Chill. Spoon the mousse into 8 ramekins, cover with plastic, and chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

Video

Notes

Nutrition

Calories: 340.6kcalCarbohydrates: 27.7gProtein: 5.9gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 8.5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1.9gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 124.5mgSodium: 195.4mgPotassium: 207.8mgFiber: 2.3gSugar: 23.1gVitamin A: 192.5IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 36.8mgIron: 2.4mg
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Mark learned to bake professionally at Two Fat Cats Bakery in Portland, Maine and was most recently the head baker at Hjem Kensington, a Danish café in London. He lived in Barcelona and Madrid for six years, before moving to London and then back to the States. He is fascinated by the intersection of food, culture, and science. He has been developing recipes for home bakers for three years and began writing for The Mediterranean Dish in 2022.

When he’s not in the kitchen, he spends his time traveling, knitting, and learning to throw pottery.
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4.64 from 11 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. Marian says:

    5 stars
    Quick, easy, decadent & rich. 👍

    1. TMD Team says:

      Thanks, Marian!

  2. Lori says:

    5 stars
    This mousse is absolutely wonderful. It is creamy, light and delicious. Easiest elegant dessert I have ever made. Thank you!!

    1. Devin Fuller says:

      Hi Lori, Devin here from the Mediterranean Dish team. So happy you loved this recipe, thank you for sharing!

  3. Bonnie says:

    5 stars
    Utterly delicious! I used coconut palm sugar, and dark chocolate chips only sweetened with dates- turned out fabulous. Love that you add evoo.

    1. TMD Team says:

      Thanks so much, Bonnie!

  4. maggie taylor says:

    1 star
    The olive oil chocolate mousse is way too complicated. There are much simpler choc mousse recipes with less ingredients.

  5. Bunny Bard says:

    Could you do with with just dark chocolate instead of bittersweet for a non dairy mousse ? Looks amazing as all of your recipes are !!! Thanks so much 🙂

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hello! I do think dark chocolate will work here, but it's not something we've officially tested with this recipe. If you are going to give it a try, make sure you are using a high quality dark chocolate for the tastiest results :).

  6. Tansy says:

    5 stars
    Looks very good.
    Only problem I have is I live in Greece, so I'm kinda stuck with Greek olive oil. Would love some Spanish olive oil, but I can't find any in Greece!!!

    1. TMD Team says:

      Oh no! Wish we could send you some! Being "stuck" with Greek olive oil isn't a bad thing, though, lol!