Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Saturday, 19th March 2011

Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate – try to resist these Triple Chocolate Mousse Cakes – “betcha can’t eat just one”!

A photo of 3 Triple Chocolate Mousse Cakes displayed in a row on a white rectangular dish with a black background.

I’ve faced countless temptations since beginning my “Sweet” journey into desserts but none have been as irresistible as this one. The allure? – Three layers of sumptuous chocolate – Dark Chocolate Cake, lush Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse and pillowy Milk Chocolate Mousse.

A photo of 4 Chocolate Mousse Cakes on small, white dessert dishes.

And the look?  Spectacular! I first spotted these cakes many years ago when I received the Martha Stewart Living Magazine regularly. You won’t believe this but at the time I can remember thinking, “Why am I wasting my money on this magazine”? You see, five years ago, I would never have attempted any of the stunning cakes or dazzling desserts that graced the pages of that magazine.

A photo of 4 Mousse Cakes garnished with Dark Chocolate Curls displayed on a white cake stand.

But I believe there is a reason for everything, even a subscription to a magazine. I think at the time (even though I didn’t realize it) something inside me began to stir. A new and surprising passion was emerging. Who knew desserts were going to take my life in a new direction? A direction that’s given me “a sense of purpose” that I so desperately needed. And an opportunity to connect with so many wonderful people, like you!

Fast-forward all these years later and I am having the time of my life learning all about the wonderful world of desserts. I’m even learning a new vocabulary. Baking lingo such as fold, blind bake, temper, bain marie, and bloom (the list is endless) that was once foreign to me has become part of my day-to-day speech.

A photo of 4 Triple Chocolate Mousse Cakes, one placed in front on a white dessert plate and 3 in the background on a white cake stand.

Any time I begin a new project (whatever it may be) I have a need to understand everything about it. I spend a multitude of hours researching and learning all that I can. At times it can be daunting. More than one person has told me that I am “obsessed” with desserts. I prefer the term “passionate”, don’t you?

A photo of gourmet cake, Chocolate Mousse Cake with chocolate curls on a black dessert dish.

So thank you for joining me on “La Mia Vita Dolce”, My Sweet Life. It’s been a remarkable experience and I’m glad you’re along for the ride!

A photo of 4 Chocolate Mousse Cakes layered with Dark Chocolate Cake, Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse and Milk Chocolate Mousse displayed on small white dessert dishes with dessert forks with a black background.

A photo of 2 mini cakes layered with Dark Chocolate Cake, Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse and Milk Chocolate Mousse on a black dessert dish with a black background.

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Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Cakes & Cheesecakes, Custards, Creams & Mousses, Dolci al Cucchiaio, Eggs, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Frozen Desserts, Mini Desserts, Pastry Doughs & Batter, Piccola Pasticceria, Recipes, Ricette di Base, Spoon Desserts, Torte

Comments (102)

102 Responses to “Triple Chocolate Mousse Cakes”

  1. Elyse @The Cultural Dish Says:

    These are gorgeous! Where do you find those paper collars? I can never find them :(

  2. Kathy - Panini Happy Says:

    Your passion for desserts most definitely shines through your blog! These mousse cakes are absolute perfection.

  3. lauren Says:

    OH WOW!!!! Not only do these look incredible, but they sounds just as fabulous.

  4. Grace Says:

    Elyse I made them myself. I purchased acetate paper a while back and cut out the collars. But you can use non-stick baking (parchment) paper as well. I put the measurements for the collars in the recipe.

  5. Lizzy Says:

    Fabulous! I’ve made three layered mousse before…but with dark, milk and white chocolate. I love the look of yours and will definitely try it…it would make a lovely Easter dessert!

  6. Kathryn Says:

    Oh wow, these look fabulous. If it wasn’t nearly 7pm in England, I’d be making these right now. There’s always tomorrow! Thank you for sharing this recipe, they look stunning.

