Chocolate. The ultimate comfort food. Never out of fashion. And never out of place on a menu.
Here are 10 chocolate desserts which have recently impressed our Michelin Inspectors.
‘Core-teser': Chocolate, Malt, Hazelnut
CORE by Clare Smyth, Notting Hill
Inspired by longstanding British favourite, Maltesers, this visually impressive, imaginative dessert makes for a fun and memorable end to your meal at Clare Smyth’s Two Michelin Starred Core restaurant. An intense hazelnut mousse is encased in a delicate milk chocolate shell and topped with incredibly light – but also pleasingly crunchy – shards of malt, which melt away in the mouth to nothing.
Chocolate Cremeux, Caramelised Banana, Coffee & Porcini
This rich, indulgent and very satisfying pudding was on the menu when an inspector called at this bright, California-inspired restaurant. The smooth, deep chocolate mousse is set on a chocolate biscuit crumb with a subtle mushroom flavour. It comes with some finely diced caramelised bananas, a silky coffee cream, a shard or two of biscuit – and toffee for extra sweetness.
The Swiss Alps have come to Soho, which can mean only one thing: fondue…and we’re not just talking cheese, but chocolate too! The large heated pot contains a mix of milk and dark chocolate, into which you dip banana, super-fresh strawberries and soft homemade marshmallows. The result is fun, rich, smooth and delicious…a veritable piece of chocolate heaven.
Dark Chocolate Tart, Carrot, Sea Buckthorn, Orange
Olive Branch & Beech House, Clipsham
Dining at this characterful, ‘chocolate-box’ pub is always a delight, but never more so than when something chocolatey makes an appearance on the dessert menu. This tart is made up of a smooth milk chocolate cream on a soft sponge base and this is served with a refreshing complementary sorbet, while the sea buckthorn adds a sharp citrus kick.
Star Inn The City, York
Andrew Pern’s smart city brasserie serves a menu of hearty dishes which are full of flavour – and this chocolate pud was no exception. A slice of chocolate delice with a thin, crisp base, a smooth chocolate topping and a glistening dark chocolate glaze, this carefully created dessert was nicely complemented by peppermint sorbet and a crisp chocolate tuile.
Turkish Delight, Almond, Manjari, Chocolate, Rose.
Paschoe House, Bow
Elaborate, boldly flavoured, seasonal dishes are the order of the day at this homely Devonshire restaurant, housed in a country house hotel of the same name. This chocolate bar hides a light, creamy chocolate centre with a lovely layer of almond panna cotta. Arranged on top are Turkish Delight, almonds, crystallised rose petals and a quenelle of silky smooth almond ice cream.
70% Saint Dominique Chocolate Tart, Cherry Sorbet
Kentish Hare, Bidborough
This generous slice of well-cooked chocolate tart is topped with a rich chocolate ganache and served with cubes of aerated chocolate and a superbly flavoured cherry sorbet. This dessert makes a wonderfully chocolatey finish to a meal at this friendly, well-run pub, which not only serves delicious food, but also offers great value, particularly if you plump for the set menu.
Sesame and White Chocolate Pyramid, Guava Sorbet, Coconut, Chilli & Garlic
Midsummer House, Cambridge
Something a little bit different is this chocolate pyramid served as a pre-dessert at Daniel Clifford’s Two Michelin Starred restaurant in Cambridge. Inside is a creamy ball of guava sorbet and a tasty coconut foam, while around the top is a thin sugar collar sprinkled with sesame seeds, flecks of red chilli and a little black garlic, providing complementary flavours and a subtle warmth too.
Dark Chocolate and Cardamom Mousse, Pistachio Custard, Visciola Cherries
Pea Porridge, Bury St Edmunds
This dish is a must for anyone needing an intense chocolate hit: its presentation is understated, but wow, what flavours! The smooth chocolate mousse is topped with pistachios and has a subtle cardamom edge. Cherries make a fine accompaniment but what elevates the dish even more is the creamy pistachio custard, which creates a great contrast to the richness of the chocolate.
Chocolate Orange Parfait with Orange Blossom Sorbet
20 Stories, Manchester
A well-executed, incredibly light parfait with a good-looking glaze, a suitably strong orange flavour, a tangy orange gel and a super smooth sorbet. As the restaurant’s name suggests, it is situated high up, which means that the views are almost as impressive as the food, so order some of the signature cocktails and head for the fabulous roof terrace.