Valentine’s Day is a very strategically timed holiday. Right when winter is starting to seem really long, along comes this nice little day which, regardless of your relationship status, gives you an excuse to do at least one of the following things: 1) get dressed up and go out to a nice dinner; 2) jet off for a romantic tropical getaway; 3) send cheesy cards to all your friends; 4) wear pink and red at the same time without getting made fun of; 5) buy yourself a pity present; 6) spend an entire day snuggling and call it a celebratory activity; 7) eat copious amounts of chocolate. Even if a romantic tropical getaway is not in the cards or you’re just not a big fan of the holiday in general, we think you should probably still consider the chocolate consumption part of the day – after all, it’s not everyday that no one will judge you for eating as much dessert as you want!
To help you along in your celebration, we’ve compiled a list of 10 chocolate-based desserts from 10 talented food bloggers. There’s a little something for everyone in this list – from French classics like chocolate souffle that would be an impressive finish to an elegant meal, to a giant chocolate chip cookie baked in a skillet and smothered with ice cream that would be the perfect accompaniment to a night at home on the couch, we think you’ll find something just right for how you plan to celebrate.
There may be no romantic dessert more iconic than a souffle, with it’s famed propensity for collapse causing anxiety for generations of bakers. If the pictures are any indication, this chocolate version from Nami of Just One Cookbook is worth the stress – it’s light and airy exterior gives way to a warm and rich chocolate center, a combination that’s sure to impress any date.
2) Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova with Coconut and Cacao Nibs from Pepper Lynn
If you’ve managed to stick with your New Year’s resolutions this long and you’re looking for something a bit lighter to satisfy your sweet tooth on Valentine’s Day, consider making pavlova, a light and airy dessert of meringue, whipped cream, and fresh fruit. This elegant version from Christie of Pepper Lynn uses raspberries, shredded coconut, and cacao nibs to top a cocoa-based meringue, resulting in a dessert that feels far more indulgent than it is.
Want to whip up an impressive-tasting dessert but not exactly a pastry chef? Not to worry, Katerina of Diethood has got you covered with this no-bake French Silk Tart, which is about as easy as it gets – all you need to make it is a microwave and a fridge. The crust is simply made of crushed oreos, and the filling consists of both chocolate and vanilla whipped cream. It’s certainly a rich dessert, but we think it’s worth the indulgence.
Here, Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest has taken another French classic – creme brulee – and given it a dark chocolate twist. Creme brulee is a luxury to eat – between the satisfying crack of the burnt sugar crust when tapped with your spoon and the taste of the thick and creamy custard in your first bite, eating a dish of creme brulee is an experience to be savored. Adding chocolate just ups the ante.
If a little comfort food is all you need on Valentine’s Day, look no further. Nicole and Judi of Some Kitchen Stories have created the perfect dessert for sitting on the couch in your pajamas while watching your favorite TV show – a giant chocolate chip cookie baked in a skillet, served straight out of the oven, with whatever kind of ice cream you want melting over the top. If that doesn’t make February a little brighter, we’re pretty sure nothing will. Feel free to share this one with a friend – but don’t feel bad if you eat the entire thing by yourself, either.
This pretty pink dessert from Amy of U Try.It starts with a recipe that would make a festive Valentine’s Day treat in its own right – chocolate-dipped strawberry meringue roses. The gorgeous swirls of meringue would make a perfect gift or dessert tray addition on their own, but if you want to make things fancier, serve them parfait-style with strawberry-thyme sauce and whipped cream, as Amy does in her take on the traditional British Eton Mess.
When the words chocolate, cheesecake, and mousse are combined into the name of a single recipe, you can be pretty sure that everyone who hears what’s on the menu will be pleased. Using cream cheese as part of the chocolate mousse base, as Maya does in this recipe, actually makes this recipe easier to create than a classic mousse recipe, which are notoriously challenging. The raspberries add a touch of color and a bit of tartness to offset the overall richness of the mousse.
If brownies are more your speed than fancy layered spoon desserts, these festive ones topped with cherry-cordial-frosting should definitely be on your list. Not only is the cherry-chocolate combination reminiscent of the classic Valentine’s Day truffle, the bright pink color of the frosting feels celebratory and fun. These would be a great option if you have lots of people at home to feed, or if you’re looking for something delicious to bring to a party.
The cupcake fad may be on it’s way out, but in our opinion, any recipe as original as these chocolate, goat cheese, and red wine cupcakes from Meghan of Buttercream Blondie will always be welcome at the dessert table. Using goat cheese in a cupcake may sound odd, but by whipping the soft cheese with brown sugar and vanilla, Meghan creates a frosting that’s a lovely blend of sweet and savory. A drizzle of reduced red wine makes these cupcakes truly stunning – and also gives you an excuse to drink the rest of the bottle. (Bonus recipe: check out Meghan’s heart-shaped raspberry swirl chocolate cheesecake recipe as well!)
Is there a Valentine’s Day treat more quintessential than a box full of truffles? We certainly can’t think of anything. If you’re really looking to wow someone, forego the store bought heart-shaped box and create your own handmade chocolates – the recipient will truly know how much they are loved. Here, Karen of Citrus and Candy makes a salted caramel truffle base, then rolls the candies in a mix of chocolate hazelnut biscuit crumble and caramelized white chocolate for a pretty exterior. Not bad for a homemade gift!