Countdown to Valentine's Day: There are two days left to buy something (anything!) for your beloved. And what better way to say I love you than heart-shaped brownies spiced with red mole from Valerie Confections? Or a heart-shaped (yes, heart-shaped goes a long way) cake of dense chocolate mousse, raspberry compote, chocolate sponge cake, ganache and raspberry gelee from Lady M? Or strawberry cupcakes, strawberry shortcake, chocolate caramel crunch cake for two, chocolate-dipped strawberries, passion fruit tart....
And if sparkly diamonds aren't happening, then sparkly shortbread will have to do.
Here are 16 bakeries that will help you get through V-Day:
Bo Nuage, the bakery specializing in white-chocolate-covered, whipped-cream-topped meringues, will offer a special black forest nuage cake with dark chocolate and cherry, individual heart-shaped nuages ($6) and one to in a 4-inch heart ($22), along with its signature round nuage cakes, which also come in gluten- and dairy-free versions. 8010 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, (310) 880-2065, bonuage.com.
Bouchon Bakery's Valentine's Day specials include conversation heart shortbread cookies with the messages "Love You," "Je t'aime," "Text Me" or "Be Mine" ($3.75 and $6.50); heart sugar cookie sandwiches filled with chocolate ganache and topped with red sugar ($7 for two); chocolate caramel crunch cake for two filled with chocolate caramel ($20); and TKO hearts -- two chocolate sable cookies with white chocolate ganache ($3.75). Open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Friday and Saturday until 10 p.m.). 235 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, (310) 271-9910 ext. 621, bouchonbakery.com.
At Chaumont Bakery in Beverly Hills, every day's Valentine's Day with its selection of individual pastries and gateaux. But for the holiday there will be heart-shaped rochers for the holiday with hazelnut mousse and chocolate biscuit, along with eclairs ($3.80); caramel cream puff ($5); chestnut emulation with chestnut mousse, crispy biscuit and chocolate praline ($7); tarte tatin caramelized apple tart with puff pastry and whipped cream; strawberry shortcake with almond powder biscuit (it's flourless), light vanilla cream, chocolate, strawberries and roasted almonds ($7). 143 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, (310) 550-5510, chaumontbakery.com.
Clementine Bakery in Century City has Valentine's Day sweets covered, with its S'Amores -- marshmallow and chocolate sandwiched between two heart-shaped homemade graham crackers ($8.95); conversation dark chocolate cupcakes with pastel frosting ($3.25 each or $36 per dozen); strawberry cupcakes ($3); hand-decorated short bread hearts (small, $0.95; medium, $1.50; and large, $2); a chocolate chip cookie jar with 20 cookies packed in an old-fashioned jar and tied with a bow ($35); chocolate-covered cherry cookies with Morello cherries and fudge icing ($1.75); bake-at-home Valentine shortbread ($12/dozen); Valentine assortments with sparkly pink and red shortbread hearts and chocolate brownie hearts ($4.95 to $52); heart-shaped chocolate truffle torte ($5.95); and pies for two, including banana cream, key lime, chocolate cream and apple ($8.95 to $12.95). 1751 Ensley Ave., Los Angeles, (310) 552-1080, clementineonline.com.
At Duff's Cakemix, decorate your own Valentine's Day cake on Friday or Saturday. Cakemix provides all the decorations for your V-Day dream cake or cupcake, with staff who will help you apply fondant or even "spray paint" your haute gateau. If you don't have time to decorate one, the bakery also will be offering Valentine-themed custom cupcakes and cakes for sale. Prices vary depending on size of cake and decorating time. Hours on Friday are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. 8302 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, (323) 650-5555, duffscakemix.com.
La Monarca Bakery has sweets for your Valentine: chocolate-covered fresh strawberries available in both white and dark chocolate, heart butter cookies, mini strawberry shortcake bites and a Valentine's Day strawberry shortcake. Available at all La Monarca Bakery locations: see lamonarcabakery.com.
