Chocolate Mousse Bars (No baking required)

When I saw this recipe I knew I wanted to make it for the next potluck I went to and since I have fabulous friends who often throw lovely get-togethers, I didn’t have to wait long to test it out. Plus it’s July in Kansas and that means I’m not excited about turning on the oven to heat up the house any more than it already is so this no bake recipe seemed perfect. Even though it was my first time making it, nearly everyone who tried a piece said they loved it so I’ll definitely be making it again.

Crust Ingredients:

18 whole graham crackers
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Mousse Ingredients:

1 pound semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped*
3 cups heavy cream, divided
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder**
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon vanilla

* Do not try to “save time” by chopping the chocolate into large pieces – there is a reason this recipe specifically says “finely chopped”. I was in a hurry and didn’t chop my chocolate fine enough which resulted in a lumpy mixture down the road that I then had to heat back up to completely melt.

**In the past I had shied away from recipes that call for instant espresso powder because I was too lazy to search for it but there’s a European market just down the block from where I work and I was able to buy a small jar there on a lunch break. If you can’t find it in a store near you, you could ask your supermarket to special order it for you, or you could order it online. Rather than being used for beverages, instant espresso powder is usually used to boost and enhance the chocolate flavor in baked goods.


Crush the graham crackers into fine crumbs. (You can use a plastic bag with a rolling pin or a food processor.) Stir together the crumbs, sugar, and salt in a 9 by 13-inch pan. Pour in the melted butter and stir until everything is evenly moistened. Press the crumbs into an even layer along the bottom of the pan, then put the pan in the freezer so the crust can set while you make the mousse.

Place the finely chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat 1 cup of the heavy cream along with the instant espresso powder and salt in a small saucepan until hot but not boiling. Pour this mixture over the chocolate in the bowl and let stand for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and stir with a rubber spatula until smooth.

Using a hand mixer and large bowl or a stand mixer, whip the remaining 2 cups of heavy cream with a whisk attachment until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture until combined. Pour the mousse into the prepared graham cracker crust and smooth out the top. Cover with plastic wrap or the lid to the pan and chill for 2 hours. Slice into squares/rectangles and serve. No garnish is needed but you could whip some more cream to serve on top.

Source: I found this recipe on the New York Times Cooking Facebook page but have been unsuccessful in linking to it here. The original recipe is credited to Samantha Seneviratne.


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