I thought souffles would be baked, while mousses would be only whipped, but I've seen recipes for cooked mousses before. Is this just a case of using the wrong name for the wrong recipe or are there important differences between them?

up vote 2 down vote accepted

There is no strict delineation between these two terms. Either can be savory or sweet.

Some common differences are:

  • Mousses may get their foaminess from from plain whipped egg whites, a meringue, whole eggs, whipped cream, or something else; a souffle is always leavened by whipped egg whites.
  • Mousses (except for some seafood mousses, which are gently poached) are rarely cooked as a whole dish; souffles are always baked to get additional rise.
  • Mousses are almost always served cold; souffles are usually served hot, immediately out of the oven to retain the additional rise they get in the heat of the oven.

One might consider souffles a type of baked mousse, much as quiches are a specific type of tart, but that terminology is rarely used.

See also:

Ochef

In my opinion

  • A soufflé is something that requires heat and will "rise" when cooked
  • A mousse does not "rise" and is general served uncooked

You can demould the mousse but the soufflé doesn't demould.

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