Salame de chocolate (or chocolate salami) is a Portuguese dessert specialty prepared with chocolate, biscuits, butter and eggs. Sometimes, port wine or rum is added to the preparation.
What is chocolate salami?
Obviously, this chocolate salami is vegetarian friendly and does not contain any meat product. It is called “salami” as the end result looks like a salami.
Indeed, like a salami, the chocolate version is shaped as a long log and is sliced across into thin circles when serving. The brown color of the chocolate looks like the red meat, and the pieces of cookie and nuts resemble the white flecks of fat typically seen in meat salami.
Chocolate salami around the world
The Portuguese version of chocolate salame is traditionally made with Marie biscuits, in addition to nuts like almonds, pistachios, or hazelnuts for example.
The sweet delicacy is also popular in Italy. Over there, it is known as chocolate salame, salame al cioccolato (or salame di cioccolato). It is also known as salame turco (Turkish salami) or even salame vichingo (Viking salami).
The salami vichingo naming dates back to 1970, when an Italian children’s cookery book called Manuale di Nonna Papera (The Manual of Grandma duck) was published. The recipe book actually included a recipe for salame vichingo.
Salame turco takes its name from the skin color of the Moors (rather than Turkish), similar to the one of chocolate. Yes, we know, not very politically correct nowadays…
In Italy, chocolate salami is listed as a traditional Italian Food product (Prodotti Agroalimentari Tradizionali Italiani or P.A.T). In Bologna, the chocolate salame has traditionally been a sweet passover recipe. In Emilia-Romagna, this dessert is often offered during the Easter holiday.
Over time, the popularity of this dessert spread out throughout Europe and beyond.
In Greece, chocolate salami is known as mosaiko.
In Turkey, it is called mozaik pasta (mosaic cake).
In the Middle East, it is known as sukseh (from French: succès) as well as lazy cake, which is often shaped as a cake instead of a log or salami.
Salame de Chocolate and Maria biscuits
But back to our Portuguese version which is prepared with a unique ingredient. Indeed, most chocolate salami recipes include some type of biscuits, cookie, biscotti (in Italy) or Graham crackers. However, the Portuguese always use Maria biscuits.
Maria biscuits are used in a number of traditional Portuguese recipes, including bolo de bolacha. What is interesting is that these rich tea biscuits are originally British and not Portuguese. As we already discussed here, these Marie biscuits were created in 1874, on the occasion of the wedding of the Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia with the Duke of Edinburgh, Alfredo, the second son of Queen Victoria. James Peek and George Hander Freans, two bakers from the London area, created this new biscuit that they named Maria in honor of the duchess.
I prepared this salame de chocolate twice. The first time was for a Friday night potluck dinner with a few friends, and everyone loved it. The second time was for a Sunday lunch with our friends Karine and Joe. Joe is originally from Jerusalem, and when I took the chocolate salami out of the refrigerator, it brought tears to his eyes, as it reminded him a very dear friend’s mother who used to make the exact same chocolate log.
This is why I love to cook and bake for friends. Food is what connects us all in the end, and to me, it is the main, and sometimes only way to ensure our traditions and memories are passed on to our future generations.
But enough with the tears. Now, it is your turn to prepare this delicious and very to make salame de chocolate!
- 8 oz. semisweet chocolate
- 2 eggs , beaten
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons slivered almonds
- 6 tablespoons pistachios
- 4 oz. Maria cookies (or tea biscuits)
- 1 tablespoon port wine (optional)
- 4 tablespoons icing sugar
- Wax paper
- Toast the slivered almonds and pistachios on a pan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add to a bowl and set aside.
- In a wide saucepan over high heat, bring water to boil. Then, lower the heat to medium.
- In a metal bowl, add the butter, chocolate chips, sugar, eggs, and port wine (optional).
- Place over the saucepan and cook in a bain marie while stirring for 5 minutes, or until it reaches a smooth consistency.
- Pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl with the nuts, and stir to incorporate.
Break the Maria cookies into small chunks of about ½ inch (1cm).
- Add the cookies to the chocolate mixture and mix well.
- Cover and place this mixture in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes so it is easier to mold.
- Pour the chocolate mixture onto the wax paper to form a line the size of the salami you want to shape.
- Roll the wax paper around the chocolate mixture firmly. Twist each end to close the salami, and continue rolling to form a log.
- Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Take it out and roll it a couple times in the first 30 minutes to obtain a nice round log, otherwise it may flatten.
- Remove from the refrigerator. Unwrap the chocolate salami.
- Dust the wax paper with icing sugar.
- Roll the chocolate salami in the wax paper to coat it with the icing sugar.
- Slice pieces or place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.