Salame di Cioccolato – Italian Chocolate Salami

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 4 tbs orange liqueur, such as Triple Sec or Grand Marnier
  • 7 oz tea biscuits and/or plain butter cookies
  • 3 oz chopped pistachios
  • 2 tbs chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • powdered sugar, for decoration

METHOD:

  1. Break cookies into a large bowl and sprinkle with ½ the Grand Marnier, set aside.
  2. In a bowl, vigorously mix egg yolks with sugar until the mixture turns thick and the sugar is fully incorporated. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the butter over low heat. With the back of a spoon smash the butter as it softens and begins to melt. Remove from heat as soon as the butter starts to liquify. Stir to combine.
  4. Next combine the broken cookies, butter and sugar mixture. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. The chocolate mixture will be sticky a bit messy to handle.
  5. Lay out a long sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap on a hard surface, about 18 inches long. Roll the mixture onto the wax paper and shape into a salami shape length wise to the paper. Mold salami to the desired length and thickness, somewhere between 2-3 inches. Bring salami to one side of paper and roll paper around log gently but firmly, twist ends similar to that of a salami.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  7. When ready to serve, unwrap the salami and lightly roll it in powdered sugar to give it a look of aged salami.
  8. Keep refrigerated.

Note: Salami will be very firm when cutting slices, so its best to take it out of the refrigerator a few minutes before serving. Entire salami can be cut into slices and refrigerated to make it easier to serve later. Or if entertaining, salami can be presented whole and guests can cut their own slices.

Raspberry Dark Chocolate Ganache Chocolates

INGREDIENTS:

makes 48-64 chocolates, depending on mold size

for dark chocolate ganache:
(this recipe should make more ganache than necessary for these chocolates, but ganache is always a great thing to have around and it keeps very well in the fridge. Use the excess ganache for truffles, if you want, or save for more chocolates later!)
  • 4 oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped (I used Gittard, but any good quality dark chocolate will do)
  • 6 Tbspn heavy cream (preferably manufacturing cream, if you can find it)
  • 1 Tbspn butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbpsn Godiva chocolate liquor
METHOD:
  1. Place chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, heat cream and butter until just before boiling.  Immediately pour hot cream over the chocolate in a bowl.  Allow this to sit for about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir the chocolate and cream until a homogeneous mixture forms.  Stir in the chocolate liquor.
  4. Place overnight in the fridge until firm.
for chocolates:
  • 1 lb. dark chocolate, split into two half pounds
  • dark chocolate ganache, recipe above
  • raspberry preserves
METHOD:
You will also need plastic chocolate molds.
  1.  Chop a 1/2 pound of the dark chocolate and place in a double boiler.  Melt this chocolate.  Turn off stove.
  2. Add the other 1/2 pound WHOLE, without chopping!, to the melted chocolate in the double boiler.  Stir until the chocolate is completely melted.  This is the easiest way to temper chocolate that I’ve found.  No need to mess with marble pastry boards or thermometers!  But, if you have your own method, feel free to temper the chocolate as you wish.
  3. Once the chocolate is tempered, make sure to keep it only hot enough to keep it melted.  Turn on the stove to simmer the water in the double boiler if heat is needed.
  4. Pour a teaspoon of melted chocolate into the molds one at a time. Once the chocolate is poured into one mold, use a paintbrush to spread the chocolate evenly to coat the inside of each mold.  Do not pour chocolate into all of the molds first and then spread later–your chocolate will cool!  Do this one single mold at a time.
  5. Once the molds have been coated, place them in the freezer for about five minutes.  Be careful not to leave them in for too long–the goal is only to let the chocolate set.
  6. Meanwhile, heat the raspberry preserves in the microwave until easily spreadable consistency.  Fill a pastry bag with the preserves, and set aside.
  7. Remove the molds from the freezer.  Using the pastry bag, squeeze a small amount of raspberry preserves into the bottom of each chocolate mold.
  8. Roll small pieces of the dark chocolate ganache.  Press the ganache into the chocolate molds on top of the raspberry preserves, leaving a tiny bit of space at the top of each mold.  Take care not to overfill the molds.
  9. Pour melted chocolate into the molds to cover the ganache.  Jiggle each tray a few times, and tap them gently on the counter to allow the melted chocolate to settle and to release any air pockets.
  10. Return the molds to the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour.  Remove from the freezer and turn out onto a cutting board.  If needed, use a round cookie cutter to trim the excess chocolate around the candies.
  11. You should probably store the chocolates in the fridge, but since the chocolate is tempered, they will survive a bit of time outside the fridge as well, as long as it’s not too hot outside!

