Easy chocolate crostata, stovetop chocolate cake, grown-up chocolate cookies... Let us count the ways. In honor of Valentine’s Day, which may as well be renamed “chocolate-lovers day,” we’ve rounded up some of our favorite chocolate desserts. Whether you’re a die-hard devotee of dark chocolate or a staunch defender of milk (we see you), there’s something for everyone. And if you’re not yet a chocolate fan, these recipes will surely convert you.
Here's our simple, two-bowl solution to chocolate cake, for when an urgent need strikes. Forget waiting for the oven to heat up. The steamy environment of a simmering pot cooks this traditional chocolate cake batter into a light, moist, and might we add heavenly cake that's ready in just 35 minutes.
Crisp yet richly fudgy, these airy flourless cookies are a textural triumph. Whipped egg whites keep the extra chocolatey cookie tasting light.
The chewy, rich filling for this dessert was inspired by gianduja, a chocolate-hazelnut paste created in Turin, Italy. The crust, made with whole-wheat flour, is simply pressed into the bottom of a springform pan; its nuttiness pairs perfectly with the intense filling.
This recipe is a loose interpretation of the Swiss chocolate-almond holiday cookie known as Basler brunsli. Traditionally, the dough is rolled and cut into shapes before baking, but we opted for an easier drop cookie studded with bits of chocolate.
The ricotta cheese in this tart—inspired by one in Rose Carrarini's book, Breakfast, Lunch, Tea—creates a deliciously creamy yet surprisingly light filling that highlights the orange and chocolate that flavor it. The crust, made partly with almond flour, has a sandy crispness that contrasts well with the filling.
This flourless chocolate cake from Capri, Italy (where it is called torta caprese), gets its rich, almost brownie-like texture from ground almonds and a generous amount of egg. Before grinding the nuts, we toast them to intensify their flavor and accentuate the deep, roasted notes of the chocolate.
A ratio of 3:1 chocolate to butter—as well as 8 ounces of chopped pitted prunes—achieves a deliciously gooey center, while whipped egg yolks and slightly under-whipped whites yield a light texture in this masterpiece, inspired by London's Claire Ptak.
Brownies have finally come of age. The duo of dark chocolate and cocoa powder here give these brownies depth, and the vanilla enhances the flavor of both of them. The combination of tahini and sugar, meanwhile, replicates the sweet sesame flavor of halvah candy but is easier to work with.
The inspiration for these Lamingtons—small chocolate-coated, coconut-covered cakes from Australia—came from a bakery–Le Petit Grain boulangerie—in Paris, of all places. We streamlined the recipe, however, for the home cook by baking a simple butter cake in a square pan, then cutting the cooled cake into two-bite cubes.
With butter-and-cream richness, bittersweet notes from the chocolate and caramel, and sea salt to cut through the sugar, this simple six-ingredient dessert from “My Paris Kitchen” by David Lebovitz is far greater than the sum of its parts.
This chewy, rich chocolate cookie uses an unorthodox one-bowl mixing method that is easy and cuts down on cleanup. The almond butter keeps these cookies moist, fudgy and almost brownie-like.
Just when you thought chocolate chip cookies couldn't get any better... browning butter and the rye flour adds complex, nutty flavor that balances the sweetness. (If you can’t find rye flour, substitute whole-wheat or graham flour.) To add further complexity, a touch of molasses (blackstrap, if available) deepens the flavor and added a welcome bitterness.
This is our adaptation of traditional Oaxacan hot chocolate, which uses freshly roasted cacao beans to provide chocolate flavor and finely ground nuts rather than dairy to add richness. Since cacao beans are hard to find in the U.S., we use unsweetened chocolate; like cacao, it has no added sugar or milk solids, so its flavor is pure and potent.
Bourke Street Bakery’s chocolate sour cherry cookies were the inspiration for these fudgey, loaded treats. Dried cherries hydrated in balsamic vinegar punctuate the cookies with bites of tangy, fruity flavor that offsets the richness of the butter, sugar and dark chocolate.
This stovetop dessert pairs dark chocolate with the earthy, nutty notes of toasted sesame. Slightly warm, the pudding is creamy; chilled, it has the consistency of firm custard.
Typically, these confections are made with sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder and butter. Our version includes cinnamon and instant espresso for heightened flavor. Classic brigadeiros are coated with only chocolate sprinkles. But to add nuttiness, we mixed chopped cashews into the sprinkles.
In this elegant dessert from Italy's Piedmont region, amaretti cookies are crushed, then soaked and baked into a cocoa-enriched custard. A layer of caramel on the bottom of the pan becomes a sauce once the dessert is unmolded, similar to crème caramel or flan. Impressive and easier than it looks.
These three-bite sweets are a riff on classic French financiers, almond cakes baked in a shape that resembles gold bars (hence the name). Their interiors are light and moist and the crusts golden and slightly crisp. We flavor ours with cocoa and spices, then bake them in a mini muffin pan.
Bête noire is a flourless chocolate cake that gets its silky, ultrasmooth, almost custard-like texture from the sugar syrup in the base, as well as from gentle baking. We bring a uniquely complex flavor to our version by caramelizing sugar with black peppercorns before dissolving the caramel with orange juice and bourbon.