What could bring more festive joy than a chocolate salad as a Christmas fruit platter with a difference? Appealing to kids and adults alike, this easy to make Christmas platter of chocolate and fruits will be a fitting end to any holiday gathering!
- Why You’ll Love This Christmas Fruit Platter
- How Do You Make a Christmas Fruit Tray?
- What Fruit Is Good for Christmas?
- What Chocolate To Use for Christmas Fruit Platter?
- How to Transport Chocolate Salad for Potluck Parties
- Recipe Overview
- How to Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries
- How to Make Chocolate Dipped Cherries
- How to Cut the Nougat
- How To Assemble The Salad
- Variations and Substitutions
- How to Serve: Great Christmas Desserts
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why You’ll Love This Christmas Fruit Platter
Are you tired of seeing the same old Christmas tree fruit or a fruit platter made to look like a Christmas wreath? Well, this Christmas fruit tray might just be for you!
For this Christmas fruit platter, we’re calling it a chocolate salad. Yup! How good does that sound? So if you’ve been invited over for Christmas dinner, please volunteer to bring this. This is also a really great Christmas Eve platter.
Going for a red and white coloured theme, we’re making a chocolate salad using your favourite chocolates, candy and fruit. It’s super easy to make, and because every element works so well together, it doesn’t need a complicated assembly. Just add all elements on a platter and off you go!
If you would like a fruit only platter but stuck for ideas for fruit tray presentation, try our Fresh Fruit Platter. You can use Christmas cookie cutters instead to make it more festive.
It’s also a great little Christmas fruit platter because you can make it in advance, store them in separate containers and just put them together when you’re ready to serve the chocolate. This means that it will free up time for the more complicated recipes you’re making for your Christmas feast.
How Do You Make a Christmas Fruit Tray?
The most common Christmas fruit tray idea would be to arrange fruit in the shape of a Christmas tree. The Christmas tree fruit platter idea has been around for some time with some interesting ways of creating them, including in a 3D shape.
The best way to do this is to use a pineapple, cut off the skin, get it wider at the bottom, and taper off to a skinnier end on the top. Then use short skewers with a variety of fruit and pierce it through the pineapple, and eventually, you get a tree.
Alternatively, another Christmas fruit tray idea is to assemble the freshly cut fruit into the shape of a wreath. Which is easy enough to do, and you can use pretty much any fruit you want. Although strawberries and grapes are perhaps the 2 most popular fruits to use.
However, if you want something a little different that truly takes very minimal effort and yet yields amazing results, this Christmas salad of chocolate and fruit is for you. As far as Christmas party platters go, this is honestly a winner!
What Fruit Is Good for Christmas?
For this Christmas salad, we are using red coloured fruit. So green grapes, although a popular addition, has been omitted. We’re using strawberries, cherries and raspberries. When I can find fresh red currants, I use them too, as they make for a gorgeous finish on top of the Christmas fruit platter.
The reason strawberries and cherries are great is because they’re good for dipping into melted chocolate. You can make white chocolate covered strawberries and decorate them as well as chocolate dipped cherries.
Other good fruit to use would be watermelon, red and green grapes, blood orange and persimmons. For those celebrating Christmas in the summer, you have the opportunity to take advantage of all the lovely stone fruit, mangoes and figs.
What Chocolate To Use for Christmas Fruit Platter?
For this Christmas fruit platter idea, I have used 2 kinds of chocolates and candy. Find pre-packaged chocolate such as Ferrero Rocher, Raffaello Chocolate, jaffas (orange flavoured candy), apricot balls covered in coconut and nougat.
The second part of it was dipping fresh fruit into chocolate. For this recipe, I am making dark chocolate dipped strawberries and then coated with crushed pistachios and white chocolate-covered cherries.
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 to a Christmas potluck party!
Flavour/Texture: This Christmas fruit platter is a perfect mix of sweet and fresh. The chocolates, candy and nougat satisfy all the holiday mood of all things naughty yet familiar, while the fresh fruit helps balance the need for something that doesn’t come out of a packet.
Ease: Making chocolate covered strawberries and cherries is the only component that requires any work. The level of difficulty depends on how intricate you wish to make them. All you’re doing is melting chocolate, dipping the fruit and letting it set in the refrigerator.
Time: This will take a couple of hours only because you need to let the chocolate covered cherries and strawberries set in the refrigerator. A good tip is to do that a day or 2 before the big event so that you can place them in containers and free up much needed space in the refrigerator. The fridge is always so full at this time of the year!
These are the ingredients you need for Chocolate Salad: Christmas Fruit Platter.
Cooking chocolate: Use your favourite cooking chocolate to make chocolate covered cherries and strawberries. Mix and match dark chocolate, milk and white chocolate if you wish.
