Ever have trouble selecting one dessert from a dessert menu? Why choose when you can have it all with a Dessert Charcuterie board? As the term ‘charcuterie’ means cured meat, purists would never call a board covered with sweets Dessert Charcuterie, but Google those two words and you will get a glimpse into Candy Land. Everyone in my house has a sweet tooth, and I am going to be wildly popular for putting together one of these confection combinations for our next celebration (which could be ‘because it’s Saturday’).
As with Traditional and Vegan boards, keep colour, texture and flavour profiles front and center when assembling your board.
Start by anchoring your board with dip bowls, 2-3 depending on the size of your board and bowls. A must have for my board will be a chocolate ganache dip, made with semi sweet and dark chocolate, as pure dark chocolate can be overpowering. Balance off this dark dip with a marshmallow dip and add a pop of colour with a strawberry whip dip. All these dips are only 2 ingredients – easy! – and not overly sweet.
And now for the dippers! Get a bit of crunch going with some ladyfingers, shortbread, Pocky sticks, and graham crackers (S’more dips!). Be sure to add in some salty flavours with pretzels and potato chips – chocolate covered potato chips are TO DIE FOR! Make your presentation interesting with layering and different textures, stand those Pocky sticks up in a shot glass, build a shortbread pyramid, fan the ladyfingers at both ends.
Add colour to your board with purple grapes, luscious red strawberries, thin slices of green apple or pears and mandarin orange segments. Dried apricots, figs, mango, and coconut are fabulous additions and easy to add from your pantry.
I love nuts, especially spiced pecans. A small bowl of these on your board brings a spark when paired with any of the other items.
Finish off your board with small treats, pick everyone’s favourite candy and fill in the small spaces – wine gums, wrapped caramels, Lindor chocolate balls and my son’s favourite, Sweet Fish and Sour Blast Buddies from Sweet Treats (yes, I do see the irony in the sugar free treats on a dessert board…)
I like to balance sweet and salty, decadent and healthy, smooth and crunchy to give everyone at the table choices that work for their taste. There are no rules, so just have fun…isn’t that what dessert is all about?
- Karen Short