This year my Christmas will be a bit different to the usual sun kissed Australian celebration. After a year studying at The University of Gastronomic Science in Italy, I will be celebrating in the Alps with six of my closest friends. It will be my first white Christmas and first time preparing a Christmas feast for the cold weather. I’m already well into menu planning- so far it looks like eggnog, tortellini in brodo, a roast with all the trimmings, brussel sprouts and chestnuts with panettone bread and butter pudding to finish.
However, as I am writing for friends of David Jones in the Southern Hemisphere, I need to make sure my recipes fall into the right seasons, and are ‘Aussie’. And what is more Australian than a good sense of humour? So I thought a great way to kick off my collection of Christmas recipes for David Jones was my Chocolate Salami. Before you turn your nose up, let me just clarify; it is chocolate disguised as salami. This is a very diverse recipe, it can be prepared and given as a gift, a stocking stuffer, or served up for dessert- any which way it will be a conversation starter and bring a lot of joy and fun- which is what Christmas is all about!
The salami will keep in the fridge for a week but will also sit happily in the freezer for up to 3 months. No need to defrost to serve either. So why not start early on your lunch celebrations early?
Oh, and on the packaging note, if you are going to make chocolate salami you might as well make it look like salami. I went to my local butcher and bought some string netting for ease, although you can easily buy some string and tie the salami the traditional way.
Happy Christmas cooking. E x
Makes 4 salami bars
Equipment: Bowl that fits snugly over a saucepan
Kitchen string or butchers netting
400 g dark chocolate melts (use your favourite brand)
200 g unsalted butter
3 egg yolks
½ cup caster sugar
3 tablespoon cocoa powder
3 tablespoon marsala
300 g amaretti biscuits (available from Italian deli’s) or almond biscotti
Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl which fits snugly over a saucepan. Set aside. Fill the saucepan with water until one-quarter full (ensure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water). Bring the water to the boil over medium heat, then turn off the heat and place the bowl over the saucepan. Watch the chocolate melt, stirring occasionally. Remove from the saucepan and set aside to cool slightly.
While the chocolate is melting, put the biscuits into a glad bag, seal and bash them with a rolling pin until you have a bag of different sized crumbs, not dust. The biscuits act as your “fat” in the salami so you want an array of different size rubble. Set aside.
Beat the butter and sugar together with electric beaters until pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating until combined. Mix in cocoa powder, marsala and slowly drizzle in cooled melted chocolate. Using a wooden spoon, fold through biscuit crumbs. If you are finding that your mixture is very wet (which is probably due to the temperature of your kitchen, I’m talking to those who prepare this in the Australian summer), whack the bowl in the fridge for 20 minutes to allow it to harden up.
Roll out a large sheet of clingwrap, divide the mixture into four and place one part down the end of the clingwrap. Using your hands, mould the mixture into a sausage shape and firmly roll up in the clingwrap, stopping to mould after each roll to help the salami keep its shape. Firmly roll the salami a few times in the clingwrap to create a smooth, rounded cylinder. Twist the ends and tie with string and then put in the fridge for 4-5 hours to set.
One set, remove the clingwrap from your salami. Place on a plate and sprinkle with icing sugar and rub in, this gives the ‘moldy’ look which salami has. If you are going to give away as a gift, re-wrap the salami in a small piece of clingwrap (to keep it melting everywhere) and pull over the string netting (or tie it up as shown on instructional video). Then dust the salami with some more icing sugar and roll up in baking paper. Tie the ends and finish off with a tag.