If you’re planning a dinner party, then don’t forget dessert. You could buy a cake or pie, but why do that when you can put out a really exquisite chocolate plate. It is much easier than baking a chocolate torte, or making a complicated chocolate mousse. Chocolate is probably the single most loved flavor in desertdom. So, it makes sense that you should put out a chocolate plate.
What you don’t want to do is just break up a bar of chocolate and put it on a plate. That wouldn’t be a nice dessert, nor would it look interesting. Instead, you should create a chocolate plate with three interesting things. Here is what you can do.
The purest way to serve chocolate is to make a truffle. These are basic, simple, and luxurious. All you need to make amazing chocolate truffles is dark chocolate and heavy cream. That’s it. If you want to decorate them, then you should also get some dark cocoa powder so that you can dust them.
It’s super simple to make chocolate truffles.
12 ounces of chocolate (preferably dark).
1 cup of heavy cream.
Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan until it is almost to a boil. Then, remove it from the stove and pour it into a mixing bowl that has your chopped chocolate in it. Whisk it until the chocolate has completely melted. The mixture will be very liquidy, but don’t worry, they will firm up in the fridge.
Let them set in the fridge for several hours. When they are firm, you can form them. You can use two spoons, a tablespoon measuring spoon, or your hands….however, if you do use your hands you should use plastic food grade gloves. Also, be aware that your hands are hot so they will melt the chocolate. I find that working with two teaspoons and a glass of ice water works. Use the spoons to shape the chocolate and place it on a piece of wax paper…then place the spoons into the ice water to keep them cold.
When the truffles are formed, let them sit in the fridge for a while to firm up again, and then you can roll them in cocoa dust.
Chocolate Shaving on Cracker with Fig Jam
If you’re not in the mood to make truffles, or you want something that can be served as a hors d’oeuvres, then think about servcing chocolate shavings with fig jam on crackers. This is more of a savory treat than a sweet one. If you get a really nice dark chocolate, like valrhona or lindt, and shave it over some good fig jam…it will be fantastic.
Make sure to get a nice cracker. You don’t want ones that are too salty, or have a strong cheese flavor. I like water crackers—the type that are made without fat. Carr’s is a great brand. You might be able to find them in a gourmet store near you or even Costco.
Chocolate Shaving on Cracker with Camembert
Camembert is a soft cheese, kind of like brie. However, Camembert has a stronger flavor. Part of this is due to the cheeses production method. Unlike brie, which is cured in very large wheels, Camembert is made in small wheels. You will not normally see a “slice” of Camembert for sale at the market…you see the whole wheel. It has a bit more tangy flavor. When it is warmed up it has a much smoother, creamer texture than brie.
An excellent way to serve Camembert would be to get a nice cracker, a slice of warm Camembert and some chocolate shavings. Not too much, and make sure they are extra dark chocolate.
It can be difficult to get Camembert, because most normal shops sell brie only, so if you’re not around a gourmet store then you can get it delivered. The great part about Camembert is that it most often sold “in rind” or whole, which is the best way to sell cheese.
Here is a beautiful Camembert cheese available on amazon.