La Maison du Chocolat
A glossy layer of chocolate tops a pistachio mousse that's silky and intense—a velvety, full-bodied puree of toasted pistachios and little more. Meet La Maison du Chocolat's Pistache ($8.50). It's broken up by almond and hazelnut feuilletine and folded with fluffy chocolate sabayon. Soft biscuit dacquoise serves as the base, a nutty foundation with lingering flavors of vanilla. Best enjoyed in the back café, where it's served on fine china. Perhaps Caracas hot chocolate on the side, too?
It's not often that I make it out to Baked in Red Hook, but on the rare occasion I do, I always make sure to include a brownie with my order. A Sweet and Salty Brownie ($3), in particular. This baby would satisfy any fudge cravings; it's dark, and moist with caramel. A salty kick comes from fleur de sel, an ideal offset for a confection that might otherwise verge on too sweet. Take note—this is plenty rich, enough for two to share.
Take your pick from the Chocolate Cream Rolls by Li-Lac Chocolate, a West Village classic that has been around since 1923. That's the Classic Mousse Roll at left, a creamy whipped milk chocolate ganache dipped in dark chocolate. The French Roll on the right comes with a walnut-dotted dark chocolate center. My favorite of the set is the Hazelnut Truffle Roll—I'm generally not a milk chocolate fan, but gladly bend my rules for this utterly smooth Nutella-like milk chocolate and hazelnut ganache.
This Chocolate Crumb Cake ($4.75) isn't only gluten-free, it's also egg, dairy, and soy-free. And to top it off, agave-sweetened. (A mouthful indeed). From BabyCakes on the Lower East Side, the cake has a tender moist base, which starts off fudgy dark, turns into a more cakey layer, and finishes on chocolate crumbs and drizzles of dark chocolate sauce. It's good enough to hold its own against non-gluten free cakes.
The Chocolate Room
The fact that one of the best simple chocolate cakes in this city comes from The Chocolate Room in Brooklyn is no surprise. Three layers of dark chocolate cake, consistently moist, with an even, delicate crumb. It's inconspicuously tender and soft, a melt-in-your mouth type of cake. Frosting is buttery and even darker than the cake itself, smooth and rich, though not overwhelming in the least. It comes closer to a ganache than a classic frosting and is layered over with a gentle hand—thin layers of luxury.