Chocolate salami. No, it's not a strange mixture of chocolate and salami. It's named for its resemblance to the real sausage and is a traditional Italian dessert (or sometimes snack) made of chocolate, broken biscuits, eggs, butter and sometimes nuts, dried fruits and rum. It's quite fun, since it looks like real salami as you slice in and see the bits of biscuits, nuts and fruits resembling the specks of fat and pepper in real salami. No wonder kids love it.
Preparing it is quite easy. You just need hours of waiting time for the hardening-in-the-freezer part, so if you want to serve it at a certain day or time, then think ahead.
First, gather the ingredients. The nuts and dried fruits can be changed to suit your tastes, or you can take them out completely, like my husband used to eat it when he was a kid. Rum makes the taste of the chocolate rounder, and I prefer it with a good sprinkling of the liquor, but if kids will be eating it, then it's better to not add any alcohol.
After breaking the biscuits into small pieces with your hands, add the pistachios and dried cranberries, and then mix in some of the cocoa powder and sugar. Leave the rest of the powdered ingredients to coat the salami.
Add the butter and then the whisked egg whites and yolks. Mix well. The mixture should stick together, and then it is ready to be shaped.
Over a long piece of aluminum foil (use a heavy-duty one), which should be much longer than the salami you are making, spread the remaining cocoa powder and sugar evenly in the middle. Spread it out as much as you can to the length of the salami you are making, because it will serve as the coating.
Put the salami mixture like a long log in the middle of the coating.
Using both ends of the aluminum foil, shape the salami into a long, very compact cylinder. (This is where the heavy-duty foil comes in handy.) Keep shaping it until the salami feels hard and compact, because when you slice it, the salami should retain its shape and not crumble. Twist both ends of the aluminum foil, and then freeze the salami for at least 8 hours.
When it's time to serve the salami, slice it through the aluminum foil (no need to unwrap it, or it will become messy), and serve immediately. The salami can keep for weeks in the freezer if handled well. As soon as you slice the amount you want, cover the exposed end with a small piece of aluminum foil, and immediately put the salami back into the freezer.
Yields 1 approximately 15-inch salami
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