What could bring more festive joy than a Christmas Chocolate Salad? Appealing to the young and old, this easy to make platter of chocolate and fruits will be a fitting end to any Christmas gathering!
Why I Love Christmas Chocolate Salad
It never gets old. Ever since I made that first platter, I am repeatedly getting asked to bring that to parties. What I love most is that the kids are requesting it!
And despite having made it so many times, it still gets so many lovely comments! I guess it’s a visually stunning platter and so in keeping with the festive celebrations.
For me, what I love most about it is that it is so easy! All I’m doing is dipping some fruit in chocolate and then adding a whole bunch of chocolate, fruit and lollies.
I did also want to incorporate a lot of strawberries, raspberries and cherries as they are such quintessential festive fruit. This to me was the perfect way to do it.
The ingredients are all very much interchangeable too. You can add any round shaped chocolate of your liking, Christmas biscuits, protein balls and berries of all kinds. This recipe just helps to give you some inspiration for what you could add into the chocolate salad.
By the way, if you’d like some ideas for a savoury side salad for Christmas, try these>>
What is a Christmas Chocolate Salad?
Well, truth be told, I completely made it up. Many, many years ago, I was invited to a big Christmas dinner, and I volunteered to bring a fruit platter.
I wasn’t in the mood to bring just fruit, and I wanted to find a way to spruce it up a little. But I was mindful that it had to appeal to everyone and it would do my hosts festive table justice.
So, I decided to add chocolate to the salad! I figured that we couldn’t go wrong with chocolate-dipped strawberries and I thought to balance out the dark chocolate with white chocolate by dipping cherries with the white chocolate.
From there, the idea just grew. I thought about what other Christmas themed sweets I could add to the mix. The first addition on top of the fruit were Ferrero Rochers and Raffaello Chocolate.
Then came the chocolate truffles, the jaffas (chocolate covered in red, orange flavoured shell), white apricot, nougat and coconut balls which I found in the health section. Then, of course, we can’t have Christmas without some red and white striped candy canes!
How to Make Chocolate Salad at Home
How to Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Chocolate covered strawberries are easy to make at home. For this process, my daughter loves to help. Well, that’s because she knows she can lick the spatula and bowl after the process is finished!
I like using dark chocolate because it is not so sweet. With so many sweet elements on the platter, the dark chocolate was a good way to balance that out. I also prefer dark chocolate as it is deeper in colour. Love the contrast against the white chocolate covered cherries.
After dipping your strawberries into chocolate, you can then coat them further. In this recipe, we coat ⅓ of the strawberries with pistachios. You can coat them in any nut you might like, coconut, chocolate freckles, etc.
To start with, break up the dark chocolate into pieces.
Then chop up the pistachios and place in a small bowl.
Then get a sheet pan ready and line with baking paper.
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil.
Place a heatproof glass bowl on top of the saucepan with the boiling water. Add the dark chocolate pieces. Using a spatula, stir the chocolate until it is completed melted.
Turn the heat off but leave the glass bowl on top. This way, the heat from the bottom keeps the chocolate from hardening too quickly.
Pick the strawberry up for the stem, dip into the chocolate then dip into the pistachios and then place on the sheet pan. Do this for ⅓ of the strawberries.
I am quite heavy-handed with the pistachios as I love them, so I roll the strawberry in the bowl. If you don’t want as much, hold the strawberry and sprinkle the pistachio on top of it, so you get a light coating instead.
For the other ⅓ of the strawberries, you can just dip in chocolate and then place on sheet pan.
We are leaving the last ⅓ of the strawberries as it is for some freshness.
Place the sheet pan in the fridge for 1 hour for the chocolate to harden.
How to Make Chocolate Covered Cherries
You are essentially doing the same thing as the strawberries.
Add a new bowl of white chocolate on top of the saucepan of boiling water. After it melts, pick each cherry up by the stem and dip. Place on a second sheet pan that is lined with baking paper.
Do this for ½ the cherries as we do want to keep the other ½ as it is.
You’ll find that the viscosity of the white chocolate is thinner compared to the dark chocolate. As you place the cherry down on the sheet pan, the white chocolate will spread out a little more.
