The 2 Desserts Ina Garten Counts As Her All-Time Favorite

Ina Garten may be known for her catalog of rustic, savory dinner recipes — from her famous "Engagement Chicken" to her creamy mac and cheese — but if there's one thing the Barefoot Contessa will always make room for in the kitchen, it's dessert. The celebrity chef has frequently shared her passion for light, fruit-filled pastries inspired by her beloved Paris. However, when it comes to her all-time favorite desserts, there's a bit more decadence on the menu.

At a live event hosted alongside fellow foodie personality Nigella Lawson last fall, Garten revealed that her ultimate go-tos are, drumroll please, dark chocolate tarts and classic pound cakes — two desserts she happens to have her own yummy versions of.

And it wasn't the first time she's raved about them. In an Instagram post from 2021, the chef shared a snap of her signature chocolate tart, writing, "I'm obsessed. It's so easy to make and delicious!" Meanwhile, as fans of the Contessa can attest, she's been known to experiment with quite a few pound cake recipes over the years. However, she finally landed on her favorite iteration when working on her 2022 cookbook "Go-To Dinners." As she put it in the book, "Perfecting this recipe has been like a science project for me." Now, her vanilla pound cake is her best-loved.

The secret twists to her favorite treats

As always, we can count on Garten to put her own unique twist on timeless dishes — her favorite desserts included. Her chocolate tart, which she says was actually inspired by a recipe from chef Erin French's cookbook, "The Lost Kitchen," features a rich, creamy chocolate filling that anyone can get behind. But her surprising secret actually lies in the crust, which is made from none other than an entire box's worth of Nabisco chocolate wafers. Like the TV star always says, "Store-bought is fine."

In regard to Garten's "perfected" pound cake, it seems her eureka moment finally came when she added some unexpected ingredients to the cake batter: Cognac and lemon zest. Once she combined those additions with the vanilla extract included in her original recipe, she knew she "had achieved the ideal balance of flavors." Leave it to her to add a little boozy punch to her sweet creations.

Needless to say, Garten has quite the developed dessert palate, so if these two treats top her list of favorites, they're probably worth trying for yourself. Luckily, the chef has shared both recipes in her "Go-To Dinners" cookbook, if your taste buds are curious.