You’ve heard about charcuterie boards, right? They’re only the quintessential addition to any picnic, especially if you’re looking for finger foods. You make your board even more special by getting some pieces from a charcuterie of the month club.
The boards are amazing, as they give guests plenty of different foods to try, including cheeses, dips, meat, and more. Charcuterie boards are great for mixing and matching too. And, of course, they simply look stunning.
So then, what is a dessert charcuterie board? Not surprisingly, this type of board focuses on sweet ingredients, rather than savory ones. The board can be a stunning centerpiece for an event or a picnic.
What Are Dessert Charcuterie Boards?
Honestly, dessert charcuterie boards don’t require much explanation. You’re simply making a board that relies on sweet ingredients rather than savory ones. You might include desserts that you buy or ones you make at home instead.
There’s more to it than just throwing sweet treats on a plate, though. Doing that is likely to end up in a mess and isn’t that exciting.
Instead, the best boards take some thought and planning. You’ll need to choose ingredients that are delicious and look good. You’ll also need to think about how you arrange the board.
Many people start by choosing a theme, like romance or Halloween. This way the foods you choose naturally complement each other visually or in terms of flavor.
Don’t worry though, dessert charcuterie boards aren’t difficult at all. There’s no shortage of ingredients that you can include and plenty of room for personal touches.
Delicious Ingredients For Your Board
Chocolate Covered Fruit
Fruit is always a delicious treat. Covering it in chocolate makes it even better.
Chocolate covered strawberries are the traditional approach, especially if you’re trying to create a romantic experience. However, that’s just one option.
You can dip other fruit in chocolate too, like dried fruit, mandarins, and even grapes. You might even include chocolate sauce on your board and allow guests to dip their own fruit.
Chocolate Dipped Pretzels
You’ll often have multiple chocolate-focused treats on your dessert board. Chocolate dipped pretzels are a fantastic example, as they’re tasty and crunchy.
You can experiment with styles too, like fully dipping some pretzels in chocolate and only partly dipping others. Pretzel sticks are excellent dipped in chocolate too.
You might also go with yogurt covered pretzels or plain pretzels. They’re still delicious and nicely complement the dessert theme.
It’s hard to have a dessert board without some type of fresh fruit. The fruit adds bright colors into the mix, along with some much-needed acidity.
The sharpness of fruit helps to balance out the creaminess of other ingredients, like chocolate. Almost any type of fruit will work well on the board, as long as it looks good.
Berries are an excellent starting point, though. They’re easy to eat and have a rich flavor. Plus, they feel like a special treat, which makes them even more attractive.
Popcorn is another great addition. It provides some crunch and is much lighter than many other ingredients.
There are plenty of styles too. The simplest is having lightly salted popcorn. You could experiment with flavoring ingredients, like parmesan and herbs, or perhaps nutritional yeast.
Options like caramel popcorn, chocolate popcorn, and the like can also be an amazing treat.
Caramel Or Chocolate Sauce
Including a few bowls on your charcuterie board helps to break it up and make it look better. So, why not put a sweet sauce in one of them?
Either caramel sauce or chocolate sauce will work well here. Guests can then dip any of the other ingredients into the sweet sauce.
You could take things a step further and have some chocolate fondue as part of your board. This would make the whole board simply stunning.
Why not include some cookies on your board? They’re always delicious and come in plenty of different types and flavors.
It helps to find cookies that are a little bit unusual. So, if it’s the fall, you might want a fall-themed option, like pumpkin spice cookies or cinnamon cookies. After all, regular chocolate chip cookies get pretty boring after a while.
You could also turn to macarons, shortbread cookies, or snickerdoodles. If you’re stuck, why not trawl the internet for new recipes or join a cookie of month club?
Nuts are a delicious source of protein and healthy fats. They’re outstanding on your board, as most other dessert foods don’t offer much protein.
Having some protein in the mix helps to keep guests satisfied and reduces the risk of overdoing it. You’re also getting some saltiness from the nuts, which is a much needed contrast to all the sugar and chocolate.
High-quality chocolate truffles are the perfect way to make your dessert board a bit more special. If you’re going for a romantic board, you might choose to buy a small box of truffles from an artisan company.