  7. Maggie @ Vittles and Bits Says:

    These are so pretty! I love chocolate mousse mmmm

  8. Cookin' Canuck Says:

    Absolutely stunning! There is no way I’d be able to resist these.

  9. Nicole @ Says:

    These look amazing. I’m wondering if there is a way to do these bite sized for an event I have coming up. They would be so cute and tasty!!

  10. Cooking Rookie Says:


  11. Cherine Says:

    Wonderful!!! Those cakes are gorgeous!

  12. Grace Says:

    Nicole I think what I would do is bake the cake in a regular size baking tin rather than the individual ramekins. Then I would use a round cookie cutter to cut the cakes in the size you prefer. You can make the collar to fit the size of the cake and then fill the collars with the mousse. Most definitely doable. I am thinking of making them for my NIece’s upcoming bridal shower in mini, mini form.

  13. Lauren at Keep It Sweet Says:

    You are always making the most professional looking desserts but at the same time they look insanely delicious!

  14. marla Says:

    A girl can never have enough chocolate. These mousse cakes are perfect!

  15. Blog is the New Black Says:

    Gorgeous and delicious! :)

  16. egb Says:

    Beautiful pics! Looks amazing!

  17. Laura @ GotChocolate Says:

    Oh holy BEAUTIFUL! WOOOOOOOOOOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Jenn (Cookies Cupcakes Cardio) Says:

    WOW! Those look amazing. Definitely something a chocolate lover would indulge in.

  19. Tasha @ Voracious Says:

    These are PERFECTION! I’m having breakfast at the moment, but I’d swap it in a second for a taste of one of these. They look so light and creamy and just heavenly.

  20. Kim @ Feed Me, Seymour Says:

    When my husband and I were in Disney World recently, we had a dessert similar to this. Three different kinds of chocolate with raspberry goo on top. I must say, these look even more delish!!! Yum!!!

  21. The Harried Cook Says:

    The only thing better than chocolate is TRIPLE chocolate! That looks sooo good! And I bet it tasted every bit as yummy as it looks!

    Congrats on making Top 9!

  22. sonia Says:

    Wonderful chocolate mousse, loved the subtle three colors, its looking gorgeous !

  23. Sherry @JustAPinch Says:

    Heaven on a plate… you made my day!
    Sherry Parfait

  24. A little bit of everything Says:

    Stunning cakes. I’ve tried before 2 chocolate mousse cake but using white chocolate instead of milk chocolate. Next time I’ll try your recipe. Thanks for sharing and congrats on Top 9

  25. Fresh and Foodie Says:

    These are GORGEOUS! I just adore them. Very impressive — great job! Love your blog.

  26. Terra Says:

    I love learning about food photography from other food bloggers. This picture is soooo beautiful! AND of course looks delicious:-)
    Take care,

  27. Fran {The Flavorful Fork} Says:

    These are just beautiful! I absolutely love to cook but baking, especially something like this, is a bit unnerving to me.

  28. Threemealsaday Says:

    These look great. Your first photo is the one I lean towards. What camera/lens are you using.
    Congrats on Top 9

  29. Kim- Liv Life Says:

    Wow!! Your photos are simply stunning! And the mousse cakes… well, no, there is no way I could stop at one. I have a recipe for something like this tucked away somewhere for a special occasion, but I think I’ll just print your version instead. Love it… Congrats on the Top 9!!

  30. Grace Says:

    Thank you – the 18-55mm lens.

  31. Grace Says:

    It was to me too but actually it wasn’t too bad, a few steps but really pretty easy.

  32. Priya Mahadevan Says:

    Oh my god – this is sheer torture to see that stack of decadence! Eye Candy for sure – Love it!

  33. cindy Says:

    I saw this picture on foodbuzz top 9. I love chocolate mousse. I will definitely have to try to make it one day.

  34. Emilia Says:

    Your chocolate mousse cakes look so beautiful. I am a sucker for mousses in general, but the chocolate ones are definitely on top of my list. Can’t wait to try your recipe as well.

