Every year around Valentine’s Day, I get a flood of DMs, texts, and emails from friends and strangers asking for a good chocolate recipe.

As much as food media people like me would love to steer our fellow eaters toward, say, bright blood orange crepes, or maybe a raspberry tea cake, or an ambitious soufflé, having an arsenal of chocolate recipes is most important when you have a date to impress, a significant other to celebrate, or a kid to cheer.

So, for Valentine’s Day, I usually suggest my three standby recipes: A luscious pot de crème, dusted with confectioner’s sugar or a dollop of whipped cream. A decadent ricotta pie baked in chocolate shell that can be made from store-bought cookies. And a really good brownie that can stand on its own, or be topped with ice cream or more chocolate sauce.

Each of these recipes calls for high-quality dark chocolate, and can be kept simple or zhuzhed with raspberries, pomegranate seeds, chocolate shavings, or espresso beans. And if you’re just looking for love from your Instagram followers, try dropping a few flakes of sea salt in slow motion.

Chocolate Pots de Crème

Get your spoons ready for this luscious custard. Add a little love by topping with pomegranate seeds, a dollop of whipped cream, crème fraîche, or dark chocolate shavings.

Makes 2 6-ounce servings

3 large egg yolks

1/4 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup milk

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, (60 percent or higher), chopped

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Using an electric mixer, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, salt, and vanilla until pale (about 4 minutes).

In a pot, heat milk and cream until it just comes to a boil. Remove from heat.

Add chocolate, stirring until melted, smooth, and well combined. Add to egg mixture and mix until well combined.

Strain custard through a fine sieve into a bowl, then divide into heatproof vessels, such as ramekins or jars.

Place ramekins in a shallow dish and fill with water until it comes halfway up ramekins. Cover custards with foil.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until custard wiggles slightly. Let cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

To serve, add a dollop of whipped cream or crème fraîche, add shaved chocolate, or dust with espresso powder.

Chocolate Ricotta Pie

This pie gets its decadence from high-quality dark chocolate. You can make the crust from scratch or simply crush 8 ounces of store-bought chocolate cookies with 3 tablespoons melted butter, then press into a tart or cake pan. It’s rich, so you’ll only need a sliver.

For the crust:

8 ounces chocolate wafer cookies

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Pinch of salt

For the filling

1 ¼ cups bittersweet chocolate (60 percent or higher)

3 ounces cream cheese

3/4 cup whole milk ricotta

2 large eggs

2 egg yolks

¾ cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make the crust using a blender or food processor to finely crush the cookies. Add melted butter and pulse until a dough forms. Press dough into a cake pan or tart dish lined with parchment paper.

Make the filling: Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over simmering water. Set aside to cool slightly.

Using a blender, combine cream cheese, ricotta, eggs, and egg yolks until well-combined. Add melted chocolate, scraping down sides if necessary. Blend until well-incorporated. Pour filling into prepared tart pan.

Bake for a 30 minutes or until set. Let cool on a wire rack, then chill completely in refrigerator for two hours or overnight.

To serve, dust with confectioners sugar or top with chocolate dragees, whipped cream, crushed nuts, or raspberry sauce.

A Really Good Brownie

This moist, chewy double chocolate brownie is wonderful on its own, or as a building block for ice cream or caramel. For a sweeter brownie, use semisweet chocolate chips.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60 percent or higher), coarsely chopped

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)

¾ cup all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.

Melt butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Let cool slightly.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

Using an electric mixer with whisk attachment, beat sugar, eggs, and vanilla on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Beat in flour mixture, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a cake tester comes out with a few crumbs and top of brownies begins to crack, about 35 minutes.

Let cool in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living, 2004.