Chocolate Chantilly from Hervé This

This is a very simple dish worth trying. It is about technique rather than a recipe and uses only one ingredient, if you ignore water, which most recipes do!

It took a brilliant, adventurous chemist to discover the simplest way to make chocolate mousse at home with just chocolate and water.  Hervé This, is credited as being the father of molecular gastronomy, teaching chefs like Heston Blumenthal and Ferran Adrià. He discovered how to make a flawless, creamy chocolate mousse out of just chocolate and water. It results in a light yet deeply chocolatey mousse that’s totally vegan and dairy free. But it all happens quite fast as the mixture cools, so chances are you’ll go too far on your first try. Don’t worry, it’s easy to fix; just reheat, add a couple drops more water, and start again. This will keep for 2 to 3 days in the fridge, and once you have the rhythm down, you can flavour it as you wish with liqueurs or coffee or spices, sweeten it to your liking, or just keep it dark and intense. In all of these scenarios, a little whipped cream up top is never a bad idea. This is adapted from Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor. Hervé This (Columbia University Press, 2008)


bowl, whisk, patience


350 grams dark chocolate, chopped

270 grams water

Cold water and ice, for ice bath.


  1. Put equal parts water and ice into a medium bowl for the ice bath. Boil the water in a saucepan, or in the microwave, and pour it into a second medium bowl.
  2. Add the chopped chocolate and stir with a spatula or whisk until all the pieces are melted, about 2 minutes.
  3. Place the bowl with the chocolate over the ice bath and whisk vigorously. Continue to whisk until the mixture has the consistency of stiffly whipped cream, and then quickly divide it between individual serving cups or into a serving bowl. Refrigerate.