Friday 5 February 2021

How to Make the Perfect Valentine's Brunch Charcuterie

Charcuterie boards have kinda blown up a bit the last few years and with good reason - they're delicious!

I worked with a brand and created one for a Christmas campaign and recently did the same again but with a sweet twist so with Valentine's Day on the horizon, I thought I'd throw some photos together and talk you through making the perfect charcuterie for Valentine's Brunch.

If you're unaware of what it is, Charcuterie is a French term for a branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products, such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, ballotines, pâtés, and confit, primarily from pork but over the years they've been adapted to suit so many more tastes - to be honest, you can create any Charcuterie you fancy including something sweet like I've done here. They make such a great centrepiece for any party spread whatever the occasion 

So do you want to know how to create your own? It's super easy!

The Board
First of all, you need to decide on the board you're using and the size - I have a round chopping board I use for baking photos which is what I also use for Charcuterie. You really don't need anything special, as long as it's flat, it'll work. You probably already have the perfect base in your kitchen cupboards. The idea of a Charcuterie is to add height and texture while making sure everything is accessible when you're grazing - think layering, laying your breakfast base, utilising ramekins and decorative pieces.

The Sauces/Dips
Start with your empty board and add your dishes or ramekins - this is where you'll put dips, sauces, honey or sprinkles. Add one either side of the board so you can work around them and then add any others to the edges - you can use one or two or more, it's entirely up to you! I use a mix of deep bowls for sauces and glassware for anything else.

Once your dips and sauces are in place it's time to add your chosen brunch option!

The Main Show
Our American Style Pancakes were the star of the show - we made our pancakes separately using a BBC Good Food recipe before laying each pancake gently stacked in the centre of the board. This style would work well with bagels, crumpets, waffles - even breakfast muffins if you want to add bacon. The main focus just needs to be your brunch base!

The Fruit/Toppings
Once you have your brunch base and dips it's time to add the fruit. I like to add a mixture of nuts such as pecans, cashews or pistachios followed by different fruits. Grapes, blueberries and strawberries are great for this or look for seasonal fruits - figs work really well as do dried fruits. For this particular board, I've stuck with berries and figs to give it a Valentine's feel.

The Extras
This is the fun part, filling in all the gaps! I used Mini Meringues, Party Rings and Chocolate Love Hearts as they're the perfect size for filling in. Your aim is to make sure you can't see the base of the board so if after you've added your extras you can still see the base, roll in some extra blueberries! To finish, I've scattered dried rose petals over the board for that extra dose of love.

Once you've arranged your final pieces you should have a completed charcuterie board!

It's fun, it's easy and it tastes delicious! So... have I tempted you to make your own this Valentine's Day?

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