Rose Marzipan

INGREDIENTS:

Makes about 48 chocolates
for marzipan:

  • 1 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 lb. almond paste
  • 1 1/2 Tbspn corn syrup
  • 1 Tbspn rose flavoring (available at specialty food stores; I got mine at Sur la Table)
  • 1/2 Tbspn water
  • 3-4 drops pink gel food coloring

METHOD:

  1. In a food processor, pulse confectioner’s sugar until no lumps remain.  Add the almond paste in chunks and process until combined.
  2. Add the corn syrup.  Pulse a few times until the corn syrup is incorporated.
  3. In a separate small bowl, combine rose flavoring, water, and food coloring and mix.  Add the food coloring mixture into the food processor.
  4. Process until the combination starts to come together.  Stop right before it forms a big ball.
  5. Turn out the marzipan onto a piece of plastic wrap.  Wrap tightly and store in an airtight container overnight before use.

for chocolates:

  • 1 lb. dark chocolate (I used Gittard, but any good quality dark chocolate will work), split into two half pounds
  • rose marzipan, recipe above

METHOD:
You will also need plastic chocolate molds.  available  at arts & crafts stores or online.

  1. Chop a 1/2 pound of the dark chocolate and place in a double boiler.  Melt this chocolate.  Turn off stove.
  2. Add the other 1/2 pound WHOLE, without chopping!, to the melted chocolate in the double boiler.  Stir until the chocolate is completely melted.  This is the easiest way to temper chocolate that I’ve found.  No need to mess with marble pastry boards or thermometers!  But, if you have your own method, feel free to temper the chocolate as you wish.
  3. Once the chocolate is tempered, make sure to keep it only hot enough to keep it melted.  Turn on the stove to simmer the water in the double boiler if heat is needed.
  4. Pour a teaspoon of melted chocolate into the molds one at a time. Once the chocolate is poured into one mold, use a paintbrush to spread the chocolate evenly to coat the inside of each mold.  Do not pour chocolate into all of the molds first and then spread later–your chocolate will cool!  Do this one single mold at a time.
  5. Once the molds have been coated, place them in the freezer for about five minutes.  Be careful not to leave them in for too long–the goal is only to let the chocolate set.
  6. Remove the molds from the freezer.  Break off small pieces of rose marzipan–about the size of a small cherry, and roll into a ball.  Press the marzipan into the chocolate molds, leaving a tiny bit of space at the top of each mold.
  7. Pour melted chocolate into the molds to cover the marzipan.  Jiggle each tray a few times, and tap them gently on the counter to allow the melted chocolate to settle and to release any air pockets.
  8. Return the molds to the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour.  Remove from the freezer and turn out onto a cutting board.  If needed, use a round cookie cutter to trim the excess chocolate around the candies.
  9. You should probably store the chocolates in the fridge, but since the chocolate is tempered, they will survive a bit of time outside the fridge as well, as long as it’s not too hot outside!

Passionfruit-coconut Dark Chocolates & Raspberry Mocha Dark Chocolates

Passionfruit-coconut dark chocolate ganache
INGREDIENTS:
The recipe for the filling ganache is included below. For directions on molding the candies, please use the recipe here.  For lemon curd see below

  • 6oz. dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbspn butter
  • 2 Tbspn passionfruit concentrate syrup (available at Asian markets)
  • 1 Tbspn dark rum
  • shredded dried coconut, unsweetenedlemon curd
METHOD:

  1. Place the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine cream and butter. Stir and bring to just barely a boil.
  3. Remove the cream mixture from heat and pour over the prepared dark chocolate in bowl. Allow to sit for two to three minutes, then stir until the chocolate melts into the cream.
  4. Stir in the passionfruit syrup and rum. Then add in as much shredded coconut as desired.
  5. Allow the ganache to set in the fridge overnight before use.
  6. When filling the chocolate molds, pipe a bit of lemon curd in first and then fill the molds with the passionfruit-coconut ganache.

