Say it with chocolate
Eight desserts that are sure to win over your sweetheart
There’s no more direct way to someone’s heart than with a decadent chocolate dessert. Whether you want to woo a new beau, surprise a long-time love, or simply treat yourself (why not?) on Valentine’s Day — here are a few sweet indulgences from across the Granite State that you need to try.
Double Chocolate Brûlée
Dutch Epicure Bakery
Route 101A, Heritage Plaza, Amherst
Why it’s worth trying: Sometimes, the simplest things are the best — and Dutch Epicure’s Double Chocolate Brûlée is proof. Made with cream, sugar, egg yolks, and two types of chocolate, this indulgent spin on the classic is sure to make anyone’s day. “I think because we also top it with our chocolate ganache, it makes it extra delicious,” said owner Stephanie Errett. Not a fan of brûlée? Errett recommends the chocolate babka, too. “It’s a bread that has chocolate intertwined with the bread itself. I personally eat a whole loaf myself.”
Famous Dessert Pizza
50 Dow St., Manchester • 641-0900
Why it’s worth trying: 900 Degrees has a handful of desserts on their menu (hello, Molten Lava Cake!), but if you’re going to a pizza restaurant, you need to try the dessert pizza. 900 Degrees’ version consists of a handmade cinnamon sugar crust that’s topped with chunks of white and dark chocolate, macadamia nuts, whipped cream, kiwi, and strawberries. The small sets you back just under $10, while the large is just under $12 — inexpensive and delicious.
15 Leavy Drive, Bedford
41 South Broadway, Salem
Why it’s worth trying: Copper Door’s spin on the chocolate martini is basically an adult chocolate milk — in the best way possible. The Chocolate Maltini is made with chocolate vodka, Ovaltine, and a splash of cream. If you need something solid to soak up the booze, try the Chocolate Sin Cake, a fudge-like cake that’s served with cranberry compote and whipped cream.
The Crust & Crumb Baking Company
126 North Main St., Concord
Why it’s worth trying: The Crust & Crumb has anywhere from 10 to 12 varieties of freshly baked breads available every day — many of them savory. But if you’re looking to go the sweet route, try their chocolate creation. This loaf is rich, dark chocolate bread crammed full of bittersweet chocolate pieces, dried cranberries and dried cherries. Nothing will pair better with your morning coffee than a thick slice of this. Be sure to call ahead to ensure this flavor is available on the day you plan to visit.
Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake
Pleasant Lake Cheesecake Company
Scytheville Row Shopping Center
75 Newport Road, New London
Why it’s worth trying: If you’re craving cheesecake, drive to Pleasant Lake Cheesecake Company immediately. This place boasts a massive menu of 6- and 9-inch cheesecakes, and plenty of them include chocolate. But the Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake is what chocolate lovers need to try. It’s made with a rich chocolate cheesecake that’s topped with Pleasant Lake’s own “intense” chocolate ganache and chocolate sprinkles. This is what chocolate dreams are made of.
The Met Coffee House
2 Common Court, North Conway
2680 White Mountain Highway, North Conway
Why it’s worth trying: This is no ordinary hot chocolate. With a dozen flavors offered October through April, you’re sure to find a flavor combination at The Met that suits any palate. Think cherry cordial hot chocolate, white hot chocolate, and even maple hot chocolate. “The peppermint bark is my favorite. Not only does it taste great, but we top it with whipped cream and crushed candy canes,” said owner Larry Flaherty. If you are not into flavors messing with your cocoa, The Met’s original hot chocolate is great on its own, thanks to using whole milk and Ghirardelli chocolate as the base. “We can also make a hot chocolate using soy, almond, or coconut milk to take care of those that have a lactose intolerance,” Flaherty said.
Death by Chocolate Cream Pie
Red Arrow Diner
Locations in Concord, Londonderry, Manchester and Milford
Why it’s worth trying: Chocolate cream pie is one of life’s greatest pleasures but add a little more chocolate to it and you’ve got the eighth Wonder of the World. At Red Arrow, its Death by Chocolate version is made with a fudgy brownie on the bottom that’s topped with a generous layer of chocolate cream. You can order the pie online to enjoy at home or call ahead at the location nearest you to see if they have slices available in-restaurant. Red Arrow also offers other chocolate cream pie concoctions, including Chocolate Coconut Crème and Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, to name a few.
Cocoa Nib Brownie
15 Main St., Peterborough
Why it’s worth trying: Vicuna’s Cocoa Nib Brownie will make you forget every brownie that’s come before it. For starters, the folks at the award-winning Vicuna source the cacao beans themselves from Central and South America. From there, they hand sort every cacao bean that enters the facility before it gets made into decadent chocolates — or, in this case, brownies. Thick-cut, indulgent, and a fun spin on the classic chocolate chip, this brownie’s quality ingredients are evident in every bite.
Michelle Lahey is a food writer who has been writing about (and eating) food in New Hampshire for over 10 years. Outside of food, you can find her sipping on a good IPA, correcting other people’s grammar, or hiking in the White Mountains.