We all know that home-made gifts are super-special at this time of year, but making truffles can be an utter faff, and the biscuits you are trying to knock up for your sister-in-law never seem to look quite as good as the ones in the recipe book… so fear Christmas no more, as we have a fabulous, easy, no fail-gift recipe right here!
Chocolate salami is not as weird as it sounds. Traditional in Portugal and Italy, it is a roll of rich dark chocolate, packed with nuts and fruit, and is perfect served with an after-dinner coffee. Packaged in baking parchment and tied with pretty ribbon, it will make a lovely little hostess gift or stocking filler; even more wonderful, it will last for two weeks in the fridge or 2 months in the freezer, so you can get ahead of the game!
Once you have acquired the ratio of chocolate to biscuit, it is easy to knock up different versions as the mix is so versatile; add a pinch of salt and chilli for a more grown-up version or perhaps use mixed dried fruit and half a teaspoon of mixed spice for a Christmas pudding flavour.
Makes 2 x 20cm chocolate salami
200g dark chocolate
100g of biscuits. I use rich tea, but ginger nuts would be lovely for a spicier version
100g glace cherries
2 tablespoons of liqueur (Optional. I like to add a dash of either dark rum, or Disaronno, but if there are kids involved, please feel free to leave this out).
- Place the biscuits in a ziplock bag and give them a rough pounding with a rolling pin. Some dust is fine, but make sure you leave most of them in quite chunky pieces, to add texture to the salami.
- Roughly chop the glace cherries and walnuts, again leaving some bigger chunks.
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a bain marie or microwave, stirring frequently until luscious and smooth, and remove from the heat.
- Tip the other ingredients into the chocolate mix. Stir to combine, then cover and pop in the fridge for an hour.
- Now comes the fun part! Cut two or three 20 cm long pieces of cling film and overlap lengthways on your work surface to make a slightly thicker layer.
- Spoon out half the mix onto the cling film in a rough sausage shape. Roll up tightly and twist both ends, then roll the sausage backwards and forwards to make it smooth and regular in appearance. Repeat with the other half of the mix, then place the sausages in the fridge overnight to set (although in practise you can probably get away with just a couple of hours if you are desperate).
- Unwrap the salami and rub icing sugar all over them to give a dusted appearance, then re-wrap in squares of baking parchment and tie with ribbon. Slice into sections and serve with coffee or as an after-dinner treat. (If you are going to freeze them, just unwrap the cling film, dust in sugar and roll them up in tin foil.)