A friend of the Accidental Locavore inspired this piece.
He said he was having Valentine’s Day dinner cooked for him for the first time in his life, but that the cook was still going to get chocolates from him. Sweet.
It made me think about alternatives to the traditional heart-shaped box. Okay, or square box.
Not that there’s anything wrong with chocolate in any form.
Here are five chocolate desserts that are favorites and will be appreciated by anyone (and it doesn’t have to be Valentine’s Day). Always use the best chocolate you can find.
- Molten Chocolate Cakes: I laugh every time I see these on a menu. Why? Because they’re super easy to make and always impressive. Even if you don’t bake, you can pull these off. A few raspberries and maybe some vanilla ice cream and you’ve got a Valentine’s Day treat. Bonus: you can make them ahead, bring them with you and just pop them in the oven as dinner is wrapping up.
- Ultimate Chocolate Cookies: These cookies with chocolate in three different forms are amazing! And being that cookies are totally ready to go, you’ll be excused if not all of them make it to the intended recipient.
- Caramel and Chocolate Tart: This is a little more complicated, but no less delicious. It’s a tart shell lined in chocolate and topped with caramel. Depending on your need to be trendy (or not), pick a garnish of Malden salt or some chocolate shavings.
- Salted Caramel Chocolate Mousse: Another winner that travels easily, this just takes chocolate mousse to another level. If you want to dress it up even more to impress your Valentine, some tuiles are easy to make and add a nice crunch to the mousse.
- Chocolate and Cheesecake Brownies: Chocolate, check. Cheesecake, check. Portable, check. Elevate your brownies to the next level with this recipe. While it will never replace a classic brownie in my book, the cheesecake topping dresses it up for a special occasion.
- DIY Hot Chocolate Mix: For this you might want to find a pretty container (mine just sits in a Ball jar). Six ingredients and you’ve got a superior hot chocolate mix. It’s easily tweaked depending on how dark you like your cocoa. If you’re not a purist, some chipotle powder or coffee could be interesting.
Which of these do you think would bring smiles to your Valentine, or any dinner guests?