Yesterday, as a thank you to the supporters of her recent Kickstarter Chocabaret project, Jackie Gordon (aka The Diva That Ate New York) hosted a chocolate-themed gathering at her home. When the reminder for this event flashed up on my phone on Friday, 24 hours before it started, I had a mild moment of panic. Oops! I realized that I was supposed to make something chocolate inspired to bring with me. Then, that idea lightbulb went off, just like in the comics, and I thought, “Hey, why don’t I make a chocolate salami. That will be different.”
This dish proved to be a hit, which gave me some relief, as I’d only made it once before in culinary school for our buffet, where it came out just so-so. One of the guests kept going back time and time again for slices of the salami. It was hard to resist it, I know from having put it together the night before. Inspired by Italian meat products, it combines smooth and creamy chocolate mixed with chunks of cake (to represent the fat that is usually in meat salami), pistachios (like in mortadella), and dried cranberries for a bit of tartness all rolled into a log and then dusted with powdered sugar to mimic a log of cured meat. Given the reception that this recipe had at an event full of food people and chocolate-lovers, I think I’m going to be bringing it to a few more parties this holiday season!
Salame al cioccolato (Chocolate Salami)
Prep time: 20 minutes to put it together, plus time overnight to set
Serving Size: about 25-30 slices
125 ml Heavy Whipping Cream
2 tsp. Instant Coffee
1 Tbsp. Brandy
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
350 g Semi-sweet Chocolate (70% cocoa)
85 g Vanilla Cake (or cupcake), cut into 1/2 cm cubes
20 g Pistachio Halves
30 g Dried Cranberries
Powdered Sugar for dusting
Heat heavy cream in a saucepan over low heat until bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Add coffee, brandy, and vanilla extract to the cream. Then, add chocolate and stir into the cream until thoroughly melted and smooth.
Gently fold the cake pieces, pistachios, and cranberries into the chocolate mixture. Lay out a sheet of plastic wrap on a flat surface. Pour out the chocolate mixture onto the center of the plastic wrap lengthwise. Fold one edge of the plastic wrap over the chocolate mixture and then fold the opposite edge over top of that one twist the edges and roll the mixture into a log using the plastic wrap, like you would do for making a log of compound butter. You will end up with something that looks like the below.
Place the chocolate salami in the freezer to set. Once firm, it can be put in the refrigerator and kept there until ready to serve it. I left the log in the freezer overnight and moved it to the refrigerator in the morning, as I needed to travel with it to the party, so I didn’t want it to be come too soft before it got to its destination. Just before getting ready to serve, dust the chocolate salami with confectioner’s sugar on all sides. Cut into thin slices to serve.