Why It Actually Pays To Order Chocolate Mousse At A Restaurant

Certain occasions call for a bit of a splurge, and some dishes warrant extra attention when they appear on restaurant menus. Chocolate mousse is one of them, and it's not only the smooth, thick, and creamy textures that bring luxury and elegance to dining tables.

Though Alton Brown makes chocolate mousse using only two ingredients, the mousse-making process can seem intimidating to an amateur chef. A double boiler is involved, patience is required as the chocolate melts, and chocolate and egg whites must be carefully attended to while the mixture is whipped and folded together. The recipe requires only a handful of ingredients, but quality matters when it comes to taste, and finding the kind of rich, high-quality chocolate you'd use at a restaurant won't be the cheapest ingredient you'll be placing into your grocery cart. 

Pastry chef Jo Scrivner admits to Insider that it's simply easier to order chocolate mousse in an establishment than trying to make the recipe at home and that servings of chocolate mousse end up being more cost-effective when a professional prepares it. Forget the double boiler; This is a double win.

A pricey culinary project

Delicious mousse results from delicious chocolate, and chefs often get discounts when buying this kind of higher-level chocolate for their kitchens. "The best chocolate is sold in bulk to restaurants for prices that are normally too high for the average home baker," Scrivener explains to Insider. When making the dessert at home, you'll need to invest in the highest possible quality of chocolate you can afford, and gourmet baking chocolate can cost around $50 for just over 2 pounds of chocolate. Though cheaper options are available, the flavor won't be the same as what you'd experience when spooning into mousse served at a restaurant. 

Of course, you can make your own chocolate mousse at home – Americans have been doing so for centuries – but if you're on a budget and craving the chocolatey treat, you may want to make restaurant reservations. As counterintuitive as it might sound, when you're watching your wallet and want to enjoy a taste of this luxurious treat, it's best to leave this one up to the culinary professionals.