IL SALAME DI CIOCCOLATA DI MARGHERITA: MARGHERITA’S CHOCOLATE SALAMI!

I think today I might be revealing what seems to have been kept as one of Italy’s best culinary secrets. After gelato and tiramisu, the Salame di Cioccolata should have been announced with a fanfare decades ago and, really, I have no idea why this hasn’t yet become the next Italian dessert obsession. Maybe the name is too much of a mouthful, but without fail, once you try it you’ll also have mouthfuls of it (excuse the pun).

I make it a lot. In fact, when I was a teenager I made it so many times preparing it again now makes me feel a bit nostalgic – ah, the good old days, when concocting a dessert was enough to win a boy’s heart!

Anyway, the Salame di Cioccolata is one of the easiest and quickest desserts you can make and this recipe has never, EVER failed me (and I’ve made this a LOT). The base is from an old Italian biscuit packaging – in the 80s, Italian brand Il Mulino Bianco used to give a different recipe on every packet of biscuits they sold. But I’ve made so many variations over the years that I’ve decided I’m going to claim this one recipe as my own. This is my Chocolate Salami.

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80g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa, but I normally use 80% cocoa chocolate. Trust me, the darker the better)
80g cocoa (again, get one completely without sugar)
100g unsalted butter
100g salted butter
200 brown sugar
300gr dry biscuits (Le Macine from Il Mulino Bianco make the best, soft mix, but if you can’t find them Rich Tea biscuits are a good neutral alternative, albeit a little bit too dry)
70g almonds
3 tsp Cointreau

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image 1. Cut the butter into bits and leave them on a tray to soften.

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2. Grind two thirds of the biscuits into fine crumbs with pestle and mortar, so that you have a sort of flour made of biscuits. Break the rest into pieces of various size, but never bigger than a 2-pence piece.

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3. Use a knife to cut the dark chocolate into small chunks and slices.

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4. Chop the almonds into bits of various sizes.

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5. Put a large apron on and roll up your sleeves. Things are about to get messy! 6. Mix the sugar, the cocoa, the chocolate bits, the egg yolks, the biscuit crumbs and pieces and the almonds in a large bowl.

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7. Add the butter and amalgamate everything with your hands until the mix is even, but not too mushy.

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8. Add the Cointreau – this will soften the mixture even more.

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9. Cut two fairly long pieces of foil – about 40cm (16 inches) each should do. 10. Split the mix in two, lay each half on a piece of foil and shape them into salamis (and give way to as many jokes as you want).

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11. Wrap the salamis up and put them in the freezer for an hour to set.

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A few tips:

  • The point of breaking the biscuits and cutting the almonds into chunks of varying sizes is to imitate the bits of fat in a real salami, so don’t make them too big, although some biscuit pieces will inevitably crumble as you mix everything together.
  • After you have wrapped the salamis, roll the logs on a flat surface a couple of times, so that you round up the bottom part as well.
  • When you take a salami out of the freezer, wait for a couple of minutes before taking the foil off, or pass it under cold running water. This way the foil will come off easily instead of peeling into bits.
  • This dessert easily inspires jokes – especially amongst teenagers. But I bet you a fiver that all jokes will stop as soon as you taste it (and it’s a real winner with the kids).

Enjoy it!

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Styling: Margherita Poggiali
Photography
: Dee Ramadan
Chocolate Salami devourer: Maiwenn Larvor-Vestrini

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