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15 Most Decadent Chocolate Desserts Across America

By Kelly Dobkin
April 15, 2014

Chocoholics unite - your ultimate bucket list has arrived. This week we're roving our markets for the most decadent chocolate desserts. Below check out 15 standouts from across the U.S. and get that glass of milk ready.

  • Atlanta: Bonzo Cake at Murphy's

    Why We Love It: Why choose between different temptations? This iconic dessert combines a brownie layer, cheesecake layer and chocolate-mousse layer before rich whipped cream makes its way to the top.

    Price: $38 for a whole

  • Austin: 1886 Cake at the 1886 Cafe and Bakery

    Why We Love It: If your mother were a specialty baker, this is the cake she’d make. It’s dense, rich and traditional with a touch of upscale charm and a chocolate glaze on top, and it should be part of every birthday.

    Price: $7.50

  • Photo by: Mike Diskin

    Boston: Chocolate Bread Pudding at Cafe Fleuri

    Why We Love It: Because it's a consistent standout at Cafe Fleuri's legendary Saturday chocolate bar, celebrating its 25th year as a buffet-style spread of sweet and even savory chocolate-based dishes. The bread pudding is semisweet Valrhona chocolate and served with housemade crème anglaise.

    Price: $42 per person ($29 for kids)

  • Photo by: Sarah Freeman

    Chicago: Chocolate Bombe at Owen & Engine

    Why We Love It: This new spring dessert is all about the chocolate - three types of chocolate, to be exact. The dessert started from the idea of a perfect chocolate bombe, or set mousse, over a fudge brownie drizzled with salted caramel syrup. The dish became more extravagant with the addition of toasted marshmallow fluff, a fried chocolate nest and malted chocolate ice cream.

    Price: $10

  • Dallas: Bittersweet Chocolate Soufflé at Five Sixty

    Why We Love It: As if the soufflé being chocolate isn’t enough, it comes with sides of chocolate sauce, gianduja gelato and crème fraîche whipped cream. Rich doesn’t quite cover it.

    Price: $14

  • Photo by: Christopher Cina

    Denver: Vegan Chocolate Truffle at Root Down

    Why We Love It: "We’re very vegetable-focused, even when it comes to desserts,” observes Samm Sherman, pastry chef of this LoHi magnet for mod-minded gastronomes - and the proof is in the pudding (so to speak).Take this beauty, which draws on traditional chocolate cake and carrot cake but comes off as a true original. Chia seed-sprinkled coconut sorbet sits on smooth-as-glass, intense chocolate truffle cake, fortified with coconut milk (rather than cream) and a combination of dried-carrot chips, carrot-honey coulis and crushed, candied walnuts spiced with cinnamon and cayenne pepper. The golden raisins are marinated in port wine, a classic complement to chocolate. The result is an intricate zinger.

    Price: $8

  • Houston: Peanut Butter Tower at Eleven XI

    Why We Love It: Our dessert list keeps with the over-the-top vibe with this peanut-butter cup on steroids. Creamy peanut-butter filling is enhanced by textured Valrhona chocolate and a silky smooth mousse so velvety, it melts in your mouth.

    Tip From the Baker: Chef Kevin Bryant's secret weapon for this decadent dessert is a Wagner paint sprayer, used to apply the microthin layer of chocolate.

    Price: $8

  • Photo by: Republique

    Los Angeles: Chocolate Cake at Republique

    Why We Love It: This is the kind of cake that turns heads. Made with rich Valrhona chocolate, the moist layers are stuck together with salted caramel, which oozes out in delicious fashion. Available in the bakery daily - because who doesn’t love chocolate cake for breakfast - or served with milk eau de vie at night.

    Price: $12

  • Miami: Chocolate & Peanut Butter S'mores at Prime 112

    Why We Love It: This decadent dish, piled high with marshmallow and vanilla ice cream, has a packed interior of rich chocolate and creamy peanut butter that never fails to disappoint.  

    Price: $15

  • Photo by: Anthony Jackson

    NYC: Tartaletta di Cioccolata at Costata

    Why We Love It: It’s only fitting to cap a luxurious meal at Michael White’s SoHo steakhouse with an equally luxe dessert. To form this beautiful tart, pastry chef Bob Truitt layers dark-chocolate ganache - a blend of 70% Valrhona cocoa and heavy cream - and vanilla anglaise on a bed of hazelnut meringues and pralines. It’s topped with candied hazelnuts and housemade fior di latte gelato - along with shards of edible gold leaf - to balance out the chocolatey richness.

    Price: $16

  • Photo by: Danya Henninger

    Philadelphia: Chocolate Bento Box at Buddakan

    Why We Love It: Chocolate plays an integral part in each of the six pieces in pastry chef Cedric Barberet’s bento box at the Old City Pan-Asian. The parade of bites includes: a pistachio ice cream macaron dipped in dark chocolate, a white-chocolate cheesecake beneath raspberry mousse, dark-chocolate Grand Marnier truffles, chocolate pot de crème with mango-passion fruit tapioca, white-chocolate lychee mousse with rose gelée and a chocolate-banana decadence on a hazelnut crust. (Cue the When Harry Met Sally “Yes!” scene...)

    Price: $15

  • Photo by: Darlene Horn

    San Diego: Salted Caramel Ganache Bar at Bertrand at Mister A’s

    Why We Love It: When a chocolate bar just won’t do, the next best thing is this elegant version. A layer of decadent chocolate ganache tops a peanut praline crisp and sliced thin. And a chocolate bar isn’t complete without caramel. A sweet-and-savory brown butter popcorn ice cream and caramel corn elevate the already spectacular dessert.

    Price: $9.50 lunch, $11.50 dinner

  • Photo by: Tamara Palmer

    San Francisco: Chocolate Carré at Trace

    Why We Love It: Good things come in small packages, and this diminutive delight is a great example. Pastry chef Jozephene Gutierrez is in love with the richness of her creamy chocolate custard, which sits on top of a baked ganache with graham-cracker crust. It is served with Marcona almonds and fleur de sel caramel ice cream.

    Price: $9.50

  • SeattleChocolate Truffle Cake at Loulay

    Why We Love It: Pastry chef Cornia Johnson's chocolate truffle cake looks almost too pretty to stick a spoon into but after snapping the requisite food porn pic, go ahead. The flourless chocolate cake on the bottom is light and velvety with an intense chocolaty quality. (She uses Valrhona.) A chocolate-praline sits on top of that, adding a little crunch that Johnson half-jokingly compares to a Kit Kat. A lemon creme sounds like it might be out of place, but it works, adding a refreshing citrus zing. We could eat a whole bowl of the final component, the roasted white-chocolate ice milk. Just stunning.

    Price: $8.50

  • Washington, DC: Coconut Chocolate Bar at NoPa Kitchen + Bar

    Why We Love It: Pastry chef Jemil Gadea says this heavenly layering of coconut macaron, chocolate bavarian, dulce de leche, caramel, milk chocolate caramel ice cream and coconut sablé is his homage to all of his favorite candy bars in one: Twix, Kit Kat, Mounds and Nestle Crunch. It looks - and sounds - like it's way over the top, but it's perfection.

    Price: $9

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