Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
What you really want
Chocolate may not be an aphrodisiac (you'd have to eat about 25 pounds of it to alter your mood), but it does make a decadent finish to a romantic meal. Try these eight recipes, which provide the rich flavor of chocolate with plenty of room for after-dinner activities.
The simplicity of this dessert makes it perfect for a beginner chef. It uses ingredients you're likely to have on hand to create a rich, sumptuous treat for two.
Ingredients: Sugar, milk, unsweetened cocoa, butter, unsweetened chocolate, flour, vanilla extract, an egg, chocolate chips
Try this recipe: Chocolate Decadence
Chocolate Chunk Bread Puddings
A light chocolate coating adds a rich flavor without packing in a lot of fat. Boost antioxidants (and add a bit of color) by topping with raspberries or strawberries.
Ingredients: Hawaiian sweet bread, sugar, unsweetened cocoa, Kahlúa, vanilla extract, an egg, semisweet chocolate, fat-free whipped topping, milk
Try this recipe: Chocolate Chunk Bread Puddings
Raspberry-Topped Amaretto Tarts
This light dessert gives you the right amount of sweetness, without breaking your calorie bank. Perfect for those wanting a light finish to a romantic meal, these tarts are perfectly portioned and look restaurant-worthy.
Ingredients: Vanilla wafer cookie crumbs, butter, sugar, milk, cornstarch, an egg, amaretto, vanilla extract, raspberries
Try this recipe: Raspberry-Topped Amaretto Tarts
Chocolate Fudge Pie
Make this dessert the night before, and let the smooth chocolaty flavors melt in your mouth. Low-fat dairy products keep it guilt-free without compromising the creamy texture.
Ingredients: Refrigerated pie dough, brown sugar, unsweetened cocoa, flour, milk, light-colored corn syrup, butter, vanilla extract, eggs, whipped topping
Try this recipe: Chocolate Fudge Pie
Chocolate-Dipped Almond Meringues
Perfect to be brought to a party, or served at a dinner for two, these almond-flavored bites will satisfy your sweet tooth. And to create the perfect crunch, be sure to beat the egg whites until they have the consistency of marshmallow cream.
Ingredients: Eggs, cream of tartar, sugar, almond extract, bittersweet chocolate, semisweet chocolate chips
Try this recipe: Chocolate-Dipped Almond Meringues
This is a nontraditional way to make tiramisu, but it's just as delicious as your old favorite. Eliminating whipping cream keeps this light, luscious, and likely to be a crowd-pleaser.
Ingredients: Powdered sugar, mascarpone cheese, raspberry-flavored liqueur, fat-free cream cheese, unsweetened cocoa, ladyfingers, raspberries
Try this recipe: Chocolate-Raspberry Tiramisu
This recipe lets a store-bought candy (chocolate-covered toffee bars) do all the work in making a chewy chocolate bite. Best served with coffee (or a nightcap), these small treats are just the right amount of sweetness.
Ingredients: Eggs, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, unsweetened cocoa, chocolate-covered toffee bars
Try this recipe: Chocolate-Toffee Puffs
Chocolate Lava Cakes With Pistachio Cream
These flourless chocolate cakes are as rich as a restaurant dessert, but they're made with a fraction of the fat and no dairy butter. The gooey chocolate filling provides the perfect contrast to the nutty pistachio–based cream sauce.
Ingredients: Dry-roasted pistachios, sugar, unsweetened cocoa, eggs, bittersweet chocolate, baking powder, vanilla extract, milk, powdered sugar
Try this recipe: Chocolate Lava Cakes With Pistachio Cream