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.

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Biscotti – Almond and Apricot

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 C caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp orange blossom or rose water / 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • a pinch of ground cardamom (for the Date and Pistachio biscotti)
  • 100gm of pistachios / almonds
  • 90gm dried dates / dried apricots (roughly chopped)
  • 2 C plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 175°C.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together with an electric mixer (at least for 5 minutes) until slightly thick, creamy and pale yellow.
  4. Add the orange blossom water or vanilla extract, ground spice (if using), nuts and dried fruit and give it a couple of light stirs to combine.
  5. Working in small batches, pour a little of the flour mixture over the surface of the egg mixture and gently fold until just combined. Continue until all the flour is added. Do not over mix the batter.
  6. Divide the dough into two batches, give them a brief knead to bring it together and shape them into loaves approximately 5cm x 25cm and place them apart on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
  7. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes, rotating the tray after 20 minutes. Biscotti is ready when cracks appear on top of the biscotti. Don’t let the cracks get too large because that’d mean you’re over baking it.
  8. Remove from the oven when done and let the biscotti cool completely.
  9. When completely cooled, use a serrated knife to slice the biscotti as thickly or thinly as you like.
  10. Place the slices of biscotti on a baking tray and bake in the oven for about 8-13 minutes until crisp and lightly golden.
  11. Cool biscotti on the wire rack. When completely cooled, store in an airtight container.