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Top 30 Valentine Dessert Ideas

Planning to make the perfect dessert for Valentine’s Day? Here are my top Valentine Dessert Ideas – my latest collection of free recipes. At first it was my top ten but now I find it too hard to choose.

So here are at least 30 desserts. All are healthy, can be made in advance and are easy to make for your romantic dinner for two at home. Whether it’s individual desserts, mini desserts, fine dining, with strawberries, with or without chocolate – I have you covered.

Add that extra wow factor by serving them with your own homemade macarons from my books – more below.

top French valentine's desserts with creme caramel, chocolate passion mousse, pear almond tart and a rose pudding

Passion Fruit Chocolate Mousse

These extra light mousses without cream are ideal for an easy, make-ahead dessert.

This is not unlike our favourite French chocolate mousse without cream (the recipe is also on video).

However, in this recipe I added passion fruit and used just egg whites – then topped each pot with some caramel nougatine.  The extra nougatine can keep days longer to linger on delicious moments.

chocolate mousse with passion fruit, topped with caramel nougat macarons in background

Chocolate Beetroot Cake

This is my healthy French answer to red velvet chocolate cake. This recipe both gluten free and reduced in butter and sugar! My best recipe, recently updated for an exciting upcoming scientific food experiment, is so fudgy, fondant and moist, there’s no need for any frosting or creamy filling.

Incredibly moreish, it uses good quality melted dark chocolate, based on a classic French flourless chocolate cake but adapted for the added beetroot. Similar, have you tried my purple carrot cake?

fondant slice of moist chocolate cake, topped with a little icing sugar next to a bowl of oranges

Dark Chocolate Lava Cakes

For a melting heart of chocolate, make these easy individual lava cakes. Just call them ‘moelleux au chocolat‘ (pronounced mwa-le o’shokolah) in your most romantic French accent.

Made in just under 30 minutes!  If “You’ve lost that loving feeling; Woah-woh-oh…“, add a warming glow of ground or candied ginger to these classic lava cakes and add a few raspberries or pomegranate seeds.

Halve the recipe quantity (for 6) if you’re wanting dessert for two – with one left to share. Prepare the batter and have them ready in the moulds just before dessert. When ready to serve, bake for no more than 8 minutes.

chocolate melted lava cake with ice cream in dish

White Chocolate Mousse with Rose

A fluffy light white chocolate mousse with whipped cream and an egg white. Rose and orange blossom are added for that extra French touch. Healthy with no added sugar, this is great on its own or as part of a bigger dessert below. Serve with pink macaron shells for something special.

white chocolate mousse in a bowl with rose petals and love heart macaron

Mini Rhubarb Crumbles

This rose and white chocolate mousse doesn’t just stop there.

Add a layer of rhubarb & strawberry compote or cheat and use good quality rhubarb compote (Bonne Maman do a good one). Serve with strawberries and tuiles.

strawberry rhubarb oat crumble with white chocolate mousse in glass dish

No Bake Chocolate Puddings

These easy, make-ahead desserts are topped with cream and cherries soaked in Kirsch. They’re delicious served with macarons with a chocolate cherry ganache.

black forest chocolate cherry cream with macarons

Rose Panna Cotta (with Cherry & Cardamom Coulis)

Love pink and roses at Valentines? Then pair rose with white chocolate in a panna cotta.  Here I cheated with the sauce using frozen dark cherries as they’re not in season but the partnership is wonderful.

Add a heart-shaped macaron or two to add the perfect finale to this gluten-free dessert.
Here’s a quick tutorial how to pipe out macaron hearts.

individual rose panna cotta with a dark cherry and cardamom sauce

Mini Macaron Trifles

A gluten free dessert inspired by the Parisian Ispahan with rose, raspberry and lychees.

See more pink inspiration with these pink macarons.

glass shot glasses with deep pink trifles topped with pink macarons, rose petals and raspberries

Raspberry and Rose Macarons

For more desserts on a rose theme, this is one of the most popular macaron flavours in Paris. So, recreate a Parisian macaron dessert with the recipe from my book, Teatime in Paris for the most scrumptious raspberry and rose filling.

deep pink shiny macarons

Crème Caramel

You can’t go wrong with this French classic, served in so many brasseries around Paris. This easy recipe is ideal to make a day or two in advance and is particularly light, as it uses whole milk, not cream. Moreover, it’s lighter on the sugar than many classic recipes, as the caramel is sweet enough. Perfect recipe for two.

