How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day this year?
I’m doing it with a cheeseboard.
A cheeseboard inspired by simplicity. By pinks. And hearts. And reds. And did I mention inspired by pink?
I absolutely loved this cheeseboard.
When creating it, I wanted to stick with tried and true favorites for the cheeses. Varieties that make an appearance on almost every board I make: brie and extra sharp white cheddar. However, I wanted also wanted to add some port wine spreadable cheese, not only because it’s another favorite of mine, but because I thought the red swirl would fit the board perfectly in aesthetics and it would add a textural element that I don’t often use – one that’s spreadable.
With every cheeseboard comes charcuterie, a component I’ve showcased in every cheeseboard since I’ve shared my how-to autumn inspired cheeseboard a couple years ago on how to create the most perfect cheeseboard. For my Valentine’s-inspired board, I wanted to keep with my color scheme, but I also wanted to keep it relatively kid-friendly. Especially since I mentioned before that I have to make the cheeseboards suitable for my cheese-loving three-year-old. I knew from previous boards that genoa salami is a no-fail choice, but I also wanted to add deli ham to bring something a bit different while adding more pink to my festive board. Adding chorizo provided a bit of spice, a flavor element I associate with Valentine’s Day.
The next section – sweet – was my absolute favorite to put together. The first thing that came to mind was chocolate. Because what is Valentine’s Day without chocolate?! Amiright or amiright??
I absolutely loved the idea of putting Dove’s heart-shaped dark chocolate on the board – both in pairing and visual appearance. But I wanted more. Because it’s chocolate. And Valentine’s Day. I thought, what else would be more perfect than a thick, velvety dark chocolate ganache to dip the plentiful amount of fruit I had envisioned on the board? Oh yeah. Add some spice. So the next chocolate element, and in my opinion, the star of the board, is a spicy dark chocolate ganache to dip strawberries, raspberries, and cherries in. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find cherries available in any of my local grocery stores, so I opted to use grapes to add a variety of fruit to the platter. But I’m sure cherries would have been bomb.
The last area I wanted to cover on this board was “crunch” and I decided that almonds would do just that. I was going to go for a plain roasted almonds until I found these sugar cookie almonds at my local Lidl store and felt they would go wonderfully.
And I may or may not have consumed the entire bag in 3 days. Whoops.
I actually use Lidl to create all of my cheeseboards because the variety of items they sell and their incredible prices. The only things on this board that was not purchased from my local Lidl store were the Dove’s chocolate and the spreadable port wine cheese. So, if you have a Lidl nearby, check them out! This is not a sponsored post, I just love the store THAT much.
The last little bit of the board would be to provide some sort of vehicle. I went super simple with a butter cracker like Ritz because they pair so well with the port wine cheese spread and they are great for little stackables complete with meat and cheese. But really, you could use whatever you have on hand.
I’m totally loving the idea of making a holiday-themed cheeseboard and think I’m going to attempt one for each holiday this year. Hopefully this will give you some inspiration for any event you may be hosting in the future.
Spicy Dark Chocolate Ganache
- 1 (3.5 oz.) bar of dark chocolate
- 1/4 c. heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
Add about an inch of water into a small saucepan, and place over medium-low heat. Place a glass bowl over top of the pan. Break up the chocolate bar into pieces and add it to the bowl. Pour the heavy cream over top. Heat until chocolate has completely melted and sauce becomes thick and velvety. Remove from heat and add the vanilla and cayenne pepper. Spoon ganache into small serving dish and serve.