Our Food Editor Was Shocked This 1-Ingredient TikTok Chocolate Mousse *Actually* Worked
If you have a bar of chocolate and a sink or pitcher of filtered water, you have everything you need for a restaurant-quality dessert. Seriously!
TikTok user @audreysaurus from Western Australia introduces the concept in her TikTok video that's garnered more than 5.7 million(!) views: "Kind of crazy, but did you guys know you can make chocolate mousse out of just chocolate and water?"
"Apparently, this is [celebrity chef] Heston Blumenthal's recipe, but I saw heaps of people doing it on YouTube. So I thought I would try it," Audrey explains as she breaks up a dark chocolate bar into squares, adds it to a small bowl, and pours in hot water. Yep, plain H2O.
(By the way, this wild one-ingredient chocolate mousse recipe actually appears to be the brainchild of French chemist Hervé This, according to a 2007 interview with This in Wired magazine. "I invented it—but it was so easy, I'm embarrassed!" says This. Heston Blumenthal has made it many times and explains how to do it on several TV shows, too.)
As Audry proceeds with the recipe, she microwaves the chocolate and water until melted, then uses a small spatula to stir until well-combined and smooth. At this point, she builds an ice bath with a larger bowl filled with ice water, pops the bowl filled with melted chocolate carefully on top (so the bottom bowl doesn't overflow), then grabs her hand mixer. You could use a whisk, too, but an electric model like Cuisinart Power Advantage 5-Speed Hand Mixer (buy it:$39.99, Target.com) will make quicker, easier work out of whipping. Mix until thickened, transfer into serving bowls and cover with a flat coating of plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about an hour, "and that's pretty much it!"
As she tastes her first spoonful, Audrey reflects on what she was thinking at the time, saying, "This was so airy and fluffy, I think I was just shocked that it worked!"
So were we. Our editors know how frustrating it feels when recipes you find on a blog, website or magazine don't actually work IRL, so we put every dish we publish in the magazine or on EatingWell.com through a thorough testing process. Of course, we were intrigued (and also a little baffled) by this concept as well, so we put it through the paces too.
"Holy cow. It totally worked! It was a nice fluffy mousse in two minutes," our food editor Megan O. Steintrager confirmed. "I used an whisk instead of a hand mixer, and it 100% worked, although it's very hard on the arm."
She used 1 ½ ounce dark chocolate (that's about 4 squares of Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate 86% Cacao Midnight Reverie; buy it: $3.98, walmart.com) and 2 tablespoons of water for a single serving. Be sure not to overshoot with the water—try to get as close to straight tablespoons as you can, she suggests. For a six-serving, dinner party-sized batch to share with friends or family, 8 ounces of chocolate and ¾ cup water is your recipe for success. Top with whipped cream and fresh mint and prepare to steal the show.
"You could also add some espresso powder for a mocha take," Steintrager recommends, or try a sprinkle of cinnamon and cayenne for some Mexican chocolate vibes! And instead of water, this works with milk or cream, too, if you like.
Related: How to Make Whipped Coffee
Fascinatingly, this one-ingredient chocolate mousse is basically a variation on the theme of whipped cream. Heavy cream is an emulsion of milk fat and water, and it whips up into cloud-like consistency when whisked in a cold bowl. If you reach a similar ratio of water to fat with cocoa butter and water, it should offer similar results.
Here's the science: Microscopic pieces of water are suspended in the milk fat, causing a creamy, thick texture. As air is whisked into the cooling, ice bath-chilled chocolate, the chocolate crystallizes around the air you're incorporating to make a stable mousse. Magic! Or, rather: Science!
We don't know about you, but dessert magic is quite possibly our favorite kind of magic. After you try this mousse, keep the cocoa creations going by sampling our 15 favorite rich and luscious dark chocolate desserts.