This creamy, dreamy recipe for White Chocolate Mousse with festive sugared berries is sure to delight and impress your loved ones this holiday season. This decadently rich vanilla-flecked dessert takes just a few minutes of active time to create but is sure to leave your guests talking about it for a long time to come.
About This Recipe
I am a huge fan of the subtle, delicate, creamy flavor of quality white chocolate. When metamorphosed into a velvety smooth mousse, white chocolate becomes even more desirable. The end result is fluffy and light, but with a more sensuous mouthfeel and more complex flavor profile than whipped cream.
This simple recipe for white chocolate mousse requires just 5 ingredients and a few minutes of active time in the kitchen, making it a wonderful option for the holidays. These gorgeous single-sized desserts may look like a million bucks, but the effort involved is minimal!
I am also enamored with the colorway of this elegant dessert - lofty white clouds of mousse are topped with shimmering red berries for a truly stunning end to any meal. It is equally at home on a Christmas, New Year's Eve, or Valentine’s dinner table; it’s also great to pull out for a last-minute dinner party.
As if that weren’t enough to love about this white chocolate mousse recipe, you should also know that this recipe is quite adaptable. Use the mousse as the filling for layer cakes, trifles, donuts or eclairs; swap out berries for fresh chocolate shavings; use different flavorings (like almond) in place of the vanilla… The options for customization are nearly endless!
One thing I love about making creamy white chocolate mousse is how utterly simple the recipe is. Here are all the ingredients you’ll need to make this easy dessert:
- White Chocolate - Make sure you opt for good quality, REAL white chocolate here. In other words, look for ingredient labels that start with cocoa butter and omit any added oils or milk. Also, beware of reaching for white chocolate chips - these are often made without any cocoa butter, which technically means they aren’t real white chocolate.
- Unsalted European Butter - If possible, I highly recommend reaching for European butter for this recipe; the higher fat content in French butter gives more flavor to your favorite desserts - making each bite a delight.
- Eggs, yolks and whites separated - I use large sized eggs, and if you struggle with separating egg yolks I recommend you bring the eggs to room temperature after you separate them. Cold egg yolks break less easily than warm, but cold whites don’t whip very well.
- Granulated Sugar - Regular or superfine will work here. If you have the space, I also suggest reaching for white sanding sugar for your berries - they’ll end up much sparklier than if you only use granulated.
- Vanilla Bean Paste - I’m a sucker for flecks of vanilla bean in this white chocolate mousse; feel free to substitute vanilla extract or vanilla powder instead.
- Fresh Berries of choice - Since I’m making this for the holiday season, I opted to use a seasonal mix of cranberries, pomegranate arils and raspberries with the merest hint of rosemary. Depending on your season, you can swap in other fruit like blueberries, blackberries or boysenberries.
Yet another reason to love this easy white chocolate mousse recipe is the short list of equipment you’ll need to pull it off. Gather:
- Mixing Bowls - I suggest you invest in a quality set of either metal or glass mixing bowls; plastic versions are more porous and can hold onto oils that make whipping egg whites difficult.
- Electric Mixer - I love my stand mixer, but a hand-held mixer will do just fine here.
- Silicone Spatula - Having something that is both flexible and firm is essential for proper folding. Silicone
- Small Saucepan - If you don’t have one, you can add boiling water to sugar and stir. Microwave in 30 second bursts as needed until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Serving Dishes - When it comes to serving desserts, I’m a fan of anything that doesn’t require me - as the host - to make a mess. These individually portioned desserts can pop right out of the fridge and onto the table for a stress-free dessert experience! Any small dessert glasses or dishes will work here - from mason jars to wine glasses, ramekins to ice cream bowls.
How to Make
This simple recipe can be broken down into three relatively simple steps - making the decadent dessert mousse, adorning the berries with their signature sparkle, and assembly.
White Chocolate Mousse
- Melt white chocolate and butter together in a bowl over a bain-marie until fully melted. Make sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water, or you’ll risk scorching the white chocolate.
- Meanwhile, add egg yolks, vanilla and one tablespoon of sugar into a small bowl and whisk with an electric mixer for 5 minutes, or until the mixture has become a creamy, pale yellow that is about 3 times the volume that you started with.
- In a separate bowl, add egg whites and remaining sugar, whisking with an electric mixer on high speed until you get soft peaks.
- Add the melted chocolate and butter into the egg yolk mixture and mix with a spatula to combine.
- Then, add ½ of your egg white mixture into the egg yolks, mixing until well combined. Add the remaining egg whites, this time folding gently to mix until the mixture is smooth. Refrigerate for a minimum of 6 hours to set.
- Make-ahead tip: You can spoon or pipe the mousse into individual serving cups at this time.
Sugared Berries & Rosemary
- Bring ½ cup water and ½ cup sugar to a simmer, making sure that the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat.
- Add 1 cup of berries, allowing them to sit in the sugar syrup for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the berries from the syrup and allow them to dry on a paper towel for 1-2 hours. Coat the dried berries in granulated sugar.
Note that you can certainly use the leftover berry syrup for other purposes, like making cocktails or soaking a cake before frosting it. Use my step-by-step guide to learn how to make your own sugared berries.
- Once the mousse has set, you can begin to assemble. If you left the mousse in a large container to set up in the fridge, try piping it into your serving glasses for added visual effect. Garnish the mousse cups with sugared rosemary, raspberries, cranberries, and pomegranate seeds. Enjoy!
