A truly decadent and delicious dessert idea with just a little bit of whimsy and intrigue, chocolate salami doesn't contain any meat - the salami simply refers to the appearance. Made with the best dark chocolate, crushed cookies, roasted nuts, glace ginger and cranberries there will be not a skerrick left by the time it is finished, it is simply that delicious.
Dear Readers, I had the best idea for today's post that I came up with last week. It was a difficult item that would have hopefully knocked your socks off. But then...I got sick. It started last week during our trip to Mudgee. Mr NQN cranked up the air conditioner to full blast despite my protests. "Honey you know I can't have the air conditioner blowing on me, I'll get sick," I told him. He gave me a look and told me that I would be fine. By the time our four hour drive was over, my dry throat pointed to getting sick and yep, it got me.
I spent all of Saturday in bed while Mr NQN delivered food and attention. I think he actually felt quite bad about it too but suddenly the whole Saturday that I had put aside to do the knock-your-socks-off recipe was gone. While fully powered I could have made that spectacular recipe but as I am at 50% power, I give you a salami. A chocolate salami. Actually since when is chocolate and salami a bad thing or a second prize?
I've wanted to make chocolate salami for the longest time and although our Christmas dinner will have so much food that it will barely fit on the table, I decided that this was the year to do it. Originally, Chocolate Salami or Salame di Cioccolato (Italy) or Chocolate Chouriço (Portugal) is said to be an Italian and Portuguese dessert log made with dark chocolate, nuts, butter, cookies and eggs. There is no actual meat in the salami, its salami-like appearance is what gives it its name. It is often served at trattorias in place of dessert in the Emilia Romagna and Lombardy regions.
This version is an adaption made to suit the Christmas season but also other factors. Traditionally, there are eggs used and these are not cooked so I wanted to make something that would be stable if I wanted to give it to people or serve it on a hot day as our Christmases in Australia tend to be. I was a bit dopey when I put this all together but it was very easy I must admit but I was so pleased once I rolled it in the icing sugar and bound it with string. It looked just like a salami!
And then I tried it. I'm pretty sure that an expletive popped out of my mouth. It was divine, even in my sense deprived state. I offered Mr NQN a couple of pieces and he ate them like a hungry golden retriever and then ate a third of the log before I cut off his supply. If you start with great or your favourite chocolate, the cookies, cranberries, toasted nuts and ginger provide just the right amount of crunch and balance. I used a chocolate that isn't overly sweet and I found the balance of sweetness to be perfect. Dear Readers, this is definitely one of those pushy recipes that I urge you to make. Not only is it simple but it is a crowd pleaser because of its unique appearance and because since when can great chocolate ever be anything but brilliant? ("If you're a dog!" shouts Mr NQN from the other room).
Anyway, please try this, it should be your Christmas present to yourself because you deserve nothing but the best Dear Reader and I promise that this is definitely it!
So tell me Dear Reader, are you ready for Christmas yet? Do you ever buy presents for yourself and if so, what was the last one? And what would you dearly like for Christmas this year?
If you want any other Christmas food suggestions, here is the Christmas recipe category!
Some other suggestions are:
Christmas Chocolate Salami
- 300g/10.6ozs. best quality dark chocolate (or milk or white, whatever is your favourite, I used Amedei Toscano Black 63%)
- 100g/3.5ozs butter
- 1 cup roasted, unsalted mixed nuts, chopped if large ones (I used pistachios, slivered almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts)*
- 50g shortbread cookies, crumbled
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup glace ginger, chopped
- 1 tablespoon Frangelico or a favourite liqueur
- 1/2 cup icing/powdered sugar, sifted
- White twine
*To roast nuts, place nuts on a baking sheet and bake in a 180C/350F oven for 7-8 minutes. If you use walnuts or hazelnuts, chop them up. You can leave slivered almonds or pistachios whole. **
Step 1 - Melt the chocolate in a microwave or over a double boiler until melted. Add the butter and stir to combine until smooth. Place the chocolate and butter in a bowl and add the nuts, cookies, cranberries, ginger and liqueur. Stir to combine.
This looks bad, I know. But stay with me...
Step 2 - Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes until starting to get firm but not hard. Place a sheet of cling film on the table and spread out in a rectangular shape. Gather the edges and roll back and forth to form a sausage shape. Refrigerate until firm.
Step 3 - Once set, remove the cling film. Sieve the icing/powdered sugar on a large tray and roll the salami in this. You can also tie it up with a string for a more salami like effect. Serve in slices.