Cranberry and Amaretto chocolate salami


Louise Robinson's chocolate salami recipe is packed with festive dried cranberries, Amaeretto, almonds and pistachios. These make fabulous edible gifts, or delicious post-Christmas dinner petit fours.

First published in 2016

The last Sunday before Christmas is usually spent quietly in the kitchen, making edible gifts for friends and neighbours. There is something especially therapeutic about pre-Christmas baking, the calm before the storm. I do vary what I make every year according to my mood, but inevitably I always include chocolate salami, it is so simple to make.

Chocolate Salami or 'Salame di cioccolato' in Italian, which naturally sounds so much better, is often served as a dessert in rural trattorias in Italy. The Portuguese are also very fond of 'Salame de Chocolate', where it is made with Maria biscuits which are similar to our rich tea. There are many variations according to country and region but essentially this decadent treat is made with good quality chocolate, dried fruit and alcohol. I love the combination of slightly sweetened cranberries that still have a hint of tartness, toasted almonds, crushed amaretti biscuits and a handful of gloriously green pistachios. I used Amaretto liquor, but you could substitute with your favourite rum or brandy, or leave out altogether to make it child friendly.





Place the dried cranberries in a bowl and add the Amaretto liquor. Stir and leave to one side
Spread the almonds and pistachios on a baking sheet and toast for 5–8 minutes until lightly toasted (keep an eye on them as they can burn easily). Remove from the oven and as soon as they are cool and roughly chop the nuts in half
Place the chopped chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl and place on top of a pan of gently simmering water. It is essential that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water, otherwise the chocolate may seize. Stir until the chocolate and butter have melted and are smooth
Meanwhile, using another bowl, lightly whisk together the caster sugar, soft brown sugar, the whole egg and yolk until combined
Add the mixture to the melted chocolate. Continue to cook over the gently simmering water, stirring continually until the mixture is hot to the touch and the eggs are cooked, which will take about 5 minutes. The chocolate mixture should now be silky and smooth
Crush the amaretti biscuits slightly into a few pieces. The easiest way to do this is by placing them in a clean freezer bag and giving them a quick bash with a rolling pin
Tip into the chocolate mixture along with the Amaretto-soaked cranberries and the nuts. Stir the mixture gently to combine thoroughly and leave to cool
Lay out 2 large sheets of non-stick baking paper and halve the mixture evenly between the 2 sheets. Using the paper, roll into a sausage shape and twist each end. Refrigerate for at least 4–6 hours
Unwrap the salami and dust with icing sugar to coat. Then you can either wrap the salami in a clean sheet of baking paper and tie with festive string to give as gifts, or serve cut into slices
The salami will keep, wrapped in paper, in the fridge for a week
First published in 2016

Louise Robinson is a former fashion accessories designer turned freelance food writer, stylist and photographer now based in the Sussex countryside.

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