  35. Chef Dennis Says:

    you really outdid yourself with this dessert, it is positively gorgeous, and I am sure delicious! I have to teach my girls how to make these they would love them!
    Congratulations on your #1 spot on the top 9, you are becoming quite the regular!

  36. Grace Says:

    Luck is in my corner this week – thank you Dennis – the girls will have fun making these.

  37. Grace Says:

    Emilia make sure not to miss the step “putting the mousses through the sieve” – they came on so smooth.

  38. ChocolateCentral Says:

    So elegant and delicious looking. I’ve been inspired to make a chocolate mousse I learned to make when I used to live in France. I have to admit, it is really easy and nothing as spectacular as this. I love your presentation. Congratulations on making Foodbuzz’s Top 9. Kudos to you Gracie.

  39. Sandra Says:

    Gracie you are on FIRE! You don’t know how thrilled I am that you’re obsessed/passionate about desserts. Your recipes and pictures are such a treat. It’s a visual and culinary lesson all rolled into one. I can’t wait to try this recipe. Absolutely gorgeous!!!

  40. Liana Says:

    These make the two layer I served in a rectangle on the weekend look positively dull! Although the leftovers are even better 2 days later. How far in advance could I make these? Can you use any type of tape for the collars? Thks

  41. muppy Says:

    This is so beautiful :)

  42. Grace Says:

    Sandra you are so sweet – thank you!

  43. Grace Says:

    Liana you could make these a few days in advance. If you are concerned about presentation – I found the milk chocolate mousse didn’t set as nice in the fridge as the bittersweet (it is much softer) so I put them in the freezer for a bit then unmolded them and placed them back in the fridge to chill until ready to serve. If you place them in the fridge after freezing without unmolding it will be harder to unmold because the mousse will soften again. Don’t laugh but these little babies are so irresistible I froze half the batch because I knew I would continue to eat them. In fact I just pulled one out to enjoy, placed in fridge for about 25 minutes and it tastes like I just made them fresh. I also realized it would make a great frozen dessert if I swapped out the bottom layer and added a white chocolate mousse layer to it instead. I also realized if I wanted I could make the dessert a week in advance and then freeze them and I could then remove them from the freezer the afternoon of my dinner party, unmold and then chill until ready to serve. The mousse remained pillow soft. Make sure it is an airtight container.

  44. briarrose Says:

    Amazing job on these. They look spectacular.

  45. Peter Stanford Says:

    As I always do with your recipes I have printed this so my wife will hopefully make them. I am not a sexist man, I am unable to stand and do this so I have to have it done. My wife is an incurable chocoholic anyhow (sitting is also impossible) so I don’t think there will be a problem :) mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm It’s almost Saturday!

  46. Kris Butler Says:

    I just finished culinary and baking/pastry school and I really appreciate how you present your food. It all looks so beautiful and tasty… I’ll be sure to try some of these recipes out soon!!

  47. Grace Says:

    Thank you so much Kris your comment means the world.

  48. Grace Says:

    Thank you Peter, I know you will enjoy, let me know what you think.

  49. Today is National Chocolate Mousse Day « One 2 Try Says:

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  50. fashion Says:

    yummy….Triple Chocolate Mousse Cakes

  51. IreneK Says:

    I gained five pounds just reading the recipe! Thanks!

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  53. SandraDee Says:

    I have made these twice already since stumbling upon your blog this month. (LOVE IT!) Both times my dark chocolate mousse turned out nice and firm, but, the milk chocolate layer has been runny. (For my last dinner party I dubbed them weeping chocolate
    mousse cakes) I can’t quite figure out what I am doing wrong however, I am about to try my luck again. Thank you for the lovely pics and the fabulous recipe.

