Chocolate—there’s nothing like it. For some, it’s their one guilty pleasure. For others, it’s the perfect antidote for a bad day. No matter what your level of chocolate-loving is, we tend to think its divine in all of its variations and forms. From decadent dark chocolate tortes to molten chocolate cake, here’s a sampling of the best chocolate creations that White Bear Lake has to offer.
CHOCOLATE VESUVIO LAVA CAKE
For the chocolate lovers who don’t mess around, we recommend the chocolate Vesuvio ($6). Paying homage to the majestic Mount Vesuvius, Roma’s chocolate-filled version is just as impressive. “It’s dense and packed with triple chocolate flavor,” owner Brian Pilrain says. The flourless chocolate cake is served hot with a molten chocolate center, flooding your plate with a pool of chocolate once you dig in. It’s served with a chocolate drizzle, and then topped with vanilla ice cream for the perfect balance of flavors. 460 Stillwater Road, Willernie; 651.653.4733.
TUXEDO TRUFFLE MOUSSE TORTE
The dessert list at Café Cravings is sure to knock your chocolate-loving socks off. One must-try is the tuxedo truffle mousse torte, which is just as deliciously decadent as it sounds ($48). Surprise your special someone with this dreamy dessert that features layers of creamy dark chocolate and white chocolate mousse floating between three layers of marbled white and dark chocolate cake. The pièce de résistance—dark chocolate ganache swirled with white chocolate. Be careful–you might just faint with delight after your first bite of this chocolate beauty. 1600 County Road E, White Bear Lake; 651.482.7742.
LE PETIT ANTOINE
Chef Arnaud de Rambures began cooking with his mom when he was just 6 years old. And with a self-proclaimed guilty pleasure for desserts, it’s no surprise that his White Bear Lake bakery has become so popular. His lovely assortment of French-inspired desserts definitely didn’t forget about the chocolate lovers. Le Petit Antoine is a delicious pastry composed of layers of crispy praline, hazelnut dacquoise ( dessert cake), chocolate cream, and milk chocolate caramel/ chantilly ($5.95). Bon appétit! 4733 Highway 61, White Bear Lake; 651.653.5658.
BLACK FOREST TORTE
Grandma’s Bakery serves up a plethora of baked goods from cakes and cookies to doughnuts and danishes. Cakes are one of the bakery’s specialties—from plain to fancy, they can do it all. On the fancy end, we love the black forest torte ($12.95 for a six-inch, $15.95 for an eight-inch). This crowd-pleaser features Grandma’s rich, moist chocolate cake between layers of creamy fudge and cherries. It’s then iced with whipped light, creamy whipped topping and chocolate drizzle. In a word—yum! 2184-B Fourth St., White Bear Lake; 651.762.2900.
Nothing satisfies a chocolate-lover’s appetite quite like a piece of rich, gooey fudge. “When you think of fudge, you probably think of a little candy shop in Duluth or in a small little town that you would visit when you were a kid,” culinary director Rachael Perron says. “This is real fudge, shop-quality candy made locally in North Branch—the traditional way.” Kowalski’s features the good old-fashioned chocolate fudge of course, but make sure to try some of their other popular flavors like chocolate walnut and maple nut ($5.99 for a package of a 10–12 pieces). 4391 S. Lake Ave., White Bear Lake; 651.429.5913.
The great thing about chocolate is that you can enjoy it in all of its various forms. For a little liquid heaven, stop by the Coffee Cottage in Mahtomedi. The zebra mocha is a clear customer favorite, featuring milk chocolate and white chocolate along with a kick of espresso ($3.45, small, $4.20, large). “We use Ghirardelli dark and white chocolate powder, which gives these drinks a decadent taste,” owner Janel Donegan says. The dollop of whipped cream on top doesn’t hurt, either. 88 Mahtomedi Ave., Mahtomedi; 651.407.0942.
DEATH BY CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER
One of the world’s most sinful combinations of flavors might just be peanut butter and chocolate, as far as we’re concerned. And Donatelli’s sure got it right when they came up with their death by chocolate peanut butter—or morte di cioccolato e burro di arachidi ($8). This dish features homemade devil’s food cake alongside vanilla and chocolate peanut butter ice cream. It’s topped with Mrs. Richardson’s hot fudge, Reese’s peanut butter, whipped cream and Reese’s Pieces. Share it with the family for a whole table of smiling faces. 2692 County Road E, White Bear Lake; 651.777.9199.