What more could you want than this divinely delicious, simple and eye-catching treat? After all, we could all do with a bit of festive cheer and chocolate always helps. This satisfying dessert adventure started with a packet of Lotus biscuits and no plan. So I found myself in the virtual world of sausissons aux chocolate, salame de chocolate, mozaik pasta and salam de biscuiti discovering an international love for this tromp-oeil masterpiece in Italy, Portugal, Russia, Romania, France, Turkey and many more countries! I borrowed from various recipes but mine don’t include the cocoa, milk or sugar used by the Portuguese and Russians; instead there’s half milk chocolate and half dark chocolate. I borrowed the marshmallow idea from France, which adds a surprisingly delicious touch, but leave out the cream and raw eggs (also popular with Italians) so my salami keeps longer; and I include a good quantity of butter like the Russian and Romanian versions. Instead of the rum or port added in Portugal and Italy, mine has hazelnut liqueur. Additions like alcohol, toasted almonds, pistachios or walnuts, orange zest and pinch of salt help take this to the next level of dessert heaven. But it’s ver adaptable and nobake, made and shaped in 20 minutes! Chill, then the next day rub on very little icing sugar and cornflour mixture and string it! So effective! If you want to cheer yourself up or create a fun addition for a mini gathering, make chocolate salami! 🙂
It keeps really well in the fridge or freezer and you can help yourself to a slice whenever you fancy. So I would call this dessert diet friendly.
Except it’s really addictive so some will-power is necessary. Lol. Bottom line, it’s the festive season, it’s cold and with everything that’s going on (do I need to say the C word?) we need a chocolate fix. And what a fix! Miam miam, ham ham, nyam nyam (some international words for yum yum).
You can adapt the ingredients to your taste. I like including milk chocolate but you may prefer the Russian version with cocoa, milk and sugar. And the liqueur can be omitted.
Recommended biscuits are dry ones like Digestives (Graham crackers), Marie biscuits, Lotus biscuits, Vanilla Wafers, etc. The marshmallows are optional; you could add Turkish delight or make it healthier with seeds, nuts and dried fruit.
This dessert is gluten-free with gf biscuits. Finally, there’s an interesting-looking vegan version here.
Toasting the almonds (optional) – for a wonderful more intense flavour.
To skin: place in a bowl and cover in boiling water 5-10 minutes. Drain then cover again with fresh boiling water 10 mins. The skins should be loose and pop off easily if squeezed from one end.
Dry the skinned almonds then slice or chop into smaller pieces. Spread out on baking tray to toast in preheated oven – 155°C/310ºF (fan oven) or 175°C/350ºF (static oven) – for 5-10 minutes until light golden brown and smelling nicely roasted.
If toasting on dry frying pan, keep a close eye and move them around as they can burn quickly.
Allow to cool before adding to mixture.
Note: my earlier prototypes were delicious but sometimes crumbled when cut so I later reduced the amounts of nuts and biscuit. I recommend the untraditional addition of orange zest and hint of salt.
- 80g/10 Lotus biscoff biscuits, or some other kind
- 80g/1/2 to 3/4 cup slivered or chopped toasted skinless almonds
- 40g/1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped pistachios
- 30g/5 or 6 chopped marshmallows (or 8 -10 smaller ones)
- 200g/7 oz/1 and 1/3 cup chocolate (I used good-quality 100g/3.5oz/2/3 cup milk chocolate and 100g/3.5oz/2/3 cup dark chocolate)
- 90g/6 tbsp butter (I used good-quality French-style semi-salted butter but you can use unsalted butter and add 1/8 to 1/4 tsp fine sea salt, to taste)
- 2 tsp hazelnut liqueur or rum, to taste (or 1/2 to 1 tsp pure vanilla extract), optional
- Finely-grated zest of 1 orange
- 2 lengths of string (each around 6 times longer than your salami)
- Approximately 2 tbsp icing/powdered sugar mixed with 2 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch (Maizena)
Printable illustrated recipe, click on image (see written instructions and photos further down):
- Break biscuit pieces and chop marshmallows and nuts to similar chickpea size.
- Place butter and chocolate in glass or metal bowl over bain marie of simmering water on low-medium heat.
- Stir until just melted. Don’t overheat mixture. Take off heat and allow to cool 10 minutes.
- Stir in biscuits, nuts and marshmallow then liqueur (or vanilla) and zest.
Wrapping and unwrapping
Prepare 2 large rectangles of baking paper.
- Divide mixture in 2. Pour half mixture in middle of each rectangle. Wrap.
- Twist ends of paper to seal and press with hands to make mixture tight compact sausage shape.
- Store in tupperware in fridge overnight.
- Next day, unwrap.
Roll salami in cornflour and icing sugar. Put some on hands and rub lightly into salami and cracks. Tie string one end with knot then make loops one by one to other end. Tie a knot at the end.
Eating and storing
Slice carefully with sharp knife to avoid crumbling. Serve on wooden chopping board for maximum effect or discreetely sneak slices directly from fridge.
These salami mature well and seem even yummier after a few days. They keep in tupperware in the fridge a week or two. Wrapped tightly in plastic they can keep in the freezer up to 3 months.
A little history
It’s believed this dessert was originally from Italy but became very popular in Portugal then in Soviet Russia where housewives needed to be creative with limited ingredients and loved this sweet treat. Find out more on Wikipedia here. Interestingly, they say when this dessert became popular across Europe, many versions lost the alcohol as an ingredient! Shocking.
Salame or salami?
In Italian, salame is the singular and salami the plural. In English we have adopted the word salami for the singular and added the plural ‘s’ to create salamis!
But however you name them, chocolate salami are super addictive, fun and truly delicious. Please have a few slices…
Bye for now dears. Hope you’re holding up well and excited about this festive season. We can still have some happy baking, no-baking and eating! 🙂 Lili x