Valentine’s Day is almost upon us. Whether you’re staying home or going out, why not make a decadent chocolate dessert this year? There’s nothing like ending the evening at home with bubbly and chocolate. (Or a cocktail and chocolate. Or red wine and chocolate. You get the picture.)
These chocolate recipes are both brilliant and simple, and all have been tested by our test kitchen. Here are some hot tickets our readers have ranked as among the best chocolate recipes on the site. (Warning: You won’t want to wait until Valentine’s Day once you scroll through the following, so we hope you have some sort of chocolate in the house!)
The best chocolate cakes have a) plenty of chocolate and b) a moist crumb. The key to this one is in the blooming step. By adding boiling water to cocoa powder, you help “blossom” the chocolate flavor while adding moisture to the cake itself. The simple chocolate frosting is buttery and not-too-sweet, and is just as delicious slathered on top of cupcakes. (The recipe includes that variation!)
You don’t need to start a campfire to enjoy s’mores flavors whenever you want. Graham cracker-studded brownies have a wonderful crunch and a dreamy appearance. Fat marshmallows are gooey and feature that golden hue you know and love. (No sticks required!) Best of all, when you cut into them, these deliver that gorgeous sticky marshmallow pull everyone goes gaga over.
Folks went a bit wild when we posted these last week, and we don’t blame them. Pots de crème is one of the most fabulous French desserts around. This version—mingling sweet amaretto with cream, milk, luxe egg yolks, and chocolate chips—cooks in the pressure cooker for just 6 minutes. Garnished with sea salt and not-too-sweet whipped cream, they’re a snap to make.
Lovers of everything hazelnut, we see you, and this treat’s for you. This tart looks more complicated than it is. Simply blitz the crust in a food processor, press it into a tart pan, and pour in an easy chocolate ganache, and you’re most of the way there. (Don’t you love those ruby-red pomegranates sparkling on top? It doesn’t get much more Valentine’s Day than that.)
If there are sweets lovers more intense than the hazelnut-chocolate fans, they’re the peanut butter-chocolate fans. They are legion. If your sweetheart is one of them, make him these whoopie pies. Peanut butter spun with butter and vanilla replaces the usual marshmallow filling. The “whoopies” themselves are much easier to make than you’d think. They’re made like cookies, simply pressed on to a sheet pan. The result is so tasty you might swap these out for candy for life.
There’s no one chocolate cake to rule them all. It’s a matter of preference, and if your beloved prefers a hint of citrus with her chocolate, well, give her what she wants. (Same goes for chocolate mousse.) This marbled lemon olive oil cake is a breeze to bake, requiring only handheld electric mixers and a loaf pan for equipment. It’s fun to swirl layers to make marble cakes, and they sure do impress. Serve with nutty sherry, sweet Moscato d’Asti, or that old classic, Champagne.