Chocolate mousse is a deceptively heavy dessert. It tastes all fluffy and light, but in reality it is laden with cream, butter, and eggs. For this reason, I save it for special occasions. But Jell-O recently introduced Temptations Chocolate Mousse Decadence Mix with only 110 calories per serving. I was curious—could it satisfy my craving for a creamy, airy, chocolaty dessert?
I had a roommate once who loved Jell-O pudding cups, and would eat one every night after dinner. I never understood it. Sure, they were low-cal, but there was just something so dreary about eating dessert out of a minuscule, pre-packaged plastic cup. It wasn't until Jell-O released a mousse mix I could whip up myself (with fresh milk, in my own kitchen) that I was tempted to try it.
The Chocolate Mousse Decadence Mix contains two packets. The first is for the base layer of dark chocolate pudding, and the second is for the milk chocolate mousse topping. To prepare the pudding all I had to do was whisk the mix with two cups of cold 2% milk, exactly as you would prepare a packet of instant pudding. It did that same, magical thickening thing, and within two minutes it had morphed from chocolate milk to a thick, creamy substance the consistency of yogurt.
To prepare the mousse topping, I combined the mix with one more cup of cold 2% milk and beat it with an electric mixer for four minutes (per the package instructions, but you could really get away with only two or three minutes). It fluffed up nicely, and was about the same texture as Cool Whip.
I must say, this was one of the best-looking desserts to ever come out of a Jell-O box. The dark, creamy pudding was buried beneath a cloud of feathery mousse. In the glass it seemed elegant and decadent—not one, but two kinds of chocolate. Flavor-wise, I preferred the mousse to the pudding. It was smooth and fresh tasting, with a nice milk chocolate flavor and not too much sweetness. The dark chocolate pudding wasn't bad by any means, but it didn't taste any different (or more indulgent) than regular instant chocolate pudding.
The trick was to get both in one spoonful; it was sort of like taking a bite of chocolate cream pie. For 110 calories (oh, all right, I'll be honest—it was 220, because I made four desserts instead of eight) I thought this mix was quite good. It's definitely something I would make again when I'm watching my waistline but still want dessert.
About the Author: Lucy Baker is a food writer and the author of The Boozy Baker: 75 Recipes for Spirited Sweets. She is currently at work on a second book about homemade food gifts. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and dachshund.