4 Recipes for Decadent Chocolate Desserts

Photography courtesy of My Sweet Roots of The Scout Guide Fort Worth.

There’s a reason chocolate has come to be synonymous with romance: it’s rich, indulgent, nuanced, and when lovingly prepared, unmistakably conveys how much you care. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we asked Scouted chefs from around the country for their favorite chocolate dessert recipes. Whether you’re bold enough to take on a chocolate cremeux or prefer a simple but delicious Nutella sesame roll, you cannot go wrong with one of these chocolate-forward sweets. Read on for epicurean delights that are sure to impress your special someone.

Nutella Sesame Rolls

“These Nutella sesame rolls are a constant client request, crowd-pleaser, and personal favorite,” says Claudia Sheddy, chef and owner at My Sweet Roots in Fort Worth, Texas. “They are a beautiful and unexpected pastry that taste even better than they look.”

Yields 10 to 12 servings


  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons bread flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon fast-acting yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 teaspoons oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts (or any nut)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup Nutella at room temperature
  • 1 orange
  • 2 teaspoons powdered sugar


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and oil in a bowl, pour in water. Mix and then transfer to an oiled surface. Knead dough for 3-4 minutes, adding more oil if needed. Transfer to a bowl and cover with a towel to let rise (approximately 40 minutes). Dust surface with flour. Roll out dough into a rectangle with the long side towards you. Use spatula to spread Nutella on dough, leaving a border on the top edge. Zest orange all over. Scatter sesame seeds and hazelnut mix on top. Roll dough into a long log towards you. Brush with oil, and sprinkle on remaining sesame seeds and nut mix. Cut roll into 10 segments. Transfer to a lined baking sheet and bake roughly 10 minutes or until brown. Once cooked, dust with powdered sugar. 

Recipe courtesy of Claudia Sheddy, chef and owner of My Sweet Roots. My Sweet Roots is featured in The Scout Guide Fort Worth. Leigh Brown is the editor of The Scout Guide Fort Worth.

White Chocolate Mousse

 “This is the perfect end to a romantic meal for two. What we love about this dessert is how versatile and easy it is,” says Jess Ford, chef and co-owner of  Peppercorn Events in Cliffside Park, New Jersey. “Serve with orange segments or raspberry sauce for a fruity finish, or top with crushed cookie crumbs or shaved dark chocolate for a cookies and cream treat. Looking for a boozy finish? Add a splash of Baileys or Grand Marnier.”

Yields 2 servings


  • 3.5 ounces of white chocolate
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/8 cup, plus 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Garnish of your choice


In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk and sugar until pale in color. In a saucepan, over low heat, bring 1/8 cup of cream to a simmer, and slowly whisk into the egg and sugar mixture. Pour the mix back into the pan and stir with a wooden spoon until it coats the back of it. Remove from heat and add white chocolate. Stir until completely smooth. In another bowl, whip remaining 1/2 cup cream until almost stiff peaks. Spoon into 2 serving cups and refrigerate for 1 hour. Garnish with fruit, cookie crumbs, or your favorite after-dinner drink.

Recipe courtesy of Jess and Daniel Ford, owners of Peppercorn Events. Peppercorn Events is featured in The Scout Guide Bergen County. Chris Doherty and Eileen Sweeney are co-editors of The Scout Guide Bergen County.

Chocolate Cremeux with Blood Orange and Grand Mariner Sabayon

This is an extraordinary dessert for Valentine’s Day that combines dark and milk chocolate with the richness of cream and brightness of blood orange,” says Tim Moore, executive chef at Early Mountain Vineyards in Madison, Virginia, just outside of Charlottesville. “Only problem—you won’t want to share.”

Yields 6 servings


For the pastry cream insert:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

For the cremeux:

  • 99 grams milk chocolate
  • 285 grams dark chocolate
  • 128 grams heavy cream
  • 128 grams whole milk
  • 43 grams sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 3 gelatin sheets, bloomed
  • 285 grams heavy cream, whipped

For the sabayon:

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 67 grams sugar
  • 2 ounces Grand Marnier
  • 200 grams heavy cream

For the garnish:

  • Blood orange supremes
  • Maldon sea salt


For the pastry cream insert: In a medium-sized pot, bring milk and 1/4 cup sugar to a strong simmer. In a separate bowl, whisk yolks, whole egg, cornstarch, and 1/3 cup sugar together. Slowly ladle 1/3 of heated milk and sugar into egg mixture while continuously whisking. (This will temper your egg mixture.) While whisking, add tempered egg mixture to the pot of remaining milk and sugar. Using low heat, stir continuously until mixture thickens (about 4-5 minutes). Cut heat. Stir in whole butter and vanilla until butter is melted and fully incorporated. Pour pastry cream into a tall sided baking pan. Place plastic wrap directly on top of pastry cream to prevent film from forming and let cool. Using a pastry bag, fill 1/2 ounce silicone dome molds with pastry cream and freeze. Once frozen, pop out of molds and reserve for cremeux. 

