June 15th, 2008, by Francesca
The bad news: this is a calorie bomb. Be warned and don't come complaining to me when those jeans don't fit; I won't have any of that.
The good news: it's super easy – messy, but easy – and there is no cooking involved. Oh, and you get a good upper body work-out, too, to offset some of those calories.
Warning: this contains raw eggs. I never worry about this, coming from the land of zabaglione and spaghetti alla carbonara, but if you do, consider using pasteurized eggs.Ingredients:
- egg yolks
- 100 g
- fine sugar
- 100 g
- unsalted butter
- 100 g
- unsweetened cocoa powder
- small glass of rum
- 150 g
- dry tea biscuits
- stainless steel or glass mixing bowl
- wooden spoon (reserved for desserts only)
A note about measurements:
If your scale doesn't do metric, remember 100 grams = about 3.5 ounces. If you have no scale, then I'm no help because I use metric or US systems based on the recipe at hand, but I hardly ever try to convert from one to the other. Brain hurts… but I should be more helpful after I take Applied Math next term.
Mix the sugar with the egg yolks until soft and light in color.
Incorporate the butter, preferably softened at room temperature. I am a little impatient and run it in the microwave oven until very soft, but stop before it melts as that changes the taste and texture. I also let it cool before using it, so it doesn't cook the egg yolks.
Start adding the cocoa powder through a strainer of your choice. Mix as you incorporate the cocoa powder. By the time you are halfway through the cocoa powder, the compound will be getting hard to stir. This is a good time to start adding the rum. I like to add a little at a time to adjust the consistency as needed. When it gets to a good point where I judge that I can start adding dry ingredients again, I resume adding the cocoa powder until it's all incorporated. You may need to add a few drops of rum again. Use your judgement.
You should now have a dense, homogenous mixture, like a thick mud. Time to break those dry biscuits. Just crumble them with your hands, enough that you don't have huge pieces but not so that you end up with biscuit flour. You need chunks, because those are the pieces that look like little lard chunks when you cut your salame in slices.
Add the broken biscuits to your mixture and work it with your hands until everything is incorporated. Now take a sheet of aluminum foil and put your chocolate mud on it. Shape it like a salame (a long cylinder), wrap the foil around it and put in the freezer for 1h to 1h30', then move it to the fridge. This will get your salame to stiffen up as quickly as possible. If you are not in a hurry, you can simply put the salame in the fridge overnight. I am not really into the delayed gratification thing, so I go the freezer way.Possible variations
You can replace the rum with Amaretto di Saronno or another sweet liquor, or forgo alcohol altogether if children are involved. In that case, think of ways to keep the mixture moist enough, perhaps by using an extra egg yolk or a smaller ratio of dry ingredients. You've made desserts before; be creative.
You could also incorporate toasted almonds in the mix. Again, think of how this might affect the end result and compensate accordingly. I would probably reduce the amount of dry biscuits in that case.
Something I might try next time is a different packaging, maybe some kind of paper instead of the aluminum foil, but I am not sure yet. It depends on whether I can make the paper stick to the salame before and after cutting it in slices. I like to keep the external "peel" as it feels like the rind of real salame. Another reason is that salame al cioccolato is very buttery and easier to cut when wrapped in something.
Ah, yes… as MaryJo pointed out in a comment to yesterday's post, you may want to use your not-so-good knife to cut through the foil. The things I do before my morning caffeine…