  54. Grace Says:

    Sandra I just sent you an email with a tip – I’ve made them so many times but on occasion I find the milk chocolate layer soft too. I fell upon this tip because I wanted to make ahead for an event and I wanted to know what they would be like if I froze them and thawed in the fridge for about half an hour before serving, the mousse remained soft and not at all grainy. I was so ansy to try one to see if the texture held up I realized it was very easy to remove the collar. The others I placed in the fridge without removing the collar and when I did so it was a bugger to remove the collar because the milk chocolate layer softened once again. Now when I make them I don’t take any chances and bypass frustration altogether. I follow along with the recipe and once I add the milk chocolate layer I chill in the fridge for a couple of hours and then transfer to the freezer to set, once set I remove collars and place in the fridge to thaw, they come out beautiful each and every time. In fact, it’s a great frozen dessert too.

  55. Mama's Gotta Bake Says:

    Wow, you did a great job with those. They look beautiful and photographed equally as well!

  56. Karen Says:

    I think my blood sugar just went up 200 points looking at this. I shouldn’t but I will make it anyway. It will be a treat that I will nibble on. Yum!!!

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  59. Lena Says:

    What do I have to do to make this into one cake? size pans, any change to the recipes?

    Thank you, they look amazing

  60. Grace Says:

    Hi Lena so sorry for the late reply, I’m still having some problems with spam and my comments are getting buried. I haven’t made these into one large cake but I would probably go with a 9-inch cake pan. You want the base to be trimmed to about 1-inch high. The recipe will be fine as is but you will have to monitor the setting time of the mousse and make sure you don’t add the second layer until the first is firm. If you have to trim the cake I would probably use the base layer and flip the cake and keep the trim side down so that the layers will look better for presentation.

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  62. Neenu Says:

    This looks beautiful….how do u make the top of this dessert so even…

  63. Grace Says:

    Neenu I wrap the cake in acetate paper which is much easier than parchment because you can see thru. I use a small demitasse spoon to level them. Also the milk chocolate mousse has a thinner consistency than the dark chocolate and you can pretty much pour and level quite easy. I usually put them in the freezer to set the final layer making it much easier to unmould. It looks a lot more labor intensive than it is.

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  67. tortina Says:

    Wow, great i am crazyl for chocolate, and this…..triple chocolate.
    I must try this!

  68. Grace Says:

    Tortina you will love these, they are delicious, definitely a weakness for me. Please let me know how you enjoyed them.

  69. juash Says:

    I love chocolate mousse and these look just awesome grace. U r amazing

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  73. Emanuela Says:

    I really resonated with your post. I also, years ago would never have throughout that my cooking passion would be born. Its amazing what you think you know about yourself and then, life teaches you there is still more to you. Congrats on your amazing blog :) It is beautiful and life really is sweet! OH and lets not forget this amazing desert. I love it and want to try it. YUM!

  74. Grace Says:

    Welcome Emanuela and thank you!

  75. Dyez Says:

    I did the recipe according to instructions but the mouse gets very runny. What do you think is the problem?

  76. Grace Says:

    Hi Dyez, so sorry for the late reply I’ve been away visiting family. When you say the mousse was runny are you talking about the milk chocolate layer? It is a bit different in consistency compared to the dark chocolate mousse which is much firmer in texture. But they both set to a perfect creamy texture. I found that after setting in the fridge for at least 4 hours popping them into the freezer until completely set is the way to go. The collars come off much easier and placing them in the fridge for about 15 to 20 minutes thaws the cakes and are perfect for enjoying. If you can provide me with a few more details hopefully I can help to figure out what went wrong, did they set? How long did you let them set in the fridge? Did you place in the freezer?

  77. Carissa @ Pretty/Hungry Says:

    Thank you for posting this! I had a link to the Martha Stewart recipe, but it didn’t contain instructions for the dessert… only a description of it. I’ve been wanting to make it and now I can. P.S. Yours looks gorgeous :)

  78. Grace Says:

    Hi Carissa sorry for my late reply, I’ve been a little under the weather. One important tip, the freezer is your best friend when preparing these cakes. The milk chocolate mousse is much thinner than the dark chocolate and if you don’t chill in the freezer until firm it will be very difficult to remove the collars. Please let me know how it goes, these cakes are one of my absolute favourite treats.

