A sophisticated, grown up and exhilarating chocolate lover’s dream dessert board featuring a selection of earthy, elegant, seasonally-inspired artisanal chocolates handcrafted by Tavernier in a 1910 brick mill in Vermont’s Connecticut River valley. A feast for the eyes, this is more an idea for assembly rather than a recipe. Roasted and salted Marcona almonds, Turkish pistachios, Georgian pecans, and California walnuts are sprinkled among mounds of fresh fruit including cherries and Fuyu persimmons. A wedge of Nougat de Montélimar, a French Christmas tradition composed of almonds, honey, and a light mousse of egg whites, offers contrast and heft to the board. At the edges of the 1890s French wood board, deep in a chocolate forest, find bars of chocolate accented with flowers, seeds, nuts, and salts. In the center, the show stealing bars of CHOCOLATE CHARCUTERIE sit, waiting to be cut open. The Mont Vert Chocolate Pâté, wrapped in white cheese paper and tied with butcher’s twine, opens to reveal a block of blended Venezuelan dark and creamy milk chocolate ganache enriched with Vermont Creamery chèvre, honey, and a whiff of organically grown dried french lavender blossoms. The butcher paper wrapped Mortadella Chocolate saucisson-style salami is a sliceable hand-rolled dark chocolate ganache log made with Vermont dairy and studded with fragrant cardamom shortbread, dried Medjool dates and pistachios, for a blend of flavors and textures with a Middle Eastern twist. If you haven’t begun dreaming yet….close your eyes and imagine the ecstasy of tasting (maybe sharing), some of the world’s finest chocolate creations.
This chocolate board deserves the best chocolate, fruits, and nuts available. Fastachi is a fabulous, online resource for gourmet roasted nuts and chocolates if Tavernier is unavailable. The best pecans are grown in the river bottom flood plain of Georgia and the best walnuts in the world are grown in California without pesticides, heat exposure, or chemical pasteurization. The slim Antep Turkish pistachios grown in western Turkey are best.