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Fun and Festive: Chocolate Salami

How much fun is this? It’s a sweet chocolate confection, served pate-style with a knife for serving yourself, ideal alongside cheese platters and other nibbles, so long as people recognize it as dessert! Although it closely resembles the real thing, chocolate salami is is a kind of giant truffle studded with crumbled cookies, nuts and dried fruit, so that when you slice it it looks like processed meat. Traditional Italian versions call for egg yolks and grappa – I didn’t take it quite so seriously. Mine is chocolate, butter and cream, with toasted hazelnuts, golden raisins and Digestive Biscuits crumbled in. I’m thinking it would be a fun alternative to cookies for an exchange or for gift-giving – easy to wrap and give away. And it makes a great conversation piece.

Use your imagination when it comes to cookies, nuts and fruit to add – come up with your own combination. Next time I’ll chop and crumble more finely, for the sake of aesthetics. This is one mighty coarse-textured salami.

Chocolate Salami

8 oz. dark or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup cream
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
5 Digestive biscuits, roughly chopped
3/4 cup golden raisins

icing sugar, for rolling

In a medium bowl, melt the chocolate, butter and cream in the microwave or over simmering water. Stir until melted and smooth. Stir in the hazelnuts, Digestive biscuits and raisins. Chill in the fridge for about an hour, or until cool enough to shape but not yet firm.

Scrape the mixture out onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log (or two, if you want to make smaller ones). Wrap in the plastic wrap and return to the fridge for several hours, until firm. Take it out and dust it generously all over with icing sugar (you can do this by dumping some icing sugar on the countertop and rolling the log around in it). When you’re ready to serve it, take it out of the fridge for half an hour or so to make it easier to slice.

Makes 1 large or two small salamis.

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