My Cup Runneth Over…with Lemon Mousse

Mini chocolate cups with lemon mousse

Ever since I was a little kid I’ve always been very crafty and artistic. When I was six years old I entered a drawing contest on the Gene London show, a Saturday morning children’s program. Anyone from Philadelphia growing up in the sixties should remember that show. Gene was a little odd to say the least.  Anyway, first prize was a trip to Disneyland, and second prize was a box of “Sparkle Paints”.  I won second prize. I was excited none-the-less.

I still like to make things with my hands. I love making these chocolate cups, I just do. Several years ago when we were making our final graduation dinner from culinary school, I made 225 of these cups for the dessert course. Since then, I seem to look for any reason or occassion to make them. I fill them with homemade ice cream, fresh fruit or a light, lemon-y mousse. Chocolate and lemon is one of my favorite flavor combinations, and it’s the perfect dessert for a warm summer evening.

Chocolate Cups

I use the 5 ounce paper cups because the inside of the cup is waxed and it will peel off of the chocolate easily. Measure up from the bottom of the cup 2 1/4″, mark it, then with a sharp scissor, cut the top of the cup off. (For me the 5 ounce cup was just too large as is). You can use any good quality bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate to make the cup. Melt about 16 ounces of chocolate in the microwave in 20 second increments, stirring well after each increment. When the chocolate is a smooth consistency, pour it into the cup, filling the entire cup, and then empty the excess back into the bowl. Place into the refrigerator to harden. Once hard, re-melt your chocolate and repeat the process giving the cups a second coat. Place back in the refrigerator to harden again.

To prepare cups for filling: Using a rubber band to secure it, wrap double thickness parchment paper around the cups so that it’s 1/2″ to 3/4″ inches above the top of the cup.

Lemon Mousse

From Barefoot Contessa, Back To Basics

3 extra-large whole eggs

3 extra large eggs, separated

1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Kosher salt

1 cup heavy cream


In a large heat-proof bowl, whisk together the 3 whole eggs and 3 egg yolks, 1 cup sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.  Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for about 15-20 minutes until the mixture is thick like pudding. Take off the heat and set aside for 15 minutes.  Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate for about 1 1/2 hours, until completely chilled.

The lemon mixture should have the consistency of thick pudding

Place half the egg whites and a pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and continue to beat until the whites are stiff and shiny.  Carefully fold the beaten whites into the cold lemon mixture with a rubber spatula.  Place the cream in the same bowl of the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on high speed until the cream forms stiff peaks. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the lemon mixture.

Fill a pastry bag, fitted with a large round tip, with the lemon mixture. Pipe it into the prepared cups to the very top. Slide a knife over top of cup to take off excess so top is perfectly flat. Place in refrigerator for several hours to chill.

Right before serving, using a sieve, dust the top of the mousse with cocoa powder.  Using a sharp scissor, cut the rubber band to release the parchment paper. Then, carefully snip the top of the cup and peel back the cup. Add any garnish of your choosing.

Makes 8 mousse cups

27 Comments on “My Cup Runneth Over…with Lemon Mousse”

  1. Jackie says:

    Beautiful! I wouldn’t even want to eat something that pretty! but I would, it looks delicious!

  2. Susie says:

    It’s clear to me we are related. Lemon is my absolute favorite, and how could chocolate not make it more delicious. But what I don’t understand is how you started this luscious blog just about the same time I went a-dieting (la-la-la). Please put these desserts on the menu for when I visit.

  3. Beth says:

    OMG!!! I need one of these RIGHT NOW!!!

  4. theflourishingfoodie says:

    This looks amazing!!I totally need to find a special occasion so I can make them!

  5. Cupcake Doom says:

    This sounds absolutely lovely!! I’ll have to find an excuse to attempt making them sometime 🙂

  6. This is so gorgeous!!!! Love the chocolate cup! 🙂

  7. Charlene says:

    Orange and chocolate is often paired, but lemon and chocolate. Sounds like a new chocolate combo to me.

  8. Lorena says:

    So beautiful! Why didn’t I find this recipe back when I ate that ind of thing? If I decide to re-introduce sugar, or take a break from my sugar break, I have to make these.

  9. wanda says:


    Another awesome looking (and delicious) dessert! Heavenly..
    You have a true talent for entertaining us with your words and photos.

  10. I think we have a lot in common, I’ve been painting since I was a girl too. Love this desset, I think it has my name all over it. If you are ever in need of a taste tester.

  11. One word…CLASSY!

    I look forward to viewing your recipes.


  12. I’m making these right now. To clarify… you are only using basically 1.5 egg whites not all three reserved from the 3 eggs correct?

  13. katskusina says:


    I can relate. My mother was a grade school teacher and she assigns me to make all needed artworks in her room. I was around 9-10 at that time.
    This chocolate cup looks decadent.


  14. bakeaffairs says:

    Just a perfect dessert! Love it!

  15. Sonya says:

    These are absolutely amazing. I’ve made them twice. definately a part of my desert go to.

  16. Lois says:

    I am making these for our anniversary! My DH just loves lemon too. Any suggestions if I wanted to make a strawberry mousse another time?

  17. Deb says:

    Ref the lemon mousse cups . . . I have a question . . .the recipe says to put the parchment 1 1/2 inches above the choc filled cup and to fill the cup/parchment to the top and level with a knife. In the picture it doesn’t look like the mousse is 1 1/2 inches above the chocolate . . . does the mousse settle while being chilled? Thanks, Deb

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