How to make a charcuterie-style Hot Chocolate Dessert Board
We don’t generally hop on trends here at Pickle Planet HQ, but we couldn’t resist a New Brunswick twist on the latest one – hot chocolate grazing boards!
This is THE perfect treat — ideal for Christmas Eve cuddles or New Year’s Eve family fun. We also suggest tucking the ingredients away to make the first snow day of the season extra special!
Another bonus: you could box up the main ingredients, throw in a special tray or display board, and gift this to friends or family for a socially-distanced virtual party where you all make your own hot chocolate charcuterie-style boards at home & gather online to toast each other.
For this version, we’re showcasing New Brunswick ingredients – we’d love to know in the comments what goodies you’d include!
WHAT MARSHMALLOWS TO USE FOR A DESSERT BOARD
No hot chocolate party board is complete without amazing marshmallows, right?!
Now, you don’t need to get this intense, but for my New Brunswick Hot Chocolate Board I made my own marshmallows. This was another huge trend a few years ago but I never tried it until now. It was much easier than I expected! They took a long time to set & didn’t cut as easily as I hoped, but the end result was amazing.
I used Martha Stewart’s recipe – and I promise that’s not as scary as it sounds! I split her recipe into half, then used red & green food colouring to mix things up a bit. I was going for more vibrant colours, but I forgot to stock up on food colouring. The more pastel tones worked nicely, though. I loved having these big square marshmallows to fill out the hot chocolate board!
FANCY NEW BRUNSWICK HOT CHOCOLATE
For the hot chocolate itself, you can go simple or all out.
A great go-to for a party is a slow cooker hot chocolate; I’ve made this one to great results. To keep the New Brunswick theme, source your chocolate locally (we suggest a trip to Shediac’s Adorable Chocolate if you can make it, or simply head to their website to order), and don’t forget to pick up Barbours vanilla, too.
For a true New Brunswick experience – and a quicker hot chocolate fix – make plans to have some hot chocolate mix from McGuire Chocolate Company in Saint Andrew’s on hand (you can order online). They also sell cocoa powder to use in your slow cooker version & roasted cacao nibs that would make a sweet topper on your whipped cream, too.
Speaking of whipped cream, if you haven’t made your own yet, please give it a try!
HOW TO MAKE WHIPPED CREAM AT HOME
Again, another step that you can skip if you need a simpler solution, but it’s also easier than I expected & tastes SO good!
I’d suggest using an electric mixer. Put the bowl in the fridge or freezer for awhile so it’s cold. Then add one tablespoon of icing sugar for each cup of heavy cream & set that mixer to high. You can add a few drops of vanilla, too. It doesn’t take long & it will wow your crowd – though, if it’s a crowd of little kids, the spray can option will probably impress them, too!
The best reason to top your New Brunswick Hot Chocolate with whipped cream is so you can top it with all the yummy goodies!
NEW BRUNSWICK INGREDIENTS FOR A HOT CHOCOLATE BOARD
We loved drizzling Crosby’s Molasses on top of our hot chocolate. It looks great with a cinnamon stick garnish and some crushed Ganong Chicken Bones. You can also use that yummy molasses to make your own gingersnaps – they’d be a great addition to a hot chocolate charcuterie-style board, too!
Another great option is to add some Wabanaki Maple on top; yum! If you’re making this for adults who enjoy a little tipple, go for their Barrel Aged Bourbon Maple Syrup. This is a must-have for all sorts of winter goodies, from your morning oatmeal to Christmas dessert – and a perfect gift!
Love a little taste of the unexpected? Why not include some Bay of Fundy Sea Salt or add some punch with chocolate-covered coffee beans from Down East Coffee? These would also make excellent garnishes on that homemade whipped cream!
Ganong Chicken Bones are another must for a New Brunswick Hot Chocolate Board. We used them as full-size garnishes (love the pop of pink!) & crushed some for sprinkling.
While the homemade marshmallows help to take up space on the board, you’re also going to want a few cookies. We love the Sparkly Snowflake Mini Cookies from Riverview’s Cookie Lady; a truly great addition if you’re making this as a snow day treat!
We filled out our board with a trip to the Bulk Barn for crushed candy canes, peanut butter chips, yogurt-covered pretzels, peppermint sticks (I enjoy these more than traditional candy canes & you can find them year-round), and red & green sprinkles smarties. No need to buy large quantities if you just need enough for a grazing tray!
NEED A LESS SUGARY OPTION THAN HOT COCOA?
Not a hot chocolate fan? Trying to curb some of the sugar in your holiday menu? Brew up a cup of New Brunswick’s own King Cole Tea (I always have a box of their Chocolate Peppermint Tea in the house at Christmastime!) or maybe Herb n’ Joy’s Gingerbread Tea to enjoy with a small treat from the board.
That’s our New Brunswick Hot Chocolate Board. We hope you create your own & enjoy it as much as we did! Please let us know in the comments if you do!