This time of year, do chocolate right

Here's a handy Halloween tip: Get the chocolate craving out of your system – and do it with good chocolate – before you're trapped in the house with 14 bags of mini candy bars that aren't worth the calories. Here are five ways to do it (and bear in mind that dessert lineups tend to shift):

1. The chocolate ganache torte at Carpe Diem (1535 Elizabeth Ave.). One of the handful of things that has survived all three incarnations of this Charlotte institution, and there's good reason for that.

2. Chocolate mousse at Terra (545 Providence Road), which is intense enough to balance a little dessert wine, if you're so inclined.

3. The seven-layer chocolate cake at Mickey & Mooch (Huntersville and the Arboretum), a Goliath of a thing. Plan to take a good bit home. Even if you're sharing. With three other people.

4. Anything of the chocolate persuasion at Nolen Kitchen (2839 Selwyn Ave.) – currently, there's a pot de crème with bittersweet chocolate cake, coconut sauce and chocolate sorbet – but especially with a little of that Trentadue chocolate port they keep on hand.

5. Salted caramel hot chocolate at Starbucks. I know, I know. But it's topped with salted caramel.