Indulgently rich, melt in your mouth, dark chocolate is good for your heart and it's good for dessert. The next time you need to treat yourself - or serve a stunning sweet for a crowd - sink your teeth into one of these dreamy dark chocolate recipes. Just keep in mind that too much of a good thing isn't a good thing - enjoy your dark chocolate desserts in moderation.
Dark chocolate dessert recipes
Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding with Red Berry Sauce
Serves 12For the bread pudding:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 quart half and half
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 pound day-old brioche or another white bread, crusts removed, diced large
6 to 8 ounces high-quality dark chocolate, choppedFor the berry sauce:
3 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) cherries, raspberries or strawberries
1/4 cup sugar or more to taste
1 teaspoon corn starchDirections:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. and use some of the melted butter to grease a 9x13-inch baking dish. In the bowl of a standup mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat eggs, egg yolks and sugar until well-combined. Add butter (make sure it is cool), half and half and vanilla and beat in.
2. Add bread to the bowl and use your hands to press bread into egg mixture and mix until bread is well-coated. Pour bread mixture into prepared dish and evenly scatter dark chocolate on top. Use your fingers to press some of the chocolate deep into bread mixture. Cover with aluminum foil (spray underside of aluminum foil with nonstick cooking spray to keep chocolate from sticking to it).
3. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until set. Set pan on wire rack, uncover and let cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving with sauce. You can also refrigerate bread mixture for an hour or overnight before baking — you may need to add 10 minutes or so to the baking time.
4. Meanwhile, to make the sauce, place berries in a blender or food processor and puree. If using raspberries, press through a thin sieve to remove seeds. Pour berry mixture into medium-sized saucepan and over medium heat. Quickly add sugar and cornstarch and cook, stirring often, until thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool before serving.
Dark Chocolate Mousse
5 ounces high-quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
14 ounces chilled heavy cream
3 egg whites
1 to 2 tablespoons sugarGarnish (optional)
Dark chocolate shavingsDirections:
1. Place the bowl of your standup mixer in the refrigerator to chill. Place chocolate in a double boiler at a low simmer (or place chocolate in a large heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water). Stir chocolate until melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Remove mixer bowl from refrigerator and fill with cream. Using your standup mixer — fitted with the whisk attachment — beat cream until soft peaks form. Set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to whip egg whites to soft peaks, gradually adding sugar and beating until firm peaks form.
4. Using a spatula, gently and gradually fold melted chocolate into egg whites — do not overmix. Gently fold in whipped cream. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
5. To serve, spoon mousse into dessert cups or wine glasses. Garnish with whipped cream and shaved dark chocolate.
Cranberry Pistachio Dark Chocolate BarkIngredients:
1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped pistachios
8 ounces high-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup dried sweetened cranberries, coarsely choppedDirections:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and spread the pistachios on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 5 minutes or until fragrant — do not burn. Remove from oven and set aside.
2. Line a large baking sheet with wax paper. In a double boiler set over low heat, melt chocolate, stirring until smooth. You can also place chocolate in a large heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water.
3. Stir in nuts and cranberries and stir to coat. Scrape chocolate mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it into a 12-by-8-inch rectangle. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, or until firm enough to cut — or break.
4. For a refined presentation, use a sharp knife to cut the bark into evenly-sized pieces, or for an edgy look, break into different-sized pieces.