Lemond Curd:

makes ~2 cups

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 Tbpsn corn starch
  • 1/4 tspn salt
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed meyer lemon juice
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 Tbspn butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups boiling water
  • 1 Tbspn freshly grated meyer lemon zest

METHOD:

  1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually blend in the cold water and lemon juice.
  2. Add the egg yolks and butter, blending until smooth.
  3. Gradually add in the boiling water, stirring constantly.
  4. Place the saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a full boil, stirring gently with a spatula and scraping the bottom (to prevent burning). Once the mixture begins to thicken, reduce the heat and simmer for one minute.
  5. Remove the curd from heat and mix in the lemon zest. Cool completely.
Raspberry mocha dark chocolate ganache
The recipe for the filling ganache is included below. For directions on molding the candies, please use the recipe here.

  • for raspberry filling:
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 4 Tbspn sugar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tspn cornstarch, sifted

METHOD:

  1. In a nonreactive saucepan, saute the raspberries on medium high until they begin to release their juices.
  2. Add the lemon juice, sugar, and sifted cornstarch to the raspberries, making sure to whisk to combine the cornstarch.
  3. Stirring constantly, bring the contents to a boil and simmer until the raspberries have reduced and are thickened, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Set aside.

for mocha ganache:

  • 6 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbspn butter
  • 3 Tbspn instant coffee (or 1-2 Tbspn espresso powder)
  • 2 1/2 Tbspn Bailey’s Irish Cream liquor

METHOD:

  1. Place the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine cream, butter, and instant coffee/espresso powder. Stir and bring to just barely a boil.
  3. Remove the cream mixture from heat and pour over the prepared dark chocolate in bowl. Allow to sit for two to three minutes, then stir until the chocolate melts into the cream.
  4. Stir in the Bailey’s liquor.
  5. Allow the ganache to set in the fridge overnight before use.
  6. When filling the chocolate molds, pipe a bit of raspberry reduction in first and then fill the molds with the mocha ganache.

Ginger Carrot Dark Chocolates

INGREDIENTS:
Makes about 48 chocolates, with leftover ganache

  • 8 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbspn butter
  • 2 heaping tspn ground ginger
  • 1 Tbspn brandy
  • 1 medium carrot (preferably organic), julienned into short and thin, thin strips*
  • 16 oz. dark chocolate

METHOD:

  1. Place 8 oz. chopped dark chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl.  Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine cream, butter, and ground ginger.  Stir and bring to just barely a boil.
  3. Remove the cream mixture from the heat and pour over the prepared dark chocolate in a bowl.  Allow to sit for two to three minutes, then stir until the chocolate melts into the cream.
  4. Stir in 1 Tbspn brandy into the chocolate ganache.
  5. Add the cut carrots in the ganache.  Allow the ganache to set in the fridge overnight.
  6. Chop 8 oz. of the remaining dark chocolate and place in a double boiler.  Melt this chocolate.  Turn off the stove.
  7. Add the last remaining 8 oz. of dark chocolate WHOLE, without chopping!, to the melted chocolate in the double boiler.  Stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
  8. Once the chocolate is tempered, make sure to keep it only hot enough to keep it melted.  Turn on the stove to simmer the water in the double boiler if heat is needed.
  9. Pour a teaspoon of melted chocolate into the molds one at a time.  Once the chocolate is poured, use a paintbrush to spread the chocolate evenly to coat the inside of each mold.  Do not pour chocolate into all of the molds first and then spread later–your chocolate will cool!  Do this one single mold at a time.
  10. Once the molds have been coated, place them in the freezer for about five minutes.  Be careful not to leave them in for too long–the goal is only to let the chocolate set.
  11. Remove the molds from the freezer.  Roll small pieces of the ginger-carrot ganache–about the size of a small cherry.  Press the ganache into the chocolate molds, leaving a tiny bit of space at the top of each mold.
  12. Pour melted chocolate into the molds to cover the ganache.  Jiggle each tray a few times, and tap them gently on the counter to allow the melted chocolate to settle and to release any air pockets.
  13. Return the molds to the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour.  Remove from the freezer and turn out onto a cutting board.  If needed, use a round cookie cutter to trim the excess chocolate from around the candies.