For this recipe, we specifically used dark chocolate to help reduce the overall sweetness of the chocolate salad as we used white chocolate for the cherries.
Pistachio kernels: We are dipping some of the dark chocolate covered strawberries into crushed pistachios. The lovely shade of green and tinge of purple against the dark chocolate is very pretty!
Nougat: Love a block of good nougat, especially if it comes in Christmas flavours such as cranberry, pistachio, peppermint or gumdrops.
Chocolate truffles: These are delicious balls of goodness that fit well into the colour theme.
Apricot coconut balls: Not necessary, but I found apricot balls covered in coconut, and they are such a hit with the kids.
Ferrero Rocher, Raffaello Chocolate, jaffas and mini candy canes: What you’re looking for are chocolates and candy that fit in the colour theme, occasion and, of course, are popular to eat. The Raffaello chocolate is a ball covered in coconut, giving a nice wintery feeling to the chocolate salad.
Raspberries, cherries and strawberries: Bright red and deep purple coloured fruit, of which we dip some of them and others we leave fresh, as they are.
Step by step instructions for how to make Chocolate Salad: Christmas Fruit Platter.
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, 100s and 1000s, etc.
To start with, wash the strawberries, make sure they are completely dry and left at room temperature.
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 completely 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 strawberries 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 a 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 Dipped 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. So 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. In addition, 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 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 squishing 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.
Variations and Substitutions
Type of chocolate and candy: There literally are so many different types of chocolate, lollies, candy and nougat that you can use to make up this Christmas fruit platter, which is why it is so much fun.
You can jazz it up by getting some artisanal chocolate, or if you want to appeal to only the kids, get Hershey kisses or even the Christmas M&M range with all the right colours.
Type of fruit: In keeping with the theme of Christmas colours, it is best to get fruit to reflect that. Strawberries are our go-to fruit because everyone loves a good chocolate covered strawberry; they are red with lovely green tops and easy to dip.
Fruit to chocolate ratio: This is also entirely up to you. This Christmas fruit platter can be fruit heavy, chocolate heavy or a good balance of both. I like adding extra fruit to this fruit tray so the non-sweet tooths at the party can also load up on something fresh.
How to Serve: Great Christmas Desserts
Here are some other great traditional Christmas desserts to serve with Chocolate Salad: Christmas Fruit Platter.
Gingerbread bundt cake: Ring in the holiday season with this festive Gingerbread Bundt Cake! This is a show-stopping holiday cake that you and your family will love.
Sticky toffee pudding: Soft and sweet brown sugar sponge cakes soaked in a warm toffee sauce. Sticky Toffee Pudding is a rich and comforting dessert you will love!
Christmas sweet mince pies: Nothing quite like a traditional mince pie during the holidays. Dried fruit, apple, citrus and brown sugar all soaked in brandy make up the filling inside homemade pie crusts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Strawberries should not be cold before they are dipped in chocolate. This is because we don’t want any condensation from the strawberries or any release of moisture. This will, in turn, prevent the chocolate from sticking to the strawberry smoothly.
Therefore, it is also imperative that after washing your strawberries, they are completely dry before you dip them into melted chocolate.
There are many ways that you can decorate chocolate covered strawberries and you can certainly go to town with them!
Crush any nut you like, e.g. peanuts, pistachios or macadamias. After dipping the strawberry in chocolate, dip them either entirely or halfway into a bowl of crushed nuts.
You can further dip your strawberry into coconut, 100s and 1000s, edible sprinkles and cake toppings.
You can pipe different coloured chocolate or icing in swirls or different designs over the chocolate and then let it set. If you’re skilled, you can even write on it!
Oil or butter is sometimes added to melted chocolate so that it makes it smoother. This makes it easier for dipping as it is more consistent in texture and won’t form any clumps.
Having made this so many times over the years, this Christmas chocolate salad still manages to elicit so many praises at holiday parties. The kids are 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 holidays!
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Christmas Fruit Platter: 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.
- If you’re wondering what other chocolate or candy to use, there literally are so many different types that you can use to make up this Christmas fruit platter, which is why it is so much fun to make this for Christmas. You can jazz it up by getting some artisanal chocolate, or if you want to appeal to only the kids, get Hershey kisses or even the Christmas M&M range with all the right colours.
- In keeping with the theme of Christmas colours, it is best to get fruit to reflect that, which means you can use any fruit at your disposal. Strawberries are our go-to fruit because everyone loves a good chocolate covered strawberry; they are red with lovely green tops and easy to dip.
- Fruit to chocolate ratio: This is also entirely up to you. This Christmas fruit platter can be fruit heavy, chocolate heavy or a good balance of both. I like adding extra fruit to this fruit tray so the non-sweet tooths at the party can also load up on something fresh.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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