This gorgeous light white chocolate mousse is light enough to serve year-round, but I find it to be particularly delicious during the colder months; there’s just something about a pillowy white mousse that just screams “snow day!”
I prefer to serve this magnificent, buttery-rich dessert for Christmas, New Year’s or Valentine’s Day - red and white are perfect colors for these wintry celebrations.
Feel free to shake things up throughout the year if you prefer - one of my favorite ways is to try a mix of sugared blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries for summer holidays like the 4th of July.
- For the sparkliest sugared berries around, try using sanding sugar. Don’t get me wrong, granulated sugar will work just fine. However, sanding sugar is made from larger grains that are better at reflecting light. White sanding sugar looks like glistening snow, but you can also opt for other colors if you prefer.
- Make sure your bowl and beaters are clean for the egg whites. Egg whites won’t whip if there’s even just a smidge of fat in the bowl. To be super sure you’re in good shape, feel free to wipe your beaters and bowl with a bit of lemon juice - it’ll cut through any remaining oils.
- Use high quality white chocolate. There are plenty of products on the shelves that may *look* like white chocolate, but make sure the label actually calls it “white chocolate,” and not “white baking chips,” “white chocolate melts,” or “white baking morsels.” The best way to check is the ingredient label; the very first ingredient in white chocolate should always be cocoa butter.
- White chocolate has higher sugar content than milk and dark varieties, so keep an eye on it while you’re melting so that it doesn’t scorch!
- Use the infused berry syrup for making cocktails. Okay, this isn’t exactly a tip for making perfect white chocolate mousse, but it is an expert tip for having a zero waste kitchen and a delightful happy hour.
Frequently Asked Questions
Once made, it should last well in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the mousse for up to 2 months. When you are ready to serve, DO NOT be tempted to heat the mousse - simply allow it to defrost in the refrigerator until it is easily spoonable.
Sugared berries will last for 2-3 days in the fridge, but they may start to weep a bit over time.
I don’t recommend using frozen berries to turn into sugared berries, as their cell walls start to break down in the cold temperatures and lead them to release a lot of liquid. All that said, feel free to use whole frozen berries that you macerate in a touch of sugar, or turn them into a gorgeous coulis instead.
No worries! Try using a vegetable peeler to create chocolate curls in white, milk or dark chocolate instead.
More Holiday Recipes
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Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Mousse
- Serving Cups
White Chocolate Mousse
- 1 cup (150 g) quality white chocolate
- ⅓ cup (80 g) unsalted French butter
- 3 eggs, yolks and whites separated
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar (added in two separate stages)
- 2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
Sugared Cranberries & Assembly
- ½ cup (118 g) water
- ½ cup (50 g) sugar
- 1 cup (130 g) cranberries
- ¼ cup (40 g) raspberries
- 1 rosemary sprig
- ¼ cup (40 g) pomegranate seeds
White Chocolate Mousse
- Melt white chocolate and butter together in a bowl over a bain-marie until fully melted1 cup quality white chocolate, ⅓ cup unsalted French butter
- Meanwhile, add egg yolks, vanilla and one tablespoon of your sugar into a small bowl and whisk with an electric mixer for 5 minutes until the mixture has become lighter in color and creamy.3 eggs, 2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, ¼ cup granulated sugar (added in two separate stages)
- In a separate bowl, add egg whites and remaining sugar, whisking with an electric mixer until you get soft, peaks3 eggs, ¼ cup granulated sugar (added in two separate stages)
- Add the melted chocolate and butter into the egg yolk mixture and mix to combine using a spatula.1 cup quality white chocolate
- Then, add ½ of your egg white mixture into the egg yolks, mixing until well combined. Add the remaining egg whites, this time folding gently to mix until the mixture is smooth.
- Add mousse into your serving cups and chill for at least an hour before garnishing.
Sugared Cranberries & Assembly
- Bring water and sugar to a simmer making sure that the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes.½ cup water, ½ cup sugar
- Add cranberries into the saucepan and let the cranberries sit in the sugar syrup for 10-15 minutes.1 cup cranberries
- Remove the cranberries from the syrup and allow them to dry on a paper towel for one to two hours. Note that you can certainly use the cranberry syrup for other purposed – there’s no need to get rid of it! ( Happy Hour Anyone?!)
- Coat the dried berries in granulated sugar and start to garnish the set mousse with rosemary, raspberries, cranberries, and pomegranate seeds!¼ cup raspberries, 1 rosemary sprig, ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
- How long will the white chocolate mousse last? Once made, it should last well in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the mousse for up to 2 months. When you are ready to serve, DO NOT be tempted to heat the mousse - simply allow it to defrost in the refrigerator until it is easily spoonable.
- Can I make the sugared berries in advance? Sugared berries will last for 2-3 days in the fridge, but they may start to weep a bit over time.
- Can I use frozen berries? I don’t recommend using frozen berries to turn into sugared berries, as their cell walls start to break down in the cold temperatures and lead them to release a lot of liquid. All that said, feel free to use whole frozen berries that you macerate in a touch of sugar, or turn them into a gorgeous coulis instead.
- What if I’m not a fan of berries with white chocolate? No worries! Try using a vegetable peeler to create chocolate curls in white, milk or dark chocolate instead.
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