Oh JoyOh Joy

because chocolate makes everything better...

Oh Joy | Heirloom LA | Fruit Board | Photo by Bonnie Tsang

I've always wished I was one of those people who could just whip up some fancy hors d'oeuvres on the fly when friends stop by. If I'm lucky, I might have some cheese and crackers to put out, but otherwise, I've got my guests covered with water and some kind of sweet treat hiding in my cupboard.

However, in my quest to have an easy (but fancy-looking) stash of things to have on hand when friends come over for a playdate or even for pre-dinner bites, I asked my friends at Heirloom LA to help me come up with hors d'oeuvres that are not only easy and delicious, but that include something unexpected. We decided to create fruit and veggie boards—both accented with a touch of dark chocolate.

Oh Joy | Heirloom LA | Fruit Board | Photo by Bonnie Tsang

I love the contrast of rich chocolate with light, fresh fruit, so we made a really simple and delicious chocolate fondue to pair with a fruit board.

Dark Chocolate Fondue Recipe

You'll need:
-1 (16 oz) can coconut cream 
-1 (12 oz) can sweetened condensed milk 
-3 bars (24 oz) Ghirardelli dark chocolate, chopped 

Oh Joy | Heirloom LA | Fruit Board | Photo by Bonnie Tsang

Oh Joy | Heirloom LA | Fruit Board | Photo by Bonnie Tsang

Here's how: 
1. Place half the chocolate in a small fondue pot.

2. In a separate pot, bring coconut cream and condensed milk to a simmer, then pour mixture over chopped chocolate in fondue pot.

3. With a spoon or whisk, slowly stir in remaining dark chocolate until smooth.

4. Serve warm, with sliced pineapples, melon, strawberries, orange slices, grapefruit wedges, grapes, or apples. Also, to make a simple but beautiful presentation, think about other parts of the fruit you can use to decorate the board (Matt from Heirloom simply used the head of the pineapple, which adds extra interest). We also added some granola and simple puff pastry (sprinkled with cinnamon sugar) to complement the fruit.

Oh Joy | Heirloom LA | Veggie Board | Photo by Bonnie Tsang

Now, for a veggie version, here's an updated version of crudite that's so, so delicious, thanks to a chipotle cream cheese spread that's topped with dark chocolate. 

Cream Cheese Chipotle Spread Recipe

You'll need:
-1 lb Philadelphia cream cheese
-1 can chipotle peppers in adobo
-2 tablespoons agave syrup
-1 bar Ghirardelli dark chocolate
-Salt & pepper, to taste

Oh Joy | Heirloom LA | Veggie Board | Photo by Bonnie Tsang

Here's how:
1. Allow cream cheese to come to room temperature.

2. Empty the can of chipotle peppers into a bowl, then remove peppers, leaving only the sauce from the jar (the adobo).

3. Combine cream cheese, 3 tablespoons of the adobo sauce, salt, pepper and agave syrup in a food processor or large mixing bowl and pulse/stir vigorously to mix until smooth.

4. Finish with freshly grated Ghirardelli dark chocolate.

5. Serve chilled with any freshly washed raw vegetables. We used cauliflower romanesco, asparagus, fennel, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, baby carrots, and broccolini.

Oh Joy | Heirloom LA | Veggie Board | Photo by Bonnie Tsang

Oh Joy | Heirloom LA | Veggie Board | Photo by Bonnie Tsang

Oh Joy | Heirloom LA | Veggie Board | Photo by Bonnie Tsang

The resulting dip is creamy and savory, with a little kick of spice and a touch of sweetness. I really could slather that spread on just about anything!

Whether you're into fruit or veggies—or both—I love how easy it is to create this beautiful spread for guests, or even as a quick snack for yourself at home.

*This post is brought to you by Ghirardelli Intense Dark™ Chocolate. Create your escape here. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting these sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for Oh Joy.

{Photos by Bonnie Tsang. Special thanks to Matt and Tara at Heirloom LA for their culinary skills and for creating these recipes! My outfit: Because I'm Addicted dress, Rivet & Sway glasses. The copper pot was a thrift store find, and the wooden boards were found off Ebay by the folks at Heirloom (will update with specific seller link if we can find out!).}

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