I'm not a vegetarian but I don't want to use gelatin.

I have seen various recipes for making mousse but they seem to be the gooey type. I'm looking for a recipe which will set so I can make a mousse cake which can be free standing.

This picture is similar to what I'm looking for:

Picture of mousse

I have a stand mixer and am happy to use eggs, double cream, etc. and to experiment, but don't want to make a massive amount. I can use agar but so far am always lost as most recipes which call for gelatin cannot easily be converted for use with agar.

  • Look for a recipe that does not need gelatine or agar agar. There are plenty on the internet without. Good luck!
    – Mien
    Commented Feb 9, 2014 at 23:06
  • That exact photo has been posted before: How can I make my Chocolate Mousse fluffier? - everybody is pretty sure that it uses gelatin. There is very little chance that agar-agar will give you the same texture, it sets very firmly and it's melting point is extremely high. Maybe that's what you want, but it won't look like the photo at all. I'm not sure why you're against gelatin but carrageenan is the most similar in properties.
    – Aaronut
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 0:21
  • Hi! Yes thats the post I found the photo in whilst looking for a good recipe. Im not against geletine in principle (im not a vegetarian), only that I havent found a kosher or halal one which is the actual reason I dont want to use geletine. In fact any recipe which uses geletine causes me the same problem. Not having used agar Ive often thought it COULD be the answer so its good to hear from someone who could tell me why not to think too much down that route. Thank you for your help. :)
    – user23116
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 21:35
  • Great Lakes bovine gelatin is kosher. It can be found on Amazon.
    – Anthm
    Commented Feb 12, 2014 at 19:16
  • Thnaks, looked for it but OMG its £31 / $52!! too pricey for me Im afraid. Might be helpful to someone though. Thank you
    – user23116
    Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 15:59

4 Answers 4


Gelatine has nothing to do with a mousse. That means it's no problem to find a recipe without ;) .

I'm doing Mousse au Chocolat like that:

  • melt 200-250gr (more is better for stability) of chocolate (70%+ cacao) in a baine-marie
  • whip 400gr of cream
  • whip one egg yolk in a baine-marie until fluffy *
  • mix the chocolate into the egg yolk
  • carefully fold the cream under the chocolate
  • refrigerate for a few hours

This mousse is pretty solid after a few hours in the fridge...without gelantine.

*if you want any flavor like vanilla or some liquor in your mousse it is a good idea to add it now to the egg

  • see this question, cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/5482/…, there is definitely a difference between mousse with and without gelatine, and I suspect that the OP wants to have mousse like the second one, but without the gelatine
    – rumtscho
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 13:39
  • @rumtscho The result will look quite close to the second one.
    – Sam
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 13:53
  • Now you know why I asked the question, more than the recipe I wanted to hear the opinions of ppl more experienced than myself. I havent made chocolate mousse before and if you make it once with one recipe you tend to stick to it or give up (if it goes wrong) but if there is someone with more experienced to ask youre much more likely to get what you are actually hoping for. Id be happy to try this recipe if its possible it will result in a firm mouse
    – user23116
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 23:52

If you are able to get hold of it, I have used vegetarian gelatin substitute in the past, and found it to be fine. I'm in the UK, and most supermarkets stock something like Dr. Oetker Vege-Gel or their own brand (often called vetetarian gel, rather than gelatin(e), to avoid confusion).

If you are looking for an agar conversion, Joy of Baking suggests that a 7-gram (1 tbsp.) packet of gelatin granules (or 4 leaves sheet gelatin) = 2 tsp. agar.

  • 1
    Ah yes I have seen the vege-gel. I wonder if the method for using it in chocolate mousse differs from the geletine version? thank you for your input.
    – user23116
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 23:57
  • Vege gel is the best! you can find it in stores everywhere and its so cheap!! Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 20:58

About two years ago I read about the "ultimate chocolate mousse" from Heston Blumenthal. Interestingly, the recipe only calls for two ingredients: bittersweet chocolate and water. Sugar can be added, but it is optional. It is all in the technique.

You use an approach that is similar to tempering chocolate and then whip.

Place a mixing bowl over a bowl filled with iced. Melt 265g bittersweet chocolate (chopped) with 240 ml water over medium heat. Gently stir to keep the temperature consistent throughout the chocolate. You pour the melted chocolate into the mixing bowl sitting on the bowl with ice in it and start whisking. Here you will need to may need a bit of practice. If you mix too much, it will become grainy. If that happens, then lightly melt again and then pour back into the cooled bowl. Chocolate can be very fluffy even without added ingredients.

  • I have seen the Blumenthal method in a video, but the two times I tried it, it failed. I certainly got air whipped into the mixture, but at one point, it stopped getting any more air, and just stayed a runny foam. Have you been able to reproduce it?
    – rumtscho
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 22:42
  • Im sure any recipe that has Hestons name associated with it is probably too advanced a technique for someone like me (blush) Im intrigued though. would love to hear of anyone's success with it. Thank you for your input
    – user23116
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 0:03
  • It definitely requires a bit of trial and error. The temperature has to be perfect and length of time that you whip also has to be perfect. Usually Heston has very specific temperatures in every step of his recipe, but I couldn't find any more details. Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 7:25
  • I've seen the same recipe/technique attributed to Herve This.
    – Marti
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 17:22

A very easy variant is simply melted chocolate chips and tofu, which can be adjusted in firmness by using silken to extra firm, drained -blended/processed/whipped and left to set.

Amount of each can be varied to suit as well. Done right, you'd never guess there was tofu in there (so better warn the soy-allergic folks not to touch it.)

The firmer types need more aggressive blending/processing to break the tofu down to where it vanishes in the mix - silken goes pretty well with a whisk. Possibly a two step process (to make it smooth) and then whisk (to get more air in) would get closer to what you are after if having it stand up well is important.

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