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  80. Noemi Says:

    That looks so yummy :D
    i’m following you on facebook :)

  81. Glenda Says:

    I am so inspired by your website and thought these desserts would be a good stretch of my skills and I had the time to prepare these prior to a major event for 11 people as I was only making dessert. I was so disappointed with the cake layer as it was just a dry and flaky cake. Was expecting a moist and dense mud cake.

    The mousse was so complex and didn’t set enough. Two of us spent 30 minutes with the plate art and then the mousse completely failed after days of preparation and needed to be frozen to even have a chance of staying upright. Couldn’t even unwrap enough to take a photo. The recipe does not work for a fridge and I suggest avoiding the effort as the recipe needs adjusting. I had 11 guests eating sloppy mousse that folded on itself. The test one worked fine as it was in a drinks fridge that is really cold but I transferred it to a standard fridge 1 hour before the event. The test one only lasted about two minutes on the plate before going sloppy. Never spent so much time on something that had no chance of working as the recipe is wrong. However I look forward to another challenge from the website.

  82. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Good Morning Glenda, I am so sorry you had issues with the cakes I did too when I first made them. I thought I had updated the post because we’ve discussed in the comments many times and it appears I didn’t and I feel terrible about this. I hope you will try them again with these tips, and I will definitely update the recipe to include the tips this time. With respect to the cake, I’ve not had issues with the cake, it’s always been moist but I can see where you can run into issues because you really need to watch the baking time (small ramekins, very little batter) and over mixing the batter. With respect to the mousse, the dark chocolate layer is much thicker than the milk chocolate layer. This is my procedure, make the cake, cool and attach collars. Make the dark chocolate mousse, pour over the cake layer and then transfer to refrigerator and chill until set. Prepare milk chocolate layer, pour over dark chocolate layer, transfer to the refrigerator and chill about 4 hours. The layer will still be quite soft. Transfer mousse cakes, lightly covered with plastic wrap to the freezer, chill until firm. Remove from freezer, immediately remove collars and place in the fridge to thaw, 15 to 20 minutes. Enjoy. If you transfer from freezer to refrigerator without removing collars it will be near impossible to remove the collars and have a beautiful presentation. After following this process the mousse will stay firm, I’ve never had it go soupy after thawing in the fridge.

  83. Dieselle Says:

    I “need” to make these ASAP!!!…

    What size ramekins do you use?

    If I make one layer cake using a 9 inch (ROUND or SQUARE?) pan as you suggested above, trimmed to 1″ in height… what do I do to the frozen 3 layered mousse cake to make into mini desserts?
    What type of cutter and what size do you suggest I use for the easiest method to get the mini cakes separated from their mama cake?

  84. Dieselle Says:

    Sorry, I see the recipe says to use eight 3 1/2 inch/6 oz. ramekins…

  85. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    No worries Dieselle, please come back and let us know how you enjoy them. And if you have any questions through the preparations please let me know.

  86. Dieselle Says:

    Thank you Grace,

    My original question still remains…if making one 9-inch cake, how does one cut out the mini cakes? Special tool maybe?

    I appreciate your assistance and guidance.

  87. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Good Morning Dieselle, I’m sorry I thought you were going to use the ramekins. The easiest way I’ve found to cut cakes is to use a round cookie cutter, making the cuts starting around the edge, and making the cuts as close as possible. Also, I would recommend freezing the 9-inch cake for about 20 to 30 minutes (after it’s completely cooled), it will make it easier to make the cuts because the cake is fairly moist. I’m not sure if you read comments but I have updated post recipe too, the consistency of the milk chocolate mousse is much thinner, I recommend freezing the cakes until firm after layering with the milk chocolate mousse, then when removing the cakes from freezer, immediately remove acetate or baking paper collars, transfer to fridge to thaw for about 10 or 15 minutes, then serve. The collars will be very difficult to remove if you do not follow the recommendation.