Like the French, serve on its own, with palets bretons or with a couple of strawberries.

plate with eiffel tower and circle of caramel sauce around a shiny creme caramel

Milk Chocolate Crème Brûlée

Crack into this easy recipe for milk chocolate crème brûlée with passionfruit. A French classic dessert with a fruity, acidic twist with chocolate – or surprise your Valentine instead with a centre of melted dark chocolate.

cracking a spoon into a chocolate creme brulee

Berry Crème Brûlée

This is a quick and light French summer recipe – made with fresh berries, topped with an elderflower sabayon and toasted under the grill. An elegant dessert that can be whipped up in 30 minutes. For those lucky enough to find fresh, flavoursome berries on other side of the world from France.

gratin dish of berries in a creme brulee cream

French Crêpes

These classic thin pancakes are always the perfect treat. Make them at home and have all sorts of typical fillings we enjoy and imagine you’re walking hand in hand with them around the streets of Paris.

Top with sugar and lemon, Nutella, homemade apricot and lavender jam, crème de marrons (chestnut and vanilla spread) or orange curd and serve with a few chopped strawberries or raspberries. However, our personal favourite for a Valentine dessert is with this salted caramel sauce below.

folded thin pancakes

Salted Caramel Sauce

Known as caramel au beurre salé, this salted butter caramel sauce is perfect to accompany many Valentine’s Day desserts. Not just for these crêpes and drop scones (scotch pancakes) but great to accompany all of our favourite apple treats, such as a French Apple Nougat Tart.

Pouring caramel

Custard Apple Tart

This is for fans of both the apple tart and the custard tart. Put them both together and what do you get? A French Apple Custard Tart from Alsace, sheer bliss with a touch of grated nutmeg or cinnamon.  It’s so easy to make – especially if you cheat – oh-là-là! – and buy ready-made pastry. Top with an edible flower.

Round toasted custard tart with apples topped with an edible flower

Salted Caramel Macarons

Why is it that salt added to caramel is so agonisingly addictive? As a result, this must be the most popular macaron flavour – confirmed by the Parisian pâtisseries in my Top 20 Best Macarons in Paris. This is my recipe from my book, Teatime in Paris for the most scrumptious filling for your macarons.

batch of garnished salted caramel macarons on a baking tray

Bourdaloue Tart (Pear and Almond)

I have many more apple tarts – but seduce your Valentine with the ultimate Parisian Bourdaloue tart.

It’s a classic pear and almond tart found in many patisseries, and has been glazing around Paris since the 1900s.

golden almond pear tart with 2 yellow macaron shells

Brandy Snaps with Mojito Cream

Remember Brandy Snaps, the retro crispy caramel wafer-like tubes filled with light whipped cream? Give them 2 snaps and a twist with mint, lime and rum and turn them into Mojito Snaps! They’re a lot easier to make than you think. Find out how to store them, fill them and stop them from getting soft or chewy.

tubes of Brandy snaps filled with cream

Blueberry & Lemon Bavarois (with roasted coriander)

Best made with fresh blueberries – but can also be made using frozen berries.  A fruity and light gluten-free recipe, it’s also an easy no-bake French dessert. Similar to an Italian Panna Cotta, the French make it with fruit purée and less cream. Add a touch of roasted coriander to bring out their subtle flavours and get that extra oh-là-là! The recipe is for 4, so just halve the quantities for a romantic dessert for 2.

Top with edible flowers, such as winter pansies or violas, and add some lemon macarons. It’s a speed-dating trick that works.

purple moulded dessert on black plate with yellow lemon macaron and shiny blueberries

Blueberry Lemon Clafoutis

Love blueberries and lemon? Then enjoy this by the slice. Again, either with fresh or frozen blueberries and the best lemons you can find.

blueberry clafoutis dessert with lemon and yellow edible pansies

Caramelised Pineapple Riz Condé

As it’s pineapple season, cut out heart shapes in the middle of each pineapple slice to make these individual rice puddings with caramelised pineapple, French style.

Shape the rice pudding around the pineapple rings and serve it in the vanilla caramel sauce used to roast the pineapple. Or serve just the plain roasted vanilla pineapple with rum.

caramel pineapple rice pudding

Pistachio Tartlets

Make individual pistachio tartlets and top with a fanned strawberry or a chocolate. This recipe was one of my sources of inspiration for my book, Teatime in Paris, where you’ll find the original tartlet recipe with their step-by-step instructions in more detail in the chapter on tarts.

tartlet with green pistachio cream filling topped with a fanned out strawberry

Lemon & Praline Filled Meringue Snowballs

Surprise your Valentine when cutting into these filled meringues.

Inside is the most delicious combination of tart lemon and a layer of roasted hazelnut praline and finished off with a vanilla and chestnut cream. The meringue is hollow so it’s easy to fill and prepare each stage in advance.