After hardening, you can opt to cut off a bit of the white chocolate around the cherry if you wish. I personally like how rustic it is and I just add it to the platter without fussing over it.
Between the varieties, you can dip some cherries in dark chocolate and some strawberries in white chocolate. You can dip cherries with other nuts, pistachios etc. Entirely up to your imagination!
How to Cut the Nougat
I love adding some nougat to the mix. Apart from the fact that I love nougat anyway, it just gives the platter a soft and chewy element.
It doesn’t matter what flavour you get, but I do love adding to the Christmas feel by getting one with wild berries or cranberries. Those pops of red against the creamy white nougat is quite pretty.
Cut the nougat up into small pieces. I find that using a serrated knife is the best way to cut them without squashing them too much.
If it’s a hot day and the nougat is on the softer side, pop it into the fridge for a few minutes to harden them up. You’ll find it easier to cut after that.
How To Assemble The Salad
Using a flat round platter, it’s time to assemble the chocolate salad!
Set the candy canes and raspberries to one side for now.
Place all other ingredients, including ⅓ of the fresh strawberries that didn’t get coated in chocolate and ½ the fresh cherries.
At the end, tuck the candy cane around the platter.
Sprinkle on top with the fresh raspberries.
How to Transport Chocolate Salad for Potluck Parties
You can make this ahead of time, and it is easy to transport. You can take it on the platter all ready to go, or you can pack the elements up individually and then assemble at your destination.
If you’re like us and spend Christmas in the summer, the chocolate will all have to be kept cool, or you’ll end up with a very gooey platter!
As I tend to get asked to make this to take to friend’s houses, I don’t tend to make it into a platter as I know they won’t have fridge space.
So, I pack everything individually, and I put it into a cooler or ice chest and make sure there are plenty of ice packs around it.
This is particularly handy because I know it’s one of the last things on the menu and it won’t get eaten for some time.
As such, it likely can’t be made ahead of time anyway. Also, some Christmas dinners start early in the afternoon, so it’s much better if it’s kept away in a cooler.
As assembly only takes a few minutes, this truly is one of the best things you can offer to bring at a Christmas potluck party!
Having made this so many times over the years, this Christmas chocolate salad still manages to elicit so many praises. The kids still coming running, and the adults still moan about how they have to force themselves to stop eating everything on the platter.
Do yourselves a favour and become the talk of the party!
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Christmas Chocolate Salad
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- Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil.
- Get 2 sheet pans lined with baking paper ready.
- Break up the chocolate into small pieces.
- Chop the pistachio kernels into small pieces and put in a small bowl.
- Place a heatproof glass bowl on top of the saucepan.
- Add the dark cooking chocolate into the glass bowl and stir with a spatula until it is all melted.
- Turn the heat off but leave the glass bowl of chocolate on top of the saucepan to stop it from hardening too quickly. Pick up the strawberries by the leaf and dip into the dark chocolate. Place on the sheet pan. Do this for ⅓ of the strawberries.
- For the other ⅓ of the strawberries, dip them in chocolate and them coat them with pistachios. Place on the sheet pan.
- Once completed, place the chocolate dipped strawberries into the fridge for 1 hour.
- Place a second heatproof glass bowl on top of the saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Add the white cooking chocolate. Stir with spatula until it completed melted.
- Dip half the cherries into the white chocolate and rest on the baking paper lined sheet pan. Once completed, place in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Using a serrated knife, cut the nougat into small pieces.
- Use a nice, big flat platter for this chocolate salad.
- Except for the candy canes and raspberries, place the rest of the ingredients onto the platter. This includes the other ⅓ of the strawberries and ½ of the cherries.
- Tuck the candy canes on top.
- Sprinkle with raspberries.
- The premise of this Christmas chocolate fruit salad is to have a good combination of chocolate and fruit and in keeping with the colour theme of chocolate, green, red and white. It is therefore easy to change up any of the ingredients above, and you can have the same effect.
- This is a great make-ahead Christmas dessert.
- This Christmas fruit salad is great for family gatherings as it appeals to both the adults and the kids.
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