Spiced Chocolate, Black Pepper & Coffee Mousse

Chocolate mousse in clear glass jars, next to a small dish of coffee beans on a wire metal trivet.
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Prep Time:
40 min
Recipe Source:


  • 5 12 oz dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa solids), broken into small chunks, divided
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 heaped tsp best-quality instant coffee or espresso granules
  • 1 scant tsp ground cinnamon
  • Seeds from 2 fat green cardamom pods*, finely ground in a mortar and pestle
  • 2 Tbsp boiling water
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 14 cup superfine sugar, divided
  • 1 heaped tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 12 cup heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Melt 3 12 ounces of the chocolate in a small saucepan set over low heat. Remove pan from heat and gently stir in butter until mixture has completely melted and is smooth. Set aside to cool. 
  2. Combine coffee, cinnamon, and ground cardamom seeds in a small bowl with boiling water and stir until coffee granules dissolve.
  3. Let stand to cool.
  4. Put egg yolks and half of sugar into a large bowl and whisk together using an electric hand mixer until mixture is pale. Add cooled chocolate mixture, cooled coffee and spice mixture, vanilla bean paste, and a generous grinding of black pepper. In a separate mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  5. In another bowl, whip cream together with remaining sugar until stiff peaks form, but be careful not to overwork mixture or it will become too thick. (To rescue overwhipped cream, add a little bit more cream and gently fold it in.)
  6. Gently fold egg whites into chocolate mixture a heaped spoonful at a time, always folding rather than stirring to keep mousse light. Next, fold in whipped cream gradually in same way.
  7. Divide mixture between 6 glass dessert serving dishes or cups, or 8 espresso cups and let chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours. Just before serving, finely chop remaining chocolate chunks and scatter over each serving to decorate.


  • *If you can’t find cardamom pods, use 18 to 14 teaspoon of ground cardamom.
  • The individual servings can be made a day or two in advance, so this really is the ideal dessert for entertaining.

Nutrition Info

325 Calories, 5 g Protein, 22 g Carbohydrates, 3 g Fiber, 24 g Total fat (14 g sat), 44 mg Sodium, ★★ Iron, Phosphorus, Vitamin A, B2 (riboflavin), B12, Magnesium, Zinc