Chocolate mousse problem

Joined Jun 19, 2010
Tried a recipe today that called for melting chocolate, sugar and water, then whisking in egg yolks, then returning to heat and stirring until temp reached 160.  Recipe said that after adding eggs mixture would be grainy but would get smooth and shiny as temp approached 160.  I stirred forever and the temp did reach over 160 but the mixture never changed.  Chocolate was grainy and water separated out whenever I stopped stirring.  Now I just have a bowl of grainy, water mess.  Previous mousse recipes have not used this exact technique and I was surprised about adding water.

Any ideas on:

1) What went wrong?

2) Can I salvage the recipe?

3) Or, can I use the chocolate goop for something else?  It was very expensive chocolate and I hate to throw it away.

Joined Jan 3, 2005
Wow, I have done several different mousse recipes over the years, but the one you describe is new to me.  Where did the recipe come from?  

As far as what went wrong it could be a couple of things.  Mixing melted chocolate with liquid can be tricky - it is important to have enough liquid to wet all of the chocolate particles.  If the chocolate pieces are larger, you can have the dreaded situation of a small amount of liquid causing that portion of chocolate to seize.  It is usually best to melt the chocolate separately, then add it to the sugar and water.  

Another possibility is that higher percentage chocolate (darker) requires more liquid.  So if the recipe worked with a 55% chocolate, but you used a dark 70% without adjusting the liquid amount, that could affect the results as well.

There is also the possibility that the chocolate and eggs got hot too fast.

I don't think you can salvage your "goop".  I know it hurts to throw good chocolate away.

My suggestion would be to try a different mousse recipe.  The best I have ever had was from a Gordon Ramsay cookbook, but is very time consuming.  The results are amazing, but you have to make a pate a bombe, whipped cream and an Italian meringue all separately, then combine them when they are at the same temperature.  

There are certainly easier recipes out there - the simplest being a whipped ganache - (just chocolate and cream melted, cooled, then whipped).  Or the more classic mousse method where you add melted chocolate to yolks that have been whipped to ribbon with sugar, then whipped cream folded in.

Good luck!
Joined Jan 27, 2010
I think that, Jelly solved your problem. Sad to know that it was not a success, but it's your first time to do it. Better try other recipe or try what Jelly has advised you. Good luck. 


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
You could add warm cream or espresso a bit at a time until the goop unsiezes.  Then proceed with recipe.  It won't give you the intended result but it might still be quite good.
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Joined Mar 2, 2006
Try to boil you water and sugar first, then add the chocolate like making a ganach, the eggs will help emulsify the mess you make. Maybe try to get it back together in a mixer??
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