2 white meringue halves stuck together with cream to look like a melting snowball cake

Macaron Tiramisu

Where France meets Italy for dessert. We love tiramisu macarons but what about making a tiramisu dessert with Parisian macaron shells to replace the traditional savoiardi ladyfinger biscuits? The result is a gluten free version of the Italian creamy coffee classic.

glass dishes of individual macaron tiramisu dessert

Poached Pears with Vanilla & Coffee

I thought poaching pears was difficult and fussy when I first came to Paris, but these poached pears with coffee (gluten-free) couldn’t be easier. Coffee and pears make a great couple. Serve in large bowls to catch the lovely poaching juice and have fun decorating the sides with a large paintbrush.

Although the dessert is without chocolate, decorate the bowls with melted chocolate and serve with chocolate or mocha macarons. Also good with French chocolate mendiants with dried fruits (they last a few days).
Prefer without chocolate? Serve with coffee or vanilla macarons – coconut macaroons (rochers coco) or Palets Bretons (irresistible salted butter biscuits from Brittany).

poached pears in coffee sauce bowl with macarons

Cranachan Parfaits – with Oat Praline & Shortbread Thins

Cranachan is a traditional Scottish dessert often served for St Andrew’s Day, a Burn’s supper in January or just a good Scottish celebration. To celebrate the Auld Alliance in France with Scotland, I have given it my own original French twist to make a Cranachan Parfait.

The result is a no-churn honey and Whisky ice cream topped with crispy oat praline and served with fresh raspberries on thin rounds of buttery shortbread.

honey parfaits on shortbread with raspberries and a macaron

Creamy Lemon Ice Cream (with Strawberries)

Don’t churn down the idea of homemade ice creams in February! (Pun groan…)
This will keep your hot Valentine cool. Serve with strawberries and a macaron or two.

scoop of creamy lemon ice cream with strawberries and a macaron

Sweet Chestnut Vanilla Ice Cream

This Chestnut Vanilla Ice Cream makes me dream of holidays in France – and particularly of my husband’s island of Corsica.  Candied chestnuts are such a festive French treat during the holiday season but I love this light and easy dessert for a Valentine’s Day treat with a few macarons.

scoop of chestnut ice cream topped with a candied chestnut

Vacherin Glacé

This popular French ice cream cake dessert is ideal for Valentine’s Day. A celebratory dessert (gluten free), it’s often found in the freezer cabinets in French pâtisseries. To make your own, just add a tub of sorbet, meringue and whipped cream.

French vacherin ice cream meringue cake with layers

Tuile Cookies

These ice creams are great with crispy French tuiles. Even better, they are made using the leftover egg whites used by making the ice creams’ custard.

Looking at a French cookie recipe book with tuiles cooling below

The Ultimate Valentine Dessert Gift Idea

I’ve given you the recipes above from le blog – but don’t forget that the step-by-step macaron and pastry recipes are in my recipe books, Mad About Macarons and Teatime in Paris!

Plus, at the bargain price of each book, you can bring Parisian tarts, éclairs, teacakes and much more to your own kitchen with a recipe tour of the best pâtisseries thrown in! It’s a gift that keeps on giving.

Have a very Happy Valentine’s from Paris. Cheers and Santé with a Kir Royal

 

This post was originally published 11 February 2016 but is now completely updated to include more recent recipes from le blog.

Even more Light Valentine's Desserts

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10 responses to “Top 30 Valentine Dessert Ideas”

  1. Jill, these are simply sublime! Each dessert is a winner in my book; I honestly would have a hard time narrowing them down! I must say, though, with our current temps reaching into the 30s C, the lemon ice cream is enticing, especially with my homegrown Meyer Lemons!

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your family, Jill! xx

    • Wow – such temperatures in California, Christina? Lucky for some – and so glad to hear you’ve got Meyer lemons from your own trees to make that ice cream. One day I’ll get the chance to taste one of these famous lemons. No sign of them in Paris.
      Tomorrow won’t be that romantic as in a gym all day for a fencing competition but hey, it’s great! Enjoy yours x

      • A year later and still drooling over this collection of desserts! And another crop of Meyer lemons, to boot! 🙂 Thanks, Jill!

        • Thanks, Christina. There are a lot more to add to this a year later but sure that creamy ice cream will be fabulous with Meyer lemons – I so want to try them!

  2. Oh, boy, you DO know how to make Valentine’s Day special!!! All your selections get a thumbs up from me!

  3. Whaou Jill ! J’espère que mon ami aura la bonne idée de lire ton article 😛

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