Dark chocolate mousse with candied kumquats - Diversivore.com

Dark Chocolate Mousse with Candied Kumquats

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Dark Chocolate Mousse

with Candied Kumquats

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Any time you try to put a twist on a classic, you take your chances. Chocolate mousse is about as classic as dessert can get, to the point of being a near-cliché. But it’s easy to understand why it’s so popular – it’s rich (possibly the richest thing I’ve ever seen that actually doesn’t have butter in it), velvety, airy, and not overly sweet.  When made with good chocolate, it’s pretty tough to beat.  But hey, this blog doesn’t right itself, so when I sat down with my baskets of kumquats, I began to wonder about working those sweet little orangey delights into a chocolate dish.  After some tweaking and research (there are about 2.3 trillion different mousse recipes), I ended up with something I’m quite proud of.  Interestingly enough, this started out while I was researching this month’s Japanese theme.  It might not seem like a Japanese recipe, but candied kumquats (called kinkan no kanroni) are a classic Japanese confection. Call the end product a Japonaise if you will – a meeting of French and Japanese ingredients and preparations.

This mousse is, of course, smooth, airy, and chocolaty.  But the kumquats add a superb layer of flavour without overwhelming the dish.  While chocolate and orange are great partners, the candied kumquats don’t fit into that stereotypical orange-essence flavour category.  They have a distinct citrus taste to be sure, but they’ve got a depth that’s quite hard to describe.  Something about them also comes across as slightly boozy (despite the total lack of alcohol), which works quite well against the base of the mousse.

I do encourage you to make the candied kumquats for this dish, as they really do make it unique.  They keep for a ridiculously long time in the fridge, so you’ll have lots of time to figure out other things to do with them (or to just sneak them one-by-one until they disappear).  If you can’t get kumquats, you could substitute candied citrus peel.  The resulting bits embedded in the mousse will be chewier, but definitely delicious.  Finally, if you don’t have any citrus, this is a great basic chocolate mousse — not too heavy, not too airy, with a nice solid set but a little bit of give.

Recipe Notes

Chocolate mousse is one of those desserts that makes everyone ooh and aah, but it’s actually quite simple to put together. The key is organization. You want to have three separate mixing bowls ready – one for your egg yolks and sugar, one for your egg whites, and one for your cream. You’ll also need a double-boiler, bain-marie, or a reasonable facsimile (a metal bowl carefully floated in a pot of water works great).

The most time-consuming part of this dish (by far) is seeding the kumquats, so I strongly recommend that you make them ahead of time. If you do, the rest of the dessert comes together in a snap.

Note that the kumquat recipe makes about 1 and 1/4 cups, so you can halve it if need be and still end up with enough for this recipe. If you do, make sure you keep a close eye on the fruit as it cooks, you want to keep everything covered in syrup. You’ll end up with a lot more syrup than you need too – this can be stored in the refrigerator and used for drinks or desserts.

A quick shout-out to the blog that helped me figure out how best to handle the kumquats – I varied my preparation method a little bit, but the basic idea comes from this great recipe from Miss Mochi’s adventures.

Nutrition Facts
Dark Chocolate Mousse with Candied Kumquats
Amount Per Serving
Calories 459 Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32g 49%
Saturated Fat 18g 90%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 207mg 69%
Sodium 119mg 5%
Potassium 89mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates 39g 13%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 33g
Protein 6g 12%
Vitamin A 18%
Vitamin C 15%
Calcium 3%
Iron 11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional Summary

Not as high is sugar as you might imagine, and very low in sodium.

Fat and calories. It’s a cream-based dessert, so no surprises here.  But don’t despair! The trick to this dish is moderation.  The serving sizes indicated are actually pretty hefty (about 1 cup/250 ml per person).  Make them smaller and feed more people, or halve the recipe for a decadent but much less guilty dessert.

Ingredient Pages

Pantry Pages

No pantry pages have been written yet for any of the ingredients in this recipe.  Like to see one?  Let me know in the comments below or by email.

