Q: Chef, Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I am looking for a fun dessert to make for my guy. He is fun and charming, and even though he is very mature, he is truly a kid at heart. Do you have any ideas for a great dessert that will satisfy his sweet tooth?

A: Do I have a chocolate lover’s treat for you! This will not only take care of his sweet tooth, it will bring a big smile to the kid inside. It has me remembering back to my days on the playground when the only thing I worried about was if Diana liked me as much as I liked her (or if my friends were going to tease me for holding hands with her at lunch). This recipe will warm the heart and brighten his eyes! Keep me posted!


2 ½ lbs. chocolate cake mix

5 medium eggs

14 oz. water

14 oz. vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS: Combine ingredients, follow package instructions on how to bake cupcakes (without a paper liner), and let cool. Cut the top off the cupcake to make it level. Pipe white chocolate mousse (see below) into chocolate cupcake with piping bag through the bottom of cupcake. Cover with chocolate ganache (recipe below).


8 oz. chocolate

8 oz. heavy cream

DIRECTIONS: Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, watching very carefully (if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot). Pour cream over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Stir.


1 quart heavy cream

1 lbs. + 6 ounces white chocolate

3 pieces gelatin sheet

DIRECTIONS: Soak the gelatin in ice water until soft. Heat 8 oz. of heavy cream to a boil. Add the softened gelatin, and then add the white chocolate. Stir until chocolate is melted and well combined. Whip the rest of cream to a soft peak and fold into the white chocolate mixture, being careful not to over-mix.

Chef John Johnson is River City Casino executive chef. Do you have a recipe request for Chef John? Email him at John.Johnson@rivercity.com