For the cremeux: Using a double boiler, mix milk chocolate and dark chocolate together and slowly melt down while stirring occasionally to incorporate chocolates. Remove melted chocolate (ensuring to keep warm and melted) and reserve for later. In a medium-sized pot, bring cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla bean to a strong simmer. Place egg yolks into a medium-sized bowl and slowly strain cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla mixture over yolks while continuously whisking. Incorporate well. Pour whisked mixture back into pot and return to low heat. Whisk continuously until it starts to slightly thicken. At this point, add bloomed gelatin to the mixture and stir until gelatin is fully incorporated. Slowly pour mixture into melted chocolate and mix/stir thoroughly. Gently fold in whipped heavy cream. Once completed, pour and divide cremeux into a 4-ounce silicone dome mold of choice. Place one frozen pastry cream insert into the middle of the cremeux mold. Make sure inserts are completely covered by chocolate. Place finished cremeux molds into the freezer until completely frozen. Once frozen, pop cremeux out of molds and place onto a pan lined with parchment paper. Place cremeux into the refrigerator and completely thaw. Reserve for plating.

For the sabayon: Using a double boiler, continuously whisk egg yolks and sugar until mixture doubles in size. Remove from heat and stir in grand marnier. Place in refrigerator to chill. Whip heavy cream until medium peaks form. Gently fold in whipped cream to chilled egg, sugar, and grand marnier mixture. Reserve for plating. 

For plating: Place one thawed cremeux dome in the center of the plate. Spoon 1 ounce sabayon to the side of cremeux. Garnish with three blood orange supremes and a pinch of Maldon sea salt. 

Recipe courtesy of Tim Moore, executive chef at Early Mountain Vineyards. Early Mountain Vineyards is featured in The Scout Guide Charlottesville. Christy Ford and Susie Matheson are co-editors of The Scout Guide Charlottesville.

Snickers Torte

“Layers of decadence have stood the test of time for our guests at Waypoint,” says Hans Schadler, chef and owner of Waypoint Seafood & Grill in Williamsburg, Virginia. “We added the Snickers Torte to our menu well over a decade ago, written by a chef with us at the time who had special chocolate culinary training, and we haven’t taken it off since.”

Yields 1 torte


For the milk chocolate cornflake crust:

  • 101.25 grams cornflakes
  • 225 grams peanut butter
  • 116.25 grams milk chocolate

For the chocolate Bavarian:

  • 120 grams half & half
  • 10 grams sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 gelatin sheets, bloomed
  • 250g milk chocolate
  • 200g heavy cream

For the peanut crunch layer:

  • 67 grams peanut brittle 
  • 40 grams powdered sugar
  • .75 grams salt
  • 65 grams peanut butter

For the salted caramel mousse:

  • 2 gelatin sheets, bloomed
  • 100 grams granulated sugar
  • 35 grams corn syrup
  • 1.5 ounces water
  • 1/8 teaspoons sea salt
  • 100 grams heavy cream
  • 27 grams egg yolks
  • 127 grams whipped cream

For the chocolate ganache:

  • 7 ounces milk chocolate
  • 4 ounces heavy cream


For the milk chocolate cornflake crust: Crush cornflakes and incorporate into creamed peanut butter. Slowly add melted chocolate. Spread mixture into a 12-inch springform pan or metal ring. Let it set up in the freezer.

For the chocolate Bavarian: Bring half and half and sugar to a boil. Temper into egg yolks creating a thick custard texture. While hot, add bloomed gelatin and chocolate. Cool to about 100 degrees, and fold into the whipped milk chocolate and peaked heavy cream. Spread evenly onto the crust and let set in the freezer.

For the peanut crunch layer: Process peanut brittle in food processor, and sprinkle over the chocolate layer.

For the salted caramel mousse: Combine water and gelatin sheets to bloom. Caramelize sugar, corn syrup, and water. Add salt and cream, temper into egg yolks. Cool to 113 degrees and fold into whipped cream. Layer onto the Bavarian layer and set in the freezer.

For the chocolate ganache: Heat heavy cream to a boil and pour over milk chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Layer on as the final layer and set in the freezer.

Recipe written by chef Emily Woodruff and courtesy of Hans Schadler, chef and owner of Waypoint Seafood & Grill. Waypoint Seafood & Grill is featured in The Scout Guide Williamsburg & The Chesapeake Bay. Sara Harris is the editor of The Scout Guide Williamsburg & The Chesapeake Bay.