  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten free

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5 from 2 votes
Dark chocolate mousse with candied kumquats - Diversivore.com
Dark Chocolate Mousse with Candied Kumquats
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 55 mins
Rich, creamy, chocolaty mousse with sweet, bright candied kumquats. The kumquats can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for a month or more, making this a great go-to dessert for company or special occasions.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French, Japanese
Keyword: chocolate and citrus mousse, chocolate mousse with eggs, kinkan kanroni
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 459 kcal
Candied Kumquats
  • 500 g kumquats
  • 3.5 cups water
  • 2.75 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Chocolate Mousse
  • 150 g dark chocolate
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 1.25 cups heavy cream (300 ml) plus extra to garnish, if you choose
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 30 g sugar (about 1 oz, or 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup candied kumquats well-drained and chopped (plus a few extra to garnish)
Candied Kumquats
  1. Cut the kumquats into quarters along the long axis (from stem to tip). Use a small knife to poke (or slice, if necessary) the seeds out of the quarters. Take special care to try to get out as many of the small seeds as possible.
  2. Add the kumquats to the pot of water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Add the sugar to the pot and cook until the kumquats are translucent (about 10-15 minutes).
  3. Turn off the heat and let the kumquats stand for at least an hour, preferably overnight. (Note - this step can be skipped if time is a factor, but the flavour may not be quite as intense).
  4. Bring the kumquats back to a boil and transfer them to a clean jar. Pour the syrup from the pot over the fruit to cover, then refrigerate. Excess syrup can also be refrigerated (add it to drinks or desserts). Kept refrigerated, the kumquats will be good for months without any appreciable change in flavour.
Chocolate Mousse
  1. Chop the candied kumquats into small pieces and set aside. To ensure that they're very well drained, you can put them in a small mesh strainer or colander.
  2. Melt the chocolate together with the salt in a double boiler or bain marie. Stir occasionally to ensure even melting.
  3. Whisk the egg yolks and the sugar together in a small bowl until well-combined and glossy.
  4. In a large bowl (preferably chilled), whip the cream and cocoa powder until fairly well-set and forming small peaks.
  5. In a separate large, non-reactive bowl, combine egg whites with a little pinch of salt and whisk to stiff peaks (you should be able to hold the bowl upside down without losing the eggs).
  6. Remove the chocolate from the double boiler and stir in the egg yolks and sugar. Fold together with a spatula until well-combined. Stir in the cream and mix thoroughly until smooth. Fold in the egg whites and candied kumquats and gently mix/fold until the mousse is well-combined and smooth (it will look like a disaster at first, but keep folding and everything should come together). Pour into individual serving bowls and chill for at least 2 hours.
  7. Top the individual mousses (meese?) with a dusting of cocoa powder, a few candied kumquats tossed with granulated sugar, and/or a bit of extra whipped cream. For a bit of added decadence, you can drizzle a little of the kumquat syrup over the whipped cream too. Serve chilled.


  1. Love the candied kumquats idea! Especially when paired with such a classic. Next time Im in the mood for chocolate-orange, Ill think of chocolate-kumquat! 🙂

  2. This looks crazy-good! I’m loving the addition of kumquats to the classic chocolate mousse. I have a feeling this dessert will make an appearance on Valentine’s Day:) Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Author

      Thanks Lily! It was crazy-good… actually there’s still one sitting in my fridge, just… calling me. It would be a spectacular valentine’s treat! Or… you know… for tonight. Or tomorrow morning. I might have a problem….

    1. Author

      Great question! It’s a bit of a tricky thing — if you use a semi-sharp knife, the seeds get in the way and make cutting difficult. If you use a crazy-sharp knife (my preferred method for pretty much everything in the kitchen), you slice right through the seeds. But even if you did end up with seed pieces, you’d probably be able to pick them out after the fact once they’re all sliced.

      To be honest, the big seeds aren’t the problem. It’s the little flat ones that didn’t form properly that are the easiest to miss, and the easiest to accidentally toss in the mix. In the end, it’s mostly a matter of choice – the Japanese and the French routinely candy these things with the seeds left in, leaving the eater to either spit them out or swallow them whole. I knew I was going to be putting these into a smooth mousse, so I was extra-picky about removing the seeds.

    1. Author

      Thank you Marie! They take a bit of time, but they’re so tasty and they last for AGES in the fridge. Win win.

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