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Battle of the Quick Chocolate Mousse: Nigella vs. Giada

Yesterday, while visiting my old friend The Food Network, I watched two episodes — one Nigella and another Giada — in which recipes for a super-simple chocolate mousse-like dessert were made. Both looked divinely delicious and uncomplicated to make — way easier than the chocolate mousse recipe I wrote about awhile ago. I decided to make them both and have a taste test to see which recipe was better. To take a look at the recipes and see the results of the battle between Nigella and Giada's chocolate mousses,

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Nigella's recipe included mini marshmallows and no eggs. Giada's involved egg whites and the interesting technique of blitzing the chocolate in a blender. Both used chocolate chips instead of chocolate bars to save time. Nigella's won in taste — rich, dense, and fudgey — while everyone preferred the texture of Giada's which was creamy and super smooth.

Why don't you try making both and tell us which one you prefer?


Instant Chocolate Mousse
From Nigella Lawson

3 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
9 ounces best quality semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup hot water from a recently boiled kettle
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract

  1. Put the marshmallows, butter, chocolate, and water in a heavy-based saucepan.
  2. Put the saucepan on the stove, over heat, though keep it fairly gentle, to melt, stirring every now and again. Remove from the heat.
  3. Meanwhile whip the cream with the vanilla until thick and then fold into the cooling chocolate mixture until you have a smooth, cohesive mixture.
  4. Pour or scrape into 4 or 6 glasses or small dishes and chill until you want to eat. The sooner the better!

Serves 4-6.


Espresso Chocolate Mousse
From Giada De Laurentiis

1/2 cup whole milk
3 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. instant espresso powder
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
3 large egg whites

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat stir together the milk with the sugar and the espresso powder until the milk is hot, but not boiling, and the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Place the chocolate chips in a blender.
  3. *Pour the hot milk over the chips. Run the blender on high until combined, a few seconds.
  4. Add the egg whites and run the blender on high until light, about 1 minute.
  5. Transfer the mousse to 4 small serving cups. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until firm, about 3 hours.

Serves 4,

* When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.


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starkiss23 starkiss23 8 years
They both look so good..
Ninotchka Ninotchka 8 years
Initiales JB, thanks so much for the tips! I just recently discovered how much i enjoy baking so i still have a lot to learn! And I can't wait to try these recipes.
Initiales-JB Initiales-JB 8 years
Ninotchka, you can leave out the coffee - sometimes coffee is added to chocolate desserts to add depth to the chocolate flavour. With small amounts of coffee you don't end up tasting coffee (or it doesn't taste strongly of coffee), but you end up with a deeper, more interesting chocolate flavour. Hope that helps! I had the Nigella recipe saved and thinks she uses marshmallows as they thicken up the mousse instead of using egg whites, and they melt quickly and easily. What a great experiment, I will definitely try both and report back.
kinezz kinezz 8 years
I saw Giada's the other day, but didn't see Nigella's. I made Giada's for a small dinner party and every guess loved it. Giada's was creamy and velvety but had a dense pudding consistency not as fluffy as a regular mousse. I love both G & N but Giada's is my go-to easy dessert for dinner parties.
Ninotchka Ninotchka 8 years
what's the espresso powder for? If it actually gives a coffee sort of taste to the mousse, is it a skipable ingredient? I'm not a huge fan of coffee desserts...Can't wait to try these though! Although i agree that I'd probably try and make actual mousse instead of taking the marshmallow shortcut, since this is one of my all-time favorite desserts!!
SugarCat SugarCat 8 years
Both sound and look so good.
celebrity_soup celebrity_soup 8 years
im sure nigella tastes alot richer and creamier, but giadas is lower in fat and im sure almost just as good. no heavy cream and all that extra chocolate and butter.
puddinpie puddinpie 8 years
^Sorry, chiefdishwasher, I don't read yumsugar very often so I haven't read your previous posts on this site and didn't know whether you were serious or not ;-)
chiefdishwasher chiefdishwasher 8 years
Puddinpie, take my comments with a tongue in cheek.
PartySister PartySister 8 years
I loved Nigellas. That is the only one that was leftover for me to try!
puddinpie puddinpie 8 years
chiefdishwasher: There is plenty of sugar in the marshmallows themselves and the chocolate chips, so no, that's not a sugar free dessert. I am kind of puzzled at why Nigella felt the need to put marshmallows in her chocolate mousse, which is in itself a really quick, simple dessert to make. I love the way she talks, but I hate this Nigella Express series.
DreaAST DreaAST 8 years
YUMMY!!!!! I want to make these now. They look so good. I love chocolate!!!
x_juicyfruit x_juicyfruit 8 years
Giada's looks better.
chiefdishwasher chiefdishwasher 8 years
And technically, there was no sugar added to Nigella's. Would that make it sugar free?
GrapeBubbleGum GrapeBubbleGum 8 years
haha! I saw both of these the other day too and was wondering how they compare :) I was really intrigued by Nigella's version since it used the marshmallows. I'd probably never make it myself, since I'm of the mentality that if I'm going to make it at home, I'm really going to MAKE it and not take short cuts...but I thought it was a pretty cool trick.
CoconutPie CoconutPie 8 years
Well Giada'a recipe looks a lot closer to what a real chocolate mousse should be like. But I really like Nigella, and the idea of putting marshmallows in a mousse sounds so good, I'd try that one.
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