Ina Garten's Make-ahead Chocolate Mousse Is the Easiest Valentine's Day Dessert Recipe

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Valentine’s Day is coming up, and as much as we love a nice dinner, flowers, and lingerie, we’re kind of walking, talking Cathy stereotypes when it comes to the holiday, because the one thing we really truly look forward to every Valentine’s Day is chocolate. Ack! Chocolate is life, and if there’s one person who knows this to be true it’s Ina Garten. The Barefoot Contessa star has more than 100 chocolate recipes on her website, and we’ve even rounded up some of Ina Garten’s best chocolate recipes here. But one of her best comes from her newest cookbook, Go-To Dinners, and what we really love is that it can be made ahead of time.

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Garten classifies this recipe as “easy” on her website, so don’t be daunted by the ingredients list. To start with, you’ll make a thick chocolate pudding by melting two types of chocolate with espresso over a double boiler, then whisking in Kahlúa, vanilla extract (we love Nielsen-Massey, and so does Garten), and egg yolks until combined and smooth.

Courtesy of Clarkson Potter.

Then comes the airy component that makes Garten’s mousse so light and fluffy in spite of how rich it is. You’ll simply whisk up egg whites in an electric mixer, then fold them into the chocolate custard. Because the recipe calls for raw eggs, Garten recommends using organic eggs. If you’re still worried, you can look for pasteurized eggs at the store too.

Courtesy of Nielsen-Massey.

The mousse is refrigerated for at least two hours or overnight, so it’s perfect if you’re also planning on making dinner on Valentine’s Day and don’t want to have to juggle that with dessert. For a final flourish, the mousse is topped with homemade whipped cream, which should be made right before serving so it doesn’t deflate.

The result is a decadent yet light homemade chocolate mousse with a deep, rich chocolate flavor, and a creamy whipped topping that’s the perfect counterpoint. Make Ina Garten’s easy chocolate mousse once, and you’ll never try another recipe. Why mess with success?

Before you go, check out the gallery below:

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