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There’s no denying that a box of chocolates is a great idea for a Valentine’s Day gift. There’s just something about chocolate and romance that means the two are always connected. It also means that chocolate recipes are perfect for Valentine’s Day desserts.
Why is chocolate romantic?
There are a few funny stories as to why we associated chocolate with romance from different areas of the world.
One of them said that the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl brought the cacao tree when he arrived on Earth having stolen it from paradise. That’s why chocolate was the ‘drink of emperors’ and the ‘food of the gods’ for many people in this region. Plus one of the Aztec emperors, Montezuma, used to drink three gallons a day to increase his libido.
In fact, this association came from its earliest days because it was the pre-Olmec cultures of Mexico that first created chocolate all the way back in 1900BC. The made it by mixing cacao beans with water, vanilla, chilli peppers and other ingredients in a drink. Quickly people realised it had an aphrodisiac effect and the romantic association was firmly created.
Spain were the first Europeans to really take to chocolate and the romantic connection came about again when it was given as a gift in the wedding of the daughter of King Philip II to King Louis XIII of France in 1615. That started the spread of chocolate – with its romantic connections.
Of course, a lot of the reason that chocolate is popular as presents and for Valentine’s Day Desserts is something a little more scientific – it contains a small amount of serotonin that helps to make use feel better. Eat chocolate = feel better. It’s a scientific thing!
4 chocolate Valentine’s Day desserts
Whether you follow the Aztec reasoning or just know your loved one is a chocoholic, then these desserts are the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Chocolate mug cake
If you are a Keto fan, you will like this recipe as it is classed as a keto chocolate mug cake. And if you aren’t, well you can always swap the sweetener for the real deal!
- 1½ T. coconut flour
- ½ t. baking powder
- 1¾ T. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 T. unsalted butter
- 1½ T. low carb sweetener of choice*
- 1 egg
- 2 T. heavy cream
- ¼ t. pure vanilla extract
- ¼ t. salt
Fresh sliced strawberries to serve
Add the first three ingredients to a small mixing bowl and stir to combine.
Melt butter in a small bowl in a microwave for several seconds. Add low carb sweetener and stir until completely dissolved. Add egg, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt to the butter mixture and whisk to combine.
Add wet ingredients to the dry and stir until thoroughly blended. Pour blended mixture into a mug or small microwave-safe container and microwave on high for 1 minute.
Remove from microwave and serve immediately with fresh sliced strawberries, if desired. Enjoy!
Macaroons are one of my favourite treats and while there’s a bit of work to do to make them, it is definitely worth it as a Valentine’s Day dessert!
- 1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups sweetened flaked coconut
- Parchment paper (greaseproof paper)
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips, stirring occasionally. Optionally, melt over a double boiler. Set aside to cool.
In a separate medium-size bowl, beat egg whites to a soft peak. Add vanilla and slowly add the sugar. Continue to beat until thick.
Fold in coconut & melted chocolate.
Using a teaspoon for small macaroons or tablespoon for large macaroons, drop one spoon full of batter onto a baking sheet for each cookie.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
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Chocolate cherry brownies
This is a Paleo-friendly recipe if you are a fan of that approach. You can use fresh or frozen cherries, just let them defrost thoroughly and be at room temperature before mixing. And if you get extra moisture involved, just add a little extra cooking time.
- 4 large eggs
- 2 T. + ¼ c. coconut oil, melted
- ½ c. honey, preferably local
- ¼ c. almond milk, unsweetened
- 1 t. pure vanilla extract
- ½ c. coconut flour
- ¼ c. cocoa powder
- ½ t. baking soda
- ½ t. salt
- 1 c. chopped, pitted cherries
Place top oven rack in centre position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8x8-inch brownie pan with 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, ¼ cup melted coconut oil, honey, almond milk, and vanilla until completely smooth. Set aside.
In a smaller bowl, combine the coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Add the chopped, pitted cherries and any juices (if using frozen cherries) and fold until combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and place in the preheated oven to bake until the brownies are set, and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, approximately 25-30 minutes. (Cooking time will vary by oven. Check after 20 minutes and adjust cooking time accordingly).
Remove from oven and cool to room temperature before slicing into squares and serving. Enjoy!
Chocolate hazelnut truffles
No refined sugar here but plenty of sweetness from the dates and maple syrup. This mixture will make around 15-18 truffles.
- ½ c. raw hazelnuts
- 12 Medjool dates, pitted
- 2 T. cocoa powder, unsweetened
- 2 T. coconut flour
- 1 T. coconut oil, melted
- 1½ T. pure maple syrup
- 1 t. pure vanilla extract
- ¼ t. coarse salt
- ¼ c. hazelnuts or almonds, ground
- ¼ c. coconut flakes, finely shredded
- 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder + ¼ t. each cayenne pepper and coarse salt
Place pitted dates in a small bowl filled with warm water. Set aside to soak for 10-15 minutes.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with wax paper and set aside. Pour each selected coating, if using, onto a separate shallow, rimmed plate and set aside.
Add hazelnuts to a food processor and process until finely ground.
Remove the softened dates from the bowl and drain off any excess water. Add dates and cocoa powder to a food processor and blend until smooth, approximately 3-4 minutes. Scrape the sides, as necessary, to ensure mixture is thoroughly combined.
- Tip: Add a few drops of water at a time, if necessary, to achieve a smooth consistency, but don’t add too much.
Add coconut flour, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt to the mixture and process until combined.
Remove the dough from the food processor and divide into 15-18 equal-sized portions. Roll each section of dough into a ball before rolling in the selected coatings.
Once coated, place on prepared baking tray and place in the refrigerator to chill for several minutes before serving. Enjoy!
A winning Valentine’s Day treat
You don’t have to cook an entire fancy meal to show someone you care. These tasty chocolate recipes can be made on the day or even a little before to present your loved one with a really romantic symbol of your love – that tastes great too!
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