Goat cheese flavorfully sharpens and shapes this tower of a conversation piece filled, appropriately enough, with passion fruit.
Aquavit Café , 65 E. 55th St., nr. Madison Ave.; 212-307-7311 (View Menu)
Simple but intense, this fancified snack pack has a mousselike consistency that allows the pudding to keep its shape even after repeated dippings.
Café Cluny, 284 W. 12th St., at W. 4th St.; 212-255-6900 (View Menu)
Fresh Fruit Shake
Ogling one another over a milk shake is oh-so cute and practically an American courtship ritual, so grab a pair of straws and sip to your heart’s content.
The Soda Shop, 125 Chambers St., nr. W. Broadway; 212-571-1100 (View Menu)
This island of meringue afloat in a puddle of crème anglaise has an airy consistency that will prove a light finish for those wary of an overly filling dessert.
Casimir, 103 Ave. B, nr. 6th St.; 212-358-9683 (View Menu)
Don’t take this dessert too seriously. Will Goldfarb’s artful chemistry set is a playful presentation of cotton candy, marshmallows, and milk jam.
Room 4 Dessert, 17 Cleveland Pl., nr. Kenmare St.; 212-941-5405 (View Menu)
One-Bite Chocolate Lollipops
These inspired novelties, filled with warm chocolate ganache, will surprise you and your date with their explosive nature.
Blaue Gans, 139 Duane St., nr. Church St.; 212-571-8880 (View Menu)
Far from the big, messy Italian-style versions, these French pastries are compact and delicate. Adding a touch of class (to the mall setting), the waiter drizzles Valrhona chocolate upon presentation.
Bouchon Bakery, 10 Columbus Circle, nr. 59th St.; 212-823-9366 (View Menu)
Tahitian Vanilla-Bean Kulfi
Pastry chef Melissa Walnock complements India’s answer to ice cream with seasonal sauces then gilds her creamy, conical kulfi with a flake of gold leaf.
Tabla Bread Bar, 11 Madison Ave., at 25th St.; 212-889-0667 (View Menu)
Torta di Pere e Cioccolato
Chopped pears (and chocolate) instead of apples turn the familiar torte into something uniquely addictive, so it’s good that there’s enough for two.
al di là, 248 Fifth Ave., at Carroll St., Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-783-4565 (View Menu)
Fresh, evaporated, and condensed milk combine in a traditional Latin cake that’s spongy, not soggy. You couldn’t end your evening with a sweeter spoonful.
La Palapa, 359 Sixth Ave., nr. 4th St.; 212-243-6870 (View Menu)