*I chose not to shred the carrots because then you don’t get the crunchy texture of carrot chunks that contribute so nicely to these chocolates.  Instead, I used a mandolin to slice the carrot, cut those into strips, and finally, chopped the strips into one-to-two centimeter long pieces.

 

 

 

 

Saffron-honey Dark Chocolates & Blackberry-cassis Dark Chocolates

Blackberry-Cassis Dark Chocolates

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tbspn butter
  • 3 Tbpsn creme de cassis liquor
  • Blackberry jam

METHOD:

  1. Place the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl.  Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine cream and butter.  Stir and bring to just barely a boil.
  3. Remove the cream mixture from heat and pour over the prepared dark chocolate in bowl.  Allow to sit for two to three minutes, then stir until the chocolate melts into the cream.
  4. Stir in the creme de cassis liquor.  Allow the ganache to set in the fridge overnight before use.
  5. When filling the chocolate molds, pipe a bit of blackberry jam and then fill with the cassis ganache.
 For directions on molding the candies:
  1. Chop 8 oz. of the  dark chocolate and place in a double boiler.  Melt this chocolate.  Turn off the stove.
  2. Add the last remaining 8 oz. of dark chocolate WHOLE, without chopping!, to the melted chocolate in the double boiler.  Stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
  3. Once the chocolate is tempered, make sure to keep it only hot enough to keep it melted.  Turn on the stove to simmer the water in the double boiler if heat is needed.
  4. Pour a teaspoon of melted chocolate into the molds one at a time.  Once the chocolate is poured, use a paintbrush to spread the chocolate evenly to coat the inside of each mold. Do not pour chocolate into all of the molds first and then spread later–your chocolate will cool!  Do this one single mold at a time.
  5. Once the molds have been coated, place them in the freezer for about five minutes.  Be careful not to leave them in for too long–the goal is only to let the chocolate set.
  6. Remove the molds from the freezer.  Roll small pieces of the  ganache–about the size of a small cherry.  Press the ganache into the chocolate molds, leaving a tiny bit of space at the top of each mold.
  7. Pour melted chocolate into the molds to cover the ganache. Jiggle each tray a few times, and tap them gently on the counter to allow the melted chocolate to settle and to release any air pockets.
  8. Return the molds to the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour.  Remove from the freezer and turn out onto a cutting board.  If needed, use a round cookie cutter to trim the excess chocolate from around the candies.
Saffron-Honey Dark Chocolates
The recipe below is for the ganache. For directions on molding the candies read above
INGREDIENTS:
  • 6 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 Tbspn honey
  • A generous pinch of saffron threads (~10-15)
  • 1 Tbspn butter
  • 2 Tbspn Godiva chocolate liquor

METHOD:

  1. Place the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl.  Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the cream, honey, and saffron threads.  Stir and bring to a near-boil, remove from heat, cover, and let steep for ten minutes.
  3. Return the cream, honey, and saffron to heat and add the butter.  Bring to just barely a boil.  Make sure the honey is completely dissolved.
  4. Remove the cream mixture from heat and pour through a fine mesh strainer over the prepared dark chocolate.  (to remove saffron threads, but if you don’t mind the threads, skip the strainer.  I did.)  Allow to sit for two to three minutes, then stir until the chocolate melts into the cream.
  5. Stir in the Godiva chocolate liquor.  Allow the ganache to set in the fridge overnight before use.

Crunchy Peanut Butter Balls

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ½ cups chunky peanut butter
  • 3 T creamy peanut butter
  • 1 stick of butter, softened, but cool
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable shortening (only if not tempering chocolate)
  •  1/3 cup salted peanuts, halved, for garnish(optional)

METHOD:

  1. Mix together peanut butter, butter, powdered sugar, and graham cracker crumbs.  Shape into 1-inch balls.  Refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  2. Melt chocolate chips and shortening in top of double boiler (or melt and temper the chocolate). Dip balls into chocolate and set on waxed paper.  (Use a toothpick to poke and dip each ball, or else use two forks.)
  3. Garnish with a ½ peanut on top.  Allow chocolate to firm up before serving.
Makes about 56 balls