Everyone knows the adage that the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, and that’s even truer when chocolate’s involved. Whether you’re looking to call on your own culinary skills or would rather rely on the pros, our guide to giftable chocolate is here to help make your Valentine’s Day even sweeter.
Chocolate Recipes to Make Yourself
With deep flavor and a silky, luscious consistency, chocolate mousse is an occasion-worthy dessert. Whip up this classic with a twist from chef João Dias of Montreal’s Ferreira Café, who uses top-quality olive oil for a more complex flavor than traditional fats and sprinkles in a hint of flaky sea salt for an addictive effect. Cap this off with a glass of a tawny Port with 10 or 20 years of age and flavors of fruit (figs, raisins, orange peel), nuts and spices that pair well with chocolate.
Bittersweet Chocolate Tart
"Stay in; eat chocolate," Wine Spectator features editor Owen Dugan advises for Valentine's Day. Seize his suggestion with this simple recipe for a sophisticated-tasting bittersweet chocolate tart, adapted from a cookbook by author Patricia Wells. After you've cleaned your plate, Dugan advises, reach for a caramelly Madeira with palate-cleansing grip. But, if you like red fruit flavors, a glass of Port would be right on as well.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Nothing says “love” like a freshly baked batch of chocolate chip cookies. Tahini lends a nutty note in this recipe, bringing just the right amount of innovation to a time-tested favorite, while detailed tips ensure you’ll end up with a picture-perfect result.
DIY Candy Dars
These multilayered chocolate bars may look like they came from a high-end shop but they can come together in your kitchen—and the process is easier than you might think. They’re a go-to gift with a homemade touch that will really wow your partner. Our bars start with caramel, peanuts and a surprise ingredient, but choose your valentine’s favorite fillings for a truly personal touch.
Gift-Worthy Chocolates to Buy
Éclat Chocolate’s Mondiants and Parallel Bars
These delicate little disks hide enticing fillings like cacao nib and peanut butter inside. They're the creation of a devoted American chocolatier who trained in Germany and Brussels before returning to the States, where his Éclat Chocolate churns out all sorts of special treats, including these "Mondiants," infused chocolate bars and more.
From milky, buttercream-stuffed bites to powerful ganache enveloped in crisp shells, these standout takes on classic confections from superior shops around the world are worth checking out. Flavored versions range from classic Cognac to dusky honey to offbeat choices such as crumbled speculoos, Belgian waffle or hops and nibs.
Thoughtfully Sourced Sweets
A criminal defense lawyer–turned-chocolatier is the brain behind Askinosie, a bean-to-bar producer in Springfield, Mo. The source-conscious company offers a diverse selection of products to satisfy both conservative and adventurous chocolate lovers. For those who appreciate artisanal, single-origin bars but want the pleasures of grazing through a box of flavors, Askinosie offers a Chocolate Library, a wood box with 15 single-origin bars including white, dark and flavored versions—encompassing peppermint, malted milk and an unusual black licorice–and-anise combo—that represent the company’s broad range.