My sisters and I grew up eating chocolate salami as a treat. We would make extra batches to bring along to friends as it was a tasty, original and fun gift. Although it's incredibly easy to make, once we gave the chunky chocolate mix a salami shape, we couldn't wait until it was frozen and hard enough to slice. The recipe we used came from a book my mom had called Tu y Yo Cocinando, (You and I Cooking) which was a popular women’s cooperative cookbook in Mexico City in the 1970s.
Now my sisters and I are all grown up and raising our families in different cities and countries. Yet, we all make chocolate salami for our kids and friends. None of us have the cookbook anymore and as time has moved on, we have each given this dessert our own personal spin. However, we all use Maria cookies (but you can substitute them for vanilla wafers or Graham crackers if you don't find them). Here, I am sharing my personal spin.
This recipe makes two generous chocolate salami portions. I typically mix half the chunky batter with pecans and Coffee Liqueur made with Tequila -which my in laws introduced me to a couple years ago and is absolutely to die for- as it adds a rich and interesting layer of flavor. Some Mexican cooks add rum or Kahlúa. I leave the other half of the batter plain for my boys (yes, it kills me, but they are picky eaters). This is one of those desserts that is pretty accommodating. Now that I think about it, some dried cherries would be pretty amazing in that mix too…
10-12, but if i am around, maybe 6-8
unsweetened cocoa powder
Maria cookies (or plain Graham crackers or Vanilla wafers) broken into small pieces
2 to 3 tablespoons
Coffee Liqueur made with Tequila or Kahlua, optional
pecans, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
In a double boiler over simmering water, melt the chocolate along with the butter. Remove from the heat and stir this mix into a large mixing bowl. Pour in the sugar, vanilla and cocoa powder, and incorporate them with a spatula in evolving motions.
One by one, add the egg yolks into the batter and mix very well after each addition. Fold in the broken cookie chunks and if adding liqueur and pecans, fold them in as well. By now, you will have a moist and chunky, rough looking mixture.
Cut 2 pieces of waxed or parchment paper, to about 15" length. Spoon half the mixture onto each piece of paper. With your hands, shape them into logs. Roll them in the paper and give them a thick salami shape, of about 2" of thickness. Having the paper cover makes it very easy to give them a quick roll and a round shape. Twist the ends of the paper, in opposite directions.
If you made one log with liqueur and/or pecans and the other without, use a marker so you will recognize them when ready. Then wrap each one in a layer of plastic wrap. Place them in the freezer for about 2 to 3 hours or until frozen. Slice as thin or thick, as you like, while frozen and serve. Chocolate salami will keep in the freezer, tightly wrapped, for about 6 months.
If you bring them over as gifts, you may want to buy colored paper to give them a more festive feel, though I also like to use brown/unbleached parchment paper to wrap them initially and just put a nice tie around ends. But don’t forget to tell your friends to place the chocolate salamis in the freezer as soon as you give it to them. (It will travel well for a couple hours, it is just much easier to slice while frozen). Remove from the refrigerator 10 or 15 minutes before ready to slice.
I forgo my job in the Washington DC policy research world to research, test, taste, cook, write, teach and talk about Mexican food. Not only because of nostalgia and desire to connect to my roots, but because I love sharing all I learn and I am fascinated by Mexico cuisine's richness and depth.