Food

Make this simple Chocolate Charcuterie Dessert Board for a sweet addition to your holiday cocktail party

Full of fresh fruit, boisterous cheeses and a chocolate salami (yes, that’s right), this recipe from Lisa Dawn Bolton makes a totally unique dessert.

Full of fresh fruit, boisterous cheeses and a chocolate salami, this recipe makes a totally unique dessert

(Photo credit: Lisa Dawn Bolton)

Two words for you. Chocolate. Salami. We never thought that seeing those terms together would actually pique our appetites, but the recipe in Lisa Dawn Bolton’s new cookbook On Boards, has us smitten. The unique treat — a mixture of dark chocolate, nuts and ladyfingers (with no meat in sight), comes as part of a larger spread full of equally enticing bites. With snackable sweets like vanilla wafers, fresh berries and a bold cheese thrown in there for balance, this easy-to-assemble board is the perfect dessert to pass around at your holiday cocktail party or serve on cozy wine night at home.

Chocolate Charcuterie Dessert Board with Chocolate Salami

By Lisa Dawn Bolton

This dessert board is bold and slightly adventurous. The showstopper, the chocolate salami, is guaranteed to impress your guests, yet requires just a handful of ingredients and about 20 minutes to prepare. The honey mellows the loud and boisterous blue cheese, one of the best varietals for a dessert board, making it a perfect pairing for the leftover wine from dinner or the sherry just being poured. Bright fresh fruit offers a lighter end to the meal, and the thin wafer cookies provide a textural twist to the board.

Ingredients

Chocolate Salami:

  • 1 ½ cups finely chopped dark chocolate (at least 60%)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp dark rum
  • 2 cups mixed nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 1 ¾ cups roughly crushed ladyfinger cookies, about 12
  • ⅓ cup icing sugar

For the board:

  • 3 cups red grapes
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 6 strawberries, stems attached
  • 8 oz aged blue cheese
  • 8 oz triple-créme Brie
  • 2 tbsp liquid honey
  • 16 vanilla wafer cookies
  • 4 oz dark chocolate bar with nuts and raisins
  • 8 salted caramels
  • Fresh mint, for garnish

Preparation

For the Chocolate Salami:

Add 2˝ of water to a medium-size pot and bring to an active simmer over high heat. Place a heat-safe bowl on top of the pot, ensuring the bowl does not touch the water, and turn down the heat to medium. Add the chocolate and butter. Stir gently until melted.

In a separate medium-size bowl, mix together the sugar, egg, egg yolk, vanilla and rum. Add to the melted chocolate and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth and shiny, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add the nuts and crushed cookies and gently fold in with a spatula until well combined.

Divide the mixture onto 2 pieces of parchment paper. Roll into a log shape of your desired circumference and length (3˝ × 10˝ works well). Twist the ends of the parchment tightly and place in the fridge overnight or in the freezer for 4 hours.

Pour the icing sugar into a shallow bowl large enough to hold 1 log. Unwrap the chocolate logs and gently roll them one by one in the icing sugar. At this point, the logs can be served or tied with kitchen twine to resemble a dried salami.

Keep the logs in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days or in the freezer for 3 months.

For the board:

Prepare the fruit: Cut the grapes into clusters of 4 to 6. Thread the blueberries onto toothpicks.

Break the chocolate bar into rustic smaller pieces.

Arrange all the components on and around your board in the style that works best for you. Drizzle the honey over the blue cheese. Garnish with fresh mint.

Notes:

  • You could replace the crushed ladyfingers in the Chocolate Salami with the same volume of other fillings such as marshmallows, candied ginger, dried fruit, graham crackers or digestive cookies. Just remember to crush or finely chop these alternatives. If you’d rather not use rum, you can use an additional 1 Tbsp vanilla extract instead.
  • Blue cheese is not always a crowd pleaser. It’s best to flank it with sweet elements that will balance its strong, creamy profile. If you’d rather not take a chance on blue, here are 4 other options: Aged Gouda (if it’s at least 40 weeks old, it will have a butterscotch nuttiness that pairs very well with crisp apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar), Comté (accessible and mild, it’s the perfect accompaniment to a bowl of sweet roasted nuts), chèvre (this tangy mild goat cheese is surprisingly great with very dark chocolate) or Pecorino (its brown-butter tones make it the perfect finish to a meal when drizzled with wildflower honey).

Excerpted from On Boards: Simple & Inspiring Recipe Ideas to Share at Every Gathering by Lisa Dawn Bolton. Copyright © 2018 Lisa Dawn Bolton. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Servings: Makes an 8 serving board & 2 Chocolate Salami logs

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