If there were an international competition for the world’s most heavenly chocolate dessert, it would make for tough judging, but why decide when you can choose them all.
Here are 10 chocolate desserts from around the world sent from heaven down to earth:
1) Tartufo, Italy
Chocolate gelato with a chocolate outer layer, can dessert get more heavenly? Photo by HarshLight.
There can hardly be a more desirable chocolate dessert than tartufo. Not only does the center contain rich, gooey gelato, it is encased in a crisp layer of chocolate.
Conventionally, tartufo comprises two or more flavors including fruit, but the chocolate version with an indulgent focus on cocoa gets my vote. To create the shell, the gelato ball is dipped in or drizzled with melted chocolate.
This dessert dates back to the end of the French Revolution and has been subject to a recent renaissance.
2) Red Velvet Cake, US
Velvety red chocolate cake enhanced by buttery cream. Divine. Photo by Patent and the Pantry.
Alternate layers of soft sponge cake and creamy, whipped vanilla icing are treat enough on the tongue without the visual beauty of the rich, red color that is the hallmark of this dessert.
It is believed that the traditional tinting of the sponge came about from a reaction between the cake’s buttermilk and acidic vinegar ingredients, which highlighted the red pigments in the cocoa. Today, red food dye or boiled beets replicate the effect, but the taste remains delicious.
One of the most famous places for sampling red velvet cake is at the Waldorf Astoria, New York.
3) Black Forest Gateau, Germany
Black forest gateau transformed into a work of art. Photo by TummyRumble.
Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, or black forest gateau as it is more commonly known, is one of the best desserts to hit global palates from the kitchens of Germany. Delicate sponge cake and fresh whipped cream crafted in layers form the substance of this dessert, but it is the addition of tangy cherries that are the true delight.
The dessert is named after Kirschwasser, a liquor from the Black Forest region, which is infused with sour cherries. The liquor must be added in order to use the traditional name.
4) Dacquoise, France
French fusion of hazelnut meringue and chocolate cream. Photo by Muy Yum.
Titled after the Dax region in southwest France, dacquoise is a delicate combination of crisp and chewy hazelnut and almond meringue fused together with light, whipped cream or fluffy buttercream.
While the traditional version of dacquoise uses a cream or vanilla center and is often served with fruit, flavors have broadened and the addition of chocolate to the filling makes a richer alternative.
5) Brigadeiro, Brazil
Soft, sticky center of beautiful Brazilian brigadeiro. Photo by Kátia :).
Sinking your teeth into the granulated chocolate exterior before hitting the soft, sticky center of a brigadeiro is heavenly. Made from a blend of sweetened condensed milk, butter and cocoa powder, these sweet treats are named after politician Brigadier Eduardo Gomez, who was famous at the time of their creation in the 1940s.
Brigadeiro, which have been likened to chocolate truffles, are popular at parties.
6) Dobos Torte, Hungary
Flamboyant Hungarian chocolate torte. Photo by Simply_Happy.
Dobos torte was revolutionary at its time. Named after its creator, confectioner József C. Dobos, the torte was invented in 1884 out of a desire to extend the life of large cakes in a world where refrigeration techniques were limited. By adding a topping, Dobos discovered that tortes would remain moist for longer periods of time.
Today, the original layer-style dessert is a blend of sponge cake and chocolate buttercream given a “coat,” often of chocolate. Dobos torte is usually found on menus in upscale restaurants.
7) Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries, Belgium
Belgian chocolate at its fruity best. Photo by versello.
While not the preserve of the Belgian, the elegant combination of juicy strawberries dipped in melted chocolate is particularly decadent when the chocolate in question is from premium Belgian producer, Godiva.
Established in 1926, the first Godiva store was opened in Brussels in honor of Lady Godiva, and since then over 400 stores have appeared worldwide. Chocolate-dipped strawberries are synonymous with Godiva’s summertime collection.
8) Chocolate Churros, Mexico
Churros—best filled with chocolate. Photo by -bartimaeus-.
Churros are deep-fried sticks of dough especially popular in Spain and Latin America. Piped through a star-pointed nozzle and fried, the outer layer, which is similar to a donut, is only the beginning of the taste sensation in Mexico, where churros are filled with either dulce de leche (sweet caramel) or chocolate.
Popular at breakfast, churros are also eaten as snacks and make a sweet treat any time of day.
9) Chocolate Fondue, Switzerland
Have a change with a white Swiss chocolate fondue. Photo by Greta Hughson.
The Swiss invention of fondue, which was traditionally a savory dish of melted cheese, has received the sweet treatment and dinner parties haven’t been the same since.
Fruit, cake, marshmallows and other sweets are popular for skewering and saturating in melted chocolate. For a twist on the usual flavor, try a white chocolate fondue.
If your sweet tooth is feeling particularly active, dip chocolate fudge into the mix for a sugar high.
10) Tiramisu, Italy
Italian classic tiramisu—reinventions get better and better. Photo by Mowie Kay.
Okay, so Italy is featured twice on this list, but doesn’t it deserve to? Tiramisu is a classic dessert that is constantly being reinvented.
The basic recipe involves Savoiardi (lady fingers) soaked in strong coffee and layered with a glossy mix of mascarpone cream cheese and egg yolks. A thick layer of cocoa adds a stark contrast to the creamy texture, and for an extra bite, add a liquor, often Marsala wine. For real chocolate lovers, add cocoa to every layer.
What’s the most heavenly chocolate dessert you’ve ever tasted? Let me know in the comments.
If you liked this article, you might also like: 10 Irresistible Paris Pastries (and Where to Eat them).
Main photo: Desserts sent from Heaven by djwtwo.