Pies, cakes, crème brûlée, and ice cream are all among my favorite desserts, but while we were living in France, my go-to choice was chocolate mousse. The French word mousse simply means “foam,” and to make a chocolate mousse, you start with a foam of either meringue (whipped egg whites) or whipped cream; then you carefully add in just the right amount of chocolate in a way that prevents the foam from collapsing. A (possibly redundant) dollop of whipped cream is, in my opinion, obligatory, and a sprinkling of chocolate shavings isn’t a bad idea, either.
There are countless recipes for chocolate mousse, of which I’ve tried many. I honestly can’t recall ever eating a mousse I disliked, but that’s not to say they’re equally great. If you’re looking for a version your guests will remember, David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Mousse Recipe, which is based on one by Julia Child, is the one you want. It’s a lot of work to make, but you’re going to have to trust me on the quality of the end product.