Something about making a dessert reminiscent of shareable slices of salty meat really works for the holiday season. This no-bake dessert is surprisingly easy, full of texture, and most of the time it takes to prepare is passive fridge-time. Take a break from the oven and make a chocolate salami for Santa.
Chocolate salami is a dessert made of crushed cookies and nuts coated in a chocolate mixture, all rolled into a log and dusted with powdered sugar. When sliced, the nuts and cookie bits give the impression of a savory salami with fat and meat hunks distributed throughout. The powdered sugar on the outside resembles the harmless white mold that coats the outside of some aged salamis. Doesn’t that all sound appetizing? You already ate the real fat and mold during the first course, so don’t worry about that now. This sweet version of your cured and savory favorite is a stupendous mélange of textures, and perfect for chocolate lovers.
There are a number of recipes out there, and that’s because after you make the base chocolate mixture, you can add almost anything you like to it. Most recipes start with a chocolate-heavy ratio of a simple ganache, so instead of a normal 1:1 chocolate to cream mixture, you build a firm ganache with a 2:1 ratio. A dab of butter is melted into the mixture to lend even more stability after chilling, and you’re ready to add mix-ins.
Most recipes include a crushed, crunchy cookie and nuts to complete the cured meat look, but you can use anything you think will taste good with chocolate. Crunchy cookies add a welcome contrasting texture, but you can use leftover soft cookies, crumbled blondies, dried fruit, or maraschino cherries. Some dried fruit, or whole nuts might cling to the knife, or tear out of the salami, so you might need to switch your knife depending on your ingredients. If a sharp chef’s knife isn’t giving you the cleanest cuts, try a serrated knife.
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Assembling a chocolate salami is simple. Crush, or roughly chop, your mix-ins; they should be around half-inch pieces or smaller. Set them aside. Add the butter, cut into small pieces, to a wide bowl, and pour the chocolate chips on top. Heat the cream in the microwave for about 30-40 seconds, or until steaming, and pour the cream over the chocolate and butter. Let this sit for two minutes, then whisk until smooth. If the chocolate mixture begins to set, nuke it for ten seconds to loosen it up. Add the mix-ins to the chocolate mixture and stir to coat.
Pour this salami mix onto a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Use the wrap to help shape it into a log, and roll it up. Twist the ends to seal it off. Put the salami in the fridge for at least four hours, or overnight, to set. When you’re ready to slice it, unwrap the log and coat it heavily with powdered sugar using your hands. It should stick easily. Slice into half inch rounds, and enjoy with a cup of bitter espresso.
Chocolate Salami Recipe
- 4.5 ounces chocolate
- 0.5 ounces butter
- 2.2 ounces heavy cream
- 3.8 ounces crushed cookies
- 1 ounce sliced or slivered almonds
- 1.5 ounces chopped pistachios
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
Add the butter and chocolate to a bowl. Heat the cream until steaming, and pour over the butter and chocolate. Let this sit for two minutes, then whisk until smooth. Pour the last four ingredients into the chocolate mixture and stir to coat completely.
Pour the mixture onto a piece of parchment, wax paper, or plastic wrap. Use the wrapping to cover it, and roll up the mixture into a log. Twist the ends to seal it. Chill the chocolate salami for at least four hours, or up to a week if sealed in an airtight container. When you’re ready to slice it, unwrap the salami and coat it in powdered sugar “mold.” Serve on a cutting board, sliced into half-inch rounds.