04/13/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

12 Romantic Desserts for a Chocolate-Free Valentine's Day


If you don't like creamy, luscious chocolate desserts, well, you're crazy. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't be allowed to have dessert on Valentine's Day. Here are some festive ideas for sweets to share with your sweetie.

(Pictured left to right):

Row 1:
Hot Milk Cakes with Strawberries and Cream
The moist, delicate cake gets its name from the hot milk that is added to the batter just before baking.

Bosc Pears in Rose Wine with Persimmon Ice Cream
A stunning dessert that lets two fruits--pears and persimmons--shine.

Lemon and White Chocolate Mousse Parfaits with Strawberries
These tart and creamy parfaits have a luxurious texture. You'll need an instant-read or candy thermometer.

Row 2:

Rum, Caramel, and Banana Bread Pudding
This decadent dessert is basically Bananas Foster--the New Orleans favorite--in bread-pudding form. The caramel sauce is especially rich and flavorful, thanks to a splash of dark rum.

Raspberry-Lemon Heart Cakes
These pretty, heart-shaped cakes are perfect for the kids to make.

Cranberry and Tart Apple Gelées
Jewel-like gelees are easy to make at home.

Row 3:

Sliced Strawberries with Grand Marnier Zabaglione
Zabaglione is a light, foamy custard. In this elegant dessert, warm Grand Marnier-spiked custard is spooned over fresh strawberries just before serving.

Marsala and Mascarpone Mousse with Pound Cake and Berries
This creamy, sweet dessert requires very little work because it calls for purchased pound cake.

Upside-Down Mascarpone Cheesecake
The cheese filling is spooned over red grapes--not a crust--and the fruit becomes its crowning glory.

Row 4:

Buttermilk Panna Cotta

Here's a simple dessert that can be prepared in advance.

Meyer Lemon Custard Cakes
This comforting dessert is a cross between between a soufflé and a cake.

Strawberry Tiramisu
Prepare this dessert a day ahead so all of the elements can meld and the ladyfingers get a chance to soften fully.

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