Chocolatey Recipes for Young Professionals

When you're in college, you can live off a diet of ramen and peanut butter and nobody will think twice. But when you level-up to the "young professional" stage of life, suddenly you're expected to be able to cook something fancier than boxed mac 'n cheese.

Luckily, adulting doesn't mean you have to attend a fancy culinary school. Instead, mastering a handful of classic recipes (with a chocolate twist) is all it takes to impress dates, dinner guests, and your parents. You can kick off your culinary education with these six recipes, which showcase chocolate in both savory and ever-so-sweet forms.

Beef Chili with Pancetta, Ancho, and Chocolate

Plain ol’ chili is so 2018. Regular chili gets a refined twist in this recipe, which will “wow” dinner guests and satisfy any chili craving. This beefy chili is packed with big flavor thanks to ancho chiles, dark beer, unsweetened chocolate, and a cornucopia of spices including black pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano, and red chili powder. Add in some pancetta, and you’ve got yourself a drool-worthy dinner.

Chocolate Coffee Rubbed Steak with Coconut

If the thought of cooking steak sends you running for the hills, stop running. Then turn around and start making this recipe. It’s delicious and you won’t regret it. Plus, it only takes 20 minutes to whip up—and you probably already have most of the ingredients in your pantry. Those ingredients include ground coffee, unsweetened cocoa powder, coconut sugar, coconut flakes, New York Strip steak, and a slew of spices including cinnamon, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper.

Chocolate Marbled Banana Bread

Few things say “I care about you” like presenting someone with a loaf of home baked banana bread (including someone like yourself, because #selfcare ). If you’re craving comfort food with a grown up twist, then whip up some chocolate marbled banana bread with relatively healthy ingredients, which include whole wheat flour, plain yogurt, bananas, and antioxidant-rich semisweet chocolate. If you love it, double the recipe and freeze the extra loaf for a rainy day!

Dark Chocolate Chip and Sea Salt Cookies

Everyone—young, old, and every age in between—should have a solid chocolate chip cookie recipe under their belt, and this recipe does not disappoint. Think of it as a slightly more refined version of the chocolate chip cookies you knew and loved as a kid. Semisweet chocolate and sea salt add a little extra flair to this recipe, which yields a thin, crispy-and-soft-in-all-the-right-places texture with rich (and delicious!) flavor.

Deep Chocolate Brownies for Grownups

While some of these recipes are “for grownups” because they use healthier or otherwise elevated ingredients, this one qualifies because of one simple ingredient: booze. Grand Marnier ups the tastiness (and the alcohol content) of these brownies, not to mention the yumminess of dark chocolate, almond flour, and toasted walnuts.

Nigella Lawson’s Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake

Just as with chocolate chip cookies, every grownup should be able to whip up a basic chocolate cake. This delectable recipe delivers a dense, rich, moist, chocolatey cake that’s way more adult than the sprinkle-covered confections of childhood. A lot of that richness is thanks to bittersweet chocolate, which also ensures the cake will be loaded with plenty of natural, chocolatey flavor.