There’s no shortage of ways to celebrate on National Chocolate Mousse Day (April 3). From over-the-top cakes to elegant small plates, here are some of our favorite versions of the classic dessert.
1. MOUSSE CAKE // SANT AMBROEUS
The signature cake at this Italian dessert bar in New York is every chocolate-lover’s dream. Layers of dark chocolate sponge cake have been piled high with chocolate custard and enveloped in an airy chocolate mousse package. If that didn’t sound so tempting, we’d say it’s almost too pretty to eat.
2. HOT CHOCOLATE MOUSSE // THE BAZAAR
, a world-renowned chef known for launching the small plates craze in America, is the mind behind the whimsical restaurant The Bazaar. After enjoying several courses of molecular-gastronomy-inspired dishes, diners can sink their spoons into his creative take on a chocolate mousse. The Hot Chocolate Mousse comes in a dish with salty hazelnut praline and an egg-shaped quenelle of refreshing pear sorbet.
3. MOUSSE AU CHOCOLAT BLANC // CANTINE PARISIENNE
You may have heard that white chocolate isn’t technically chocolate, but that doesn’t mean it can't shine in a mousse. Cantine Parisienne in New York City embellishes their white version of the dessert with caramelized white chocolate bits and a white chocolate crisp.
4. KAHLUA CHOCOLATE MOUSSE // THE FOURS
Chocolate and Kahlua are a match made in dessert heaven. At The Fours in Boston, the two are joined together in sweet harmony. After guests order the Homemade Kahlua Chocolate Mousse, it arrives to their table with a topping of whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
5. CHOCOLATE MOUSSE // BUVETTE
For a chocolate mousse that’s both classic and unforgettable, head to Buvette in New York City. This West Village bistro offers a variety of French-inspired dishes, but they’re best known for their version of this simple dessert. The chocolate mousse at Buvette comes in a fluffy, oversized dollop that sits under a heaping helping of whipped cream. It was originally served to diners in complimentary spoonfuls following their meals, and it was such a hit that it earned a permanent spot on the menu.
6. MAMA’S CAKE // CAKETEREST
One look at this cake may be enough to convince you to hop on the next flight to San Jose. This work of pastry art consists of a Nutella mousse cake coated with chocolate ganache and shards of crumbled toffee. If the idea of ordering the full-sized Mama’s Cake intimidates you, it also comes in mini cupcake form.
7. RAW CHOCOLATE MOUSSE // ELLARY’S GREENS
A sudden chocolate craving doesn’t have to spell the end of your healthy streak. At Ellary’s Greens in New York City, they serve a raw version of chocolate mousse that swaps in creamy avocados for actual cream. Cocoa powder, coffee, and maple syrup add a decadent depth of flavor. And even if calories aren’t your top concern when indulging in dessert, Ellary’s chocolate mousse is something any chocolate fanatic can get on board with.
8. CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CUP // ARTOPOLIS
This chocolate mousse dish wins the award for most elegant presentation. For dessert at this Greek Chicago restaurant, guests can order a semi-sweet mousse "tulip" that comes served in a cup of solid chocolate. That level of commitment to decadence is something we can definitely respect.
9. MEXICAN CHOCOLATE MOUSSE PIE // A LA MODE PIES
A La Mode Pies
in Seattle serves up their chocolate mousse pies with a twist: Cinnamon and a hint of cayenne give the dish a kick, and the mousse itself comes sandwiched between a layer of whipped cream and a graham cracker crust.
10. CHOCOLATE RICOTTA MOOSE // MOOSEWOOD RESTAURANT
Ricotta is something you might expect to see stuffed into a calzone, not mixed into a dessert. But that’s the secret ingredient behind the chocolate mousse served at the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, New York, and the results speak for themselves. The creamy ricotta base makes a rich, velvety mousse that’s deep in flavor. When eating at a restaurant with “moose” in the name, you’d expect nothing less.
11. S’MORES CONCOCTION // MAX BRENNER
The folks at Max Brenner know their chocolate. The sweet chain serves up everything from thick hot chocolate to chocolate chunk pizza [PDF], but their sinfully delicious S’mores Concoction is tough to beat. Graham crackers, marshmallow fluff, and milk chocolate mousse are served in a bail lid jar and topped off with a generous portion of whipped cream. And just in case that doesn’t sound decadent enough, it also comes with a serving of caramelized bananas and a flask of warm toffee sauce on the side.
12. SPICED MOUSSE DE CHOCOLATE // GYPSY KITCHEN
The Spanish and Moroccan cuisine served at Gypsy Kitchen [PDF] in Atlanta doesn’t shy away from bold flavors. This goes double for their spiced chocolate mousse. The dessert is adorned with vanilla cream, chocolate crumble, and a pinch of Maldon sea salt to further enhance the rich, chocolatey taste.