- Make the quick and simple chocolate pudding and roasted apricot preserve. Serve in bowls.
- Cut the Brie into eight slices.
- Serve the fruit and other components in the style that works best for you (If you can’t find dried orange slices, slice fresh oranges into very thin rounds). Arrange everything on and around your board.
- Garnish with fresh mint.
Flavour combinations that work well for this dessert board are wafer cracker, chocolate pudding and raspberries; wafer cracker, Stilton and apricot preserve; and Brie on top of chocolate pretzel.
Dried fruit is sweeter and has a more intense flavor than fresh. Try adding dried figs, apricots or blueberries. If you have the fresh varietal, try pairing it with the dried one.
While almost any nut will work on a dessert board, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans and pistachios are safe standbys.
Roasted apricot preserve:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Select a shallow baking dish just large enough to hold the apricot halves without overlapping, and line the dish with parchment paper.
- Cut the apricots in half and remove the pits. Place the apricots cut side up in the prepared baking dish. Make sure they don’t overlap. Sprinkle with the sugar.
- Roast the apricots for about one hour, uncovered, or until the sugar has caramelized and the apricots are fork-tender.
- While the apricots are still hot, transfer them to a bowl and add the lemon juice, vanilla and salt. Using a fork, mash and stir the apricots until you reach the desired consistency.
- You should be able to spoon a small amount but still have some chunks of apricot.
- Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three weeks.
Quick and simple chocolate pudding:
- Place the cocoa, sugar and cornstarch in a medium-size pot. Stir to combine.
- Place the pot over medium-high heat and gradually add the milk, about 1/2 cup at a time, whisking constantly.
- Continue stirring until the pudding starts to bubble and thickens to a consistency similar to a thick yogurt.
- Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and stir in the vanilla.
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap, letting the plastic touch the pudding to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate for two hours before serving.
- Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
Reduced-fat milk won’t produce the same results, so be sure to use whole milk for this.