When my husband was growing up in Sicily, one of his favorite desserts was his mother’s chocolate salami. The recipe was passed on, but for our kids, I make it even richer with nuts and dried fruit.
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.
Chocolate salami recipe
Yields 1 approximately 15-inch salami
- 9 ounces dry milk-based, plain biscuits
- 3 tablespoons pistachios, coarsely chopped (can be replaced with other nuts)
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries, coarsely chopped (can be replaced with other dried fruits)
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 9 tablespoons granulated white sugar
- 4 ounces butter, melted
- 2 eggs, yolks and whites separated
- In a large bowl, break the biscuits into small pieces with your hands.
- Add 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 8 tablespoons of sugar, and mix well with the biscuits.
- Add the butter, and mix well.
- Lightly whisk the egg whites, and then add them to the biscuits.
- Add the egg yolks, and make sure everything is mixed together well.
- On a work surface, lay out a long piece of aluminum foil (longer than 15 inches). Note: You can divide the mixture and make 2 shorter chocolate salami.
- In a small bowl, mix together the remaining cocoa powder and sugar, and spread it evenly down the middle of the aluminum foil, about 15 inches in length. This will serve as a coating for the salami.
- Add the biscuit mixture in a long, straight line on top of the powder mixture.
- Using both ends of the aluminum foil, shape the salami into a compact cylinder. Note: Make sure the salami is covered with the powder mixture and that it is compact and hard. If the aluminum foil breaks during this process, just change it to a new sheet. Twist both ends of the aluminum foil.
- Freeze the chocolate salami for at least 8 hours.
- The salami can last for weeks in the freezer. When serving, slice through the aluminum foil, cover the sliced end with another small piece of aluminum foil, and immediately put the chocolate salami back into the freezer.