For Valentine's Day, Lady M Confections offers its heart-shaped cakes in Couronne du Chocolat made of layers of chocolate sponge cake, dark chocolate mousse and a coating of chocolate ganache, chocolate crumbs and white chocolate shavings; Couronne au Framboise, a dense chocolate mousse on top of a thin layer of raspberry compote and chocolate sponge cake, finished with ganache and raspberry gelee; Gateau au Chocolat with alternating layers of dark chocolate sponge cake and crushed walnuts folded into a velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a pour of chocolate ganache. 3-inch cakes are $9; 6-inch, $40; and 9-inch, $70 to $80. 8718 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, (424) 279-9495, ladym.com.
Silver Lake bakery Lark Cake Shop is making chocolate-dipped strawberries ($1.75 each or $10 for a box of six), small ice box cakes decorated with hearts (box of four for $18), sugar cookies ($13.50 for six) and love-themed decorated cupcakes ($3.50 each). 3337 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 667-2968, larkcakeshop.com.
Little Dom's in Los Feliz is offering pastry chef Ann Kirk's sarcastic conversation heart cookies with messages such as "Get Lost" and "Bite Me." 2128 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 661-0055, littledoms.com.
Proof Bakery's Na Young Ma is planning Valentine's Day treats such as chocolate-pistachio eclairs and banana-espresso eclairs ($4), blood orange chocolate cardamom cake ($5/slice), passionfruit meringue tarts ($5), fromage blanc cheesecake with candied kumquats ($6/slice) and heart-shaped sable cookies ($2.50). 3156 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 664-8633, proofbakeryla.com.
Republique's baked goods from pastry chef Margarita Manzke are a special treat any day; you won't disappoint your Valentine with creme brulee bombolini (doughnuts) filled with custard and topped with caramelized sugar, chocoolate crackle cookies or even blueberry brioche streusel. 624 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, (310) 362-6115, republiquela.com.
Semi Sweet Bakery has heart-shaped ding-a-ling cakes in strawberry, chocolate strawberry or red velvet with conversation heart messages ($5 and $7.50); a Valentine's Day box of assorted pastries with heart-shaped tri-color (red, pink and yellow) almond, chocolate and raspberry cookies, brownies and chocolate financiers ($16); and a box of mini heart brownies ($17). 105 E. 6th St., Los Angeles, (213) 228-9975, semisweetbakery.com.
Short Cake's Valentine's Day treats include heart-shaped chocolate cake with house-made raspberry lavender jam ($15), heart linzer cookies ($2 each or six for $10), heart brownies and brunettes ($5 per bag) and hazelnut financiers ($1 for mini/$2 for regular). 6333 W. 3rd St., Stall #316, Los Angeles, (323) 761-7976, shortcakela.com.
Sycamore Kitchen pastry chef Karen Hatfield puts out a variety of Valentine's Day treats for the holiday, including heart-shaped cookies, such as German chocolate with caramel filling, and cakes for two. 143 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 939-0151, sycamorekitchen.com.
Village Bakery & Cafe -- which always goes "bananas," as owner Barbara Monderine puts it, for the holidays -- is offering a variety of Valentine's Day heart-shaped and love-letter decorated cookies, or custom cookies. 3119 Los Feliz Blvd., (323) 662-8600, villagebakeryandcafe.com.
Valerie Confections has Valentine's pie, with a filling of rhubarb, strawberry and rose with a heart cut out of the center of the top crust ($30); heart-shaped sugar cookies in a red-bow-tied bag (two for $5); heart-shaped mole brownies ($4), available exclusively at its downtown location; as well as Valerie's collection of chocolates and petit fours. 3360 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, (213) 739-8149; Grand Central Market, 317 S. Broadway Street, #E3-4, Los Angeles, (213) 621-2781; 1665 Echo Park Ave., Los Angeles, (213) 250-9365; valerieconfections.com.