Chocolate Salami is a delicious and decadent no bake Italian treat traditionally served as dessert and with coffee. My particular chocolate sausage is speckled with granola, nuts, cherries and a little biscuit. A perfect food gift. Optional dairy free/vegan.
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Introducing my Gluten Free Chocolate Salami… with a little Granola Twist 😘
When I told my family I was making gluten free Chocolate Salami, they looked at me like I was bonkers… ‘Really?’… ‘Chocolate in salami?’ They quizzed… I laughed. Like I’d add chocolate to cured pork… I’m not that daft. 🤔
So… I explained to them that Chocolate Salami has nothing to do with meat and promised that as a sweet treat, they would definitely love it. They did! But my Chocolate Salami also has a twist… Instead of just using the usual crushed biscuits in the mix to make the ‘flecks’, I’ve switched up the recipe with granola. And it worked perfectly.
It’s not all granola though… I’ve also thrown in some bright green pistachios, a few glacé cherries and a couple of biscuits too… All of which give the most amazing flavour and texture combinations that dance on the tongue. Actually, I think this one way surpasses the traditional single-dimension Chocolate Sausage I’ve had in the past… But if you make it, I’d love to know what you think!
What is Chocolate Salami (Salame)?
Chocolate Salami (or Chocolate Salame) is a fun Italian (and Portuguese) treat that is popular at Christmas, with family recipes being honed and shared down the generations. It’s basically a bit like a Chocolate Biscuit Cake, or Fridge Cake, which I think is also known as ‘Hedgehog Slice’ in Australia.
The reason it’s called Chocolate Salami is pretty obvious from the photos (I hope). But for the record… The name comes from its resemblance to an Italian cured sausage… That’s for the shape (a cylindrical ‘sausage’); its inside meat-like speckling; the outer white-dusted surface; and the fact that it is cut into slices to be served.
Traditional Chocolate Sausage made with egg vs my no-egg salami
A standard (traditional) recipe for Chocolate Salami is made with chocolate or cocoa, biscuit, butter, egg, sugar and a little booze (sometimes). I’m assuming that the use of egg is to keep the ‘salame’ soft, although I can’t be sure. Either way, I am breaking with tradition and have instead used a little condensed milk for the same purpose. Clearly the egg is not necessary, as my own Chocolate Sausage is not only delicious, but slices perfectly well too! Doesn’t it look fab?
Chocolate Salami… Sausage… Salame…Salame di Cioccolato… – Another name conundrum!
I’d like to say ‘here we go again’… Regular readers of the blog will know that I get endlessly perplexed by the many names given to recipes and endlessly ponder which I should use…
So… Chocolate Salami… Sausage… Salame… or Salame di Cioccolato? This tasty Christmassy treat seems to be called many things, but ultimately all are the same. I suspect that as this delight hails from Italy, that ‘Salame di Cioccolato’ is probably closest to the real deal. But then equally, there could be many other name options I simply don’t know about!
In fact… Why don’t we add a couple ourselves… How about Chocolate Salami Fridge Cake? Or ‘Salami Hedgehog’?
What ingredients go into my no egg, gluten free Chocolate Sausage?
Okay… time to get a little more serious… and on to ingredients! What goes into my no-egg, gluten free Chocolate Sausage?
- Dark Chocolate – If you are making a decadent Christmas treat, there’s no point in messing around with ‘grainy’ cocoa. I used Callebaut Dark Chocolate Callets which I buy in an extra-large bