Want to get on Santa’s good side for Christmas this year? Would you like to be the hit at the office or family holiday party?
Meet the dessert choco-cuterie. Instead of a traditional charcuterie board, skip the fancy meats and make it all about dessert!
Not only is a choco-cuterie dessert board a favorite, it can also be a stunning centerpiece.
First let’s think of the chocolate to add on your board! It should be high quality with both dark and milk chocolate. For dark, have an array of sweet and bitter. Think 90 percent cocoa and a milder option like 50 percent cocoa. Think infused chocolate pieces, too, like spicy cayenne pepper chocolate.
As with any good charcuterie board: The devil is in the details. Think texture: creamy, soft, crunchy, salty, sweet and hints of savory. Example: candied pecans for the crunch and the salt. Lining any board with almond-covered toffee also provides additional crunch.
Now let’s begin with a Chocolate Fruit Board. Who wouldn’t love to nibble on fresh fruit, such as strawberries, figs and pineapple thoughtfully mingled with loads of, you guessed it, lots and lots of CHOCOLATE.! This unique sampling plate will add a ton of color to the room and provide healthy fruit alternatives for those who can withstand the temptation of more calorie-laden boards (not that we mind extra indulgence during the holidays!)
A fruit board can have a theme of chocolate dipping sauces that, of course, work perfectly with bigger pieces of fruit or with almonds and...cheese! Gruyère, Gouda, Cheddar and Parmesan are interesting choices with melted chocolate.
Also, yogurt-covered pretzels make a pleasing visual counterpoint and they are extra fun when double dipped into chocolate! Chocolate-covered raisins make a nice addition, too.
When it comes to items for any dessert board, chocolate-covered biscotti is another holiday favorite. And if you include shortbread and, holiday ginger or almond cookies, you may need a bigger board, but you’ll have something for everyone this season.
We also LOVE hot chocolate boards with flavored mini-marshmallows, dark and regular cocoa, peppermint, cinnamon sticks, rock candy, maple sugar, raw sugar and regular sugar!
You may want to pair your dessert board with a nice fruity wine, mulled cider, egg nog or hot tea. Even coffee pulls all the flavors together.
The holiday-themed Choco-cuterie board will bring everybody around for dessert. What’s nice is you don’t have to limit it to the December holidays. You can simply rearrange your board for a tantalizing Valentine’s Day theme going heavy on the strawberries.
Back to the chocolate (it is called choco-cuterie board for that reason). A melty board is an ugly board so remember to make your board as late in the day as possible before serving.
Now, onto the suggested boards:
A board of all CHOCOLATE!
We don’t call it a choco-cuterie board for anything! A thoughtful blend of chocolate choices will guarantee you a flock of holiday revelers around the dessert board. Here are some more choices:
- Dark chocolate squares
- Chocolate dipping sauce
- White chocolate
- Milk chocolate
- Chocolate covered cherries
- Special chocolates (dusted with sea salt or filled with caramel)
- Chocolate covered coffee/espresso beans
- Peanut butter cups
- Candied ginger chocolate
Fresh Fruit & Cheese:
Of course, it not only has to look good, any board has to taste great and complement everything else around it. Fresh fruit drizzled with honey and balsamic, served with goat cheese helps cleanse the palate between nibbles, as well. Some go-to’s:
- We love fresh figs drizzled first with honey served fresh or roasted at 350 for 30 minutes
- Large chunks of fruit like pineapple, melon or pears
- Strawberries (Don’t cut the tops off if you intend to dunk them in chocolate sauce!)
- Purple grapes (Green will work, too.)
- Fresh ginger
- With figs, soft goat cheese is amazing.
Add the honey and balsamic drizzles to all of it, and it makes for a treat everyone will remember. Pairing with chocolate chip biscotti is a good choice for a fruit board.
Gotta Have That Crunch:
Again, what makes any board great is the perfect blend. Since we’re dealing with desserts here, adding the crunch texture to all the chocolate helps bring variety to the board. Some examples:
- Nuts -almonds, honey-roasted peanuts, cashews, pistachios, Brazilian nuts, and chestnuts
- Pretzel variety including peanut butter filled, salted or plain (yogurt and chocolate covered pretzels will stand out and nearly everybody loves them)
- Caramelized popcorn
Holiday Cookie Board:
If this is a holiday dessert board, have a small sample of standards to accent your board.
- Gingerbread man cookies
- Holiday-themed sugar cookies
- Snowball cookies
- Hershey’s Kiss Peanut butter cookies
- Or dot the board with whatever your traditional holiday cookies are!
A S’more Sidebar Station:
Provide bamboo skewers and tea candles for getting those marshmallows golden brown and be sure to have everything prepped to minimize mess.
- Graham crackers
- Fluffy marshmallows
- Chocolate bars (milk melts easiest)
- Chocolate covered pretzels
- Fresh strawberries
- White chocolate cookies
Lastly, we love day after Christmas morning breakfast boards!
Think a simple, yet sweet breakfast theme of a pancake board where your loved one or friends can choose fun toppings for pancakes! We say berries, pineapple, melon, and of course fresh, cold butter patties and maple syrup. Putting it on a board just makes the presentation special.
ENJOY charcuterie, sweet style!