After all, quality is much more important than quantity. A few amazing truffles will be much more special than an entire board of mediocre ones.
Tiny Pieces Of Candy
Any small type of candy will work well on a dessert board. This includes Reese’s pieces, peanut butter cups, M&Ms, milk duds, and anything else you can think of.
Most of the time it’s best to take the candy out of the box or wrapper first, then pile them onto the board.
Think about the appearance of the board too. What colors are going to look good together?
What about a theme? If you’re making a board for kids, then brightly colored jolly ranchers, M&Ms, and skittles could be fun. For adults, though, you might want a more refined board that focuses on high-quality chocolate and fresh fruit.
Crackers aren’t exactly dessert, but this actually makes them perfect. They act as a fantastic savory contrast to all the sweetness of your board.
Small crackers work the best, as they’re easy for people to eat. Think about the flavors as well. Herbed or salty crackers can be exceptional on any type of dessert charcuterie board. Cheesy ones are popular too.
Rather than having cookies on your board, what about small brownie bites instead? They’re often fudgy and chocolaty, which is exactly what you’re looking for.
There are plenty of brownie styles out there, including blondies, cream cheese brownies, chocolate mint brownies, Oreo brownies, and many more. Why not experiment with new flavors for your board?
Mini cheesecakes are another option. These are easy to eat and can be delightful.
They’re also a little bit different. After all, cookies, chocolates, and brownies tend to be brought out for every occasion imaginable. It’s easy to get a bit sick of them.
Other Mini Desserts
Almost any type of finger food sized dessert can be easily included on a dessert board. This includes mini cupcakes, pies, and even tiny cakes.
Basically, you’re just looking for desserts that people can pick up and eat without any problem.
The dessert you choose might be based on the theme of your board. For example, apple pies and pecan pies are amazing in the fall, while they mightn’t be the right choice in summer.
Here’s another fun sweet treat. Not only do marshmallows taste delicious, but you can also easily dip them in chocolate sauce or whatever other sauce you have on hand.
Any Special Chocolates
Let’s end by talking about chocolate, once again.
Chocolate often features heavily on these boards, partly because it is such a popular dessert and partly because it contrasts so well with fresh fruit.
The best boards don’t overdo it with chocolate, but include a few different styles. For example, you might add a tiny box of expensive chocolates, some dark chocolate with raspberry pieces, some chocolate caramels, or whatever else grabs your attention.
You might also turn to alternative types of chocolate, like vegan chocolate or sugar free chocolate. Anything you want is going to be perfect.
Don’t forget about wrapped chocolates.
Options like chocolate kisses and Ghirardelli chocolate squares look amazing when still in their wrapping, so there’s no need to unwrap them to put them on the board.
How To Make Your Charcuterie Board Spectacular
Decide On A Theme
The best charcuterie boards are those that have some type of theme. This stops you from ending up with a complete mishmash of ingredients.
Chocolate and berries is a common theme, especially for a romantic treat. This type of board works well, as there are so many different types of chocolate to choose from, including chocolate truffles, filled chocolate, chocolate covered pretzels, and dark chocolate squares.
You could also go with an event-based theme. Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and Easter are common themes, but with a little creativity you could adapt almost any other holiday to a charcuterie board too.
Vary The Colors And Textures
Charcuterie boards look best when there’s plenty of variation. This includes having different colors and textures. You’ll also need to break things up.
For example, rather than having a single bowl of berries on the board, you might have small collections of strawberries or raspberries in multiple places, giving you bright spots of color.
Including some bowls on the board helps as well. You could easily include chocolate or caramel dip in these, or even just fruit. Regardless of what’s in them, the bowls help to break up the board and keep things interesting.
Add Some Decorations
You can also add items to help decorate your board. Edible flowers are a fantastic choice here. Or, for a fall board, what about mini pumpkins?
Think About Quality
Finally, think about the quality of your ingredients. Cheap ingredients can bring down the whole tone of your board, making it much less appealing.
Honestly, it’s better to have a smaller board, filled with a few special ingredients, rather than a large one that’s jam packed with unexceptional treats.
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