Tell someone you’re making Chocolate Salami and watch the look on their face. If they’ve never heard of it, the look will not be one of enthusiasm or anticipation, rather one that might say “are you losing it?” or “Nooo thanks!” is more likely (At least that was my experience with every single person I told). I recently made this for a family get-together and when I mentioned chocolate salami as one of the desserts, several lips curled down assuming I’d be serving some meat and chocolate
gross weird combination. I assured everyone that Chocolate Salami is called same because of how it looks, not because of its ingredients. And after trying it, the family gave me several thumbs up, my son and nephew made several rounds back to the salami and it was gone in a matter of minutes.
This Chocolate Salami recipe features dark chocolate (you can use semi-sweet or milk chocolate if you like), roasted pistachios, chopped and ground ladyfingers, and dried cherries soaked in orange juice. The resulting texture is equal parts chocolate truffle and crispy cookie. Chocolate and orange flavored cherries, well we know how popular orange and chocolate are together.
Let me show you how to make the salami:
Ladyfingers are cut into half-inch pieces and then about 3/4 cup is ground fine. The chocolate is combined with heavy cream and melted, then add the ground ladyfingers. While all this is happening, the dried cherries are finely chopped and soak in orange juice (I used blood oranges) with a little orange extract.
First the ground ladyfingers are incorporated with the chocolate and then all ingredients are stirred together until well coated with the chocolate. This mixture is then divided in half and is formed and rolled in plastic wrap into salami-shaped tubes. The mixture needs at least three hours to firm up before being rolled in confectioners sugar and sliced.
Slice the Chocolate Salami immediately after removing from the refrigerator and rolling in the sugar. We found that they just got better as they came closer to room temperature.
Fun to look at and impressive on the table, serve on the cutting board and leave some of the salami unsliced for visual appeal.
Chocolate Salami originates from both Portugal and Italy and typically is any combination of chocolate, broken cookies, nuts, and port wine or rum. The recipe here originally calls for Grand Marnier but I substituted orange juice and extract mainly because I’m more likely to have those on hand. Soaking the cherries in a nice red wine would yield a different but equally delicious flavor. In this instance, the orange flavored cherries combines amazingly with the chocolate and pistachios. Experiment with your own combination and be sure to tell me about it!
- ½ cup dried cherries, chopped coarse
- ¼ cup freshly squeeze orange juice
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- 11 dried ladyfingers (savoiardi), cut into ½-inch chunks
- 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- Pinch salt
- ⅔ cup pistachios
- ½ cup (2 ounces) confectioners' sugar
- Combine cherries and orange juice/extract in small bowl and microwave until hot, about 30 seconds; let sit until cherries have softened and mixture is cool, about 15 minutes (just let them sit while you prepare the other ingredients).
- Reserve 1 cup ladyfingers. Process remaining ladyfinger in food processor to fine crumbs, about 30 seconds. This will yield about ¾ cup.
- Place cream and chocolate in a medium, microwave-safe bowl, heat on 50 percent power, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth, about 60 seconds total. Add salt and ladyfinger crumbs and stir to combine. Add pistachios, reserved ladyfingers, and cherry mixture (including juice). Stir until thick dough forms.
- Divide dough in half and place each half on a large sheet of plastic wrap (about 12' long). Use plastic to roll each dough into tight 6-inch log, twisting ends well to secure. Refrigerate dough logs until firm, at least 3 hours. Chilled dough can be stored in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- When ready to serve, place confectioners' sugar in shallow dish. Unwrap dough logs and roll in sugar until well coated, brushing off excess. Cut each log into ½-inch slices. Serve.
Recipe adapted slightly from Cook’s Country magazine.