  88. Dieselle Says:

    Thank you Grace, yes, I did read and much appreciate your very detailed directions for dealing with the milk chocolate mousse layer. I am wondering if adding some additional milk chocolate would help thicken the consistency as well.

    I well definitely try the cookie cutter suggestion, when I want to make the dessert to feed many bite size portions. I will use ramekins when I only need to serve my family. I am thinking this will be a great dessert for our Father’s Day celebration. Best part is I can and should make it the day before!

  89. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Hello Dieselle, hope you’re having a good day! To answer your question with respect to adding more milk chocolate to get a better set, although I haven’t tried it I don’t believe it would help set because the texture of a set chocolate dessert like this relies heavily on the amount of cocoa butter present in the chocolate, the darker chocolate has more cocoa butter which transfers to a firmer set. What you could do is add some gelatine to help set the milk chocolate layer. You could also add some dark chocolate but then you won’t have the same flavour profile. I find once chilling in the freezer the layer stays firm even after thawing. I always make two batches when I prepare these one to keep in the freezer for whenever the chocolate craving hits. I’ve found the mousse stays silky smooth (keep in mind I strain my mousse through a sieve). I know some home bakers don’t do this but I am a very big believer in straining mousse through a fine mesh sieve, the consistency is so much better. You’ll find most pastry chefs strain their elements to achieve that silky smooth texture. I don’t know what I would do without my sieve, I use it for everything. I would definitely prepare the day before and this dessert would be perfect for Father’s Day.

  90. zayn Says:

    I have made these for a special occasion and they were the biggest hit on the dessert table! The guests were amazed at the texture and look of these gorgeous cakes. Thank you for such an awesome recipe, can’t get enough of your blog!

  91. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    I am thrilled that you enjoyed them zayn, they are a real favourite. I usually make two batches, one to keep in the freezer to enjoy when the cravings hit.

  92. koosha Says:

    Hi Grace! I tried making these little babies for a birthday dinner today. Everything went smoothly and I followed your every instruction. I took them out of the freezer and let them thaw in the fridge. When I was about to serve them I noticed that they all collapsed and looked like a total mess. Do you think I let them thaw for too long?

  93. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Oh my goodness, I’ve never had that happen before. I’ve taken them out of the freezer and left them in the fridge for a couple of days without any issues. What intensity of chocolate did you use i.e 70%, 62%?

  94. pp Says:

    looks very very pretty.

    May I know what kind of cake ring you used? Where did you buy? I’ve been looking for some types like this, but hopeless.. I couldn’t find anywhere.. I went to Sur la table..


  95. hannelore bunch Says:


  96. gateau au chocolat Says:

    I tried these today and they are absolutely fantastic. I made them as a trial run for a dessert at an upcoming dinner party. These were better than I’d imagined. Thankyou so much for sharing this recipe! (Shared)

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  99. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Hi pp, I used 6-ounce round ramekins like these –

  100. Kristin Hawkins Says:

    I just want others who are going to attempt this recipe to know that 100 grams of chocolate does not equal 7 ounces. I’ve made these before years ago, and I wanted to try it again following the tip about sticking the cakes in the freezer. I noticed the bittersweet mousse seemed thinner than I remembered it being, but I couldn’t figure out why until I was working on making the milk chocolate mousse. As I was weighing the chocolate using my kitchen scale, I checked to see if 100 grams equaled 7 oz. It does NOT! It’s half the amount. Not only is this recipe time-consuming to make, but it’s also expensive. I’m very upset about this.

  101. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Oh my goodness, you are absolutely right Kristin, stupid mistake on my part. Can I make it up to you? I know I can’t compensate your time but I would at least like to send you a package of goodies so that you can make them again. Please let me know, I feel absolutely terrible about this. I am always so particular about the conversions but obviously it was a big error on my part. If you lived close by I would make them for you.

  102. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Hi Kristin,

    I feel just sick about this, I had the proper conversion up until Aug 5 2011 (wayback machine – and I have a sneaking suspicion as to exactly what happened.

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