Chocolate Mousse issues

Joined Oct 18, 2007
I have an old, tried and true chocolate mousse recipe that I've had no problem with in the past.

Found it again and decided to make a moussecake at the new place.

The only difference is the chocolate.

In the past I'd shave pieces off of a large slab, Guittard, Ghirardelli, etc.

At the new place we carry an El Ray chocolate, and it comes in little discs.

I don't know if that is making the difference, but it's the only variance.

Anyhow, I melt the chocolate completely in a double boiler, then slowly incorporate the egg yolks, then add rum and coffee.

I finish with the whites and cream (both whipped of course).

This usually results in a light and creamy mousse, but after the cake has set I see that the chocolate has seized.

I thought maybe it was because the coffee was cold so this week I made sure it was still hot.

Even worse seizing this time.

I'm stumped.

Do you think it's the chocolate?

Or am I missing something.

Any help or guidance you can give me is greatly appreciated.
Joined May 5, 2010
I have then same problem with Valrhone Chocolate. It too comes in small disks. When I used to purchase it in block form I never had a problem. With the disks though I find I have to temper the chocolate before adding the rest of the ingredients. The chocolate in my case turned into little tiny chips. It WAS a hit with the folks, but it WAS wrong.
Joined Oct 10, 2005

I can think of two possible reasons why, but don't know for sure.

The first is the coins/callets/whatever you call them.  If the bag was unsealed the individual coins might have sucked up more moisture--coins have far more surface area than a block and this extra moisture may have cause the siezure.

The second is that better quality chocolates have more cocoa butter, and this behaves much different than cheaper chocoalte with less cocoa butter--more prone to sieze up.

But I'm not an expert, heck I haven't even slept in a Holiday Inn...........
Joined Nov 4, 2005
it sounds like its the chocolate. i havent worked with El Ray, but i always have problems with valrhona because of its high quality and my lack of patience.


Kitchen Dork
Joined Jun 15, 2006
I've always found that chocolate that you use in bar form is different from callets, pistoles, or chips. The chips I know for sure, have additives that help them hold their shape in baking. I don't know for sure about the callets, but I suspect the same. I think if you go back to chocolate in bar form you shouldn't have any problems.
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Good lord no!

"Chips" a.k.a. "baking chips" are garbage, a melange of cocoa powder, sugar, and wierd fats that won't melt at high temperatures.

Most, if not all mnfctrs will package high quality couverture in coin/callet form as it is eaisier to work with than hacking away at a 5 kg block. 

Chocolate is made with whole cocao beans--the cocoa bean naturally contains over 50% cocoa butter-- and sugar.

Read the ingredient list.  "Cocoa liquor" or "Cocoa mass" is whole cocoa beans, fermented, dried, roasted and ground fine.  All good chocolates start off this way. If suagr is listed first, you're getting more sugar than chocolate. If the ingredient list has cocoa powder, or wierd vegetable fats in it, it's not a good quality one.

Couverture is used for enrobing or coating bon-bons, so it must be thinner, and contains more cocoa butter.

Good quality chocolate will state the cocoa amount (ie 60%, 70% etc) but this is cocoa content only, it won't tell you the cocoa butter content.

Hope this helps
Joined Jul 28, 2001
I agree with FP on moisture.

When using coins,

I usually temper the choco mixture a little heavier with the whipped cream to avoid the chipping.
Joined Oct 18, 2007
Thanks for the help everyone.

I brought in a block of Guittard and guess what?

Perfect mousse, just how I remembered it.

While tempering the old chocolate would've probably solved my issue I am trying to make this chongo proof.

Not guaranteed though, as they are in the habit of freezing the chocolate to keep the waitstaff out of it.

Anyhow, all is well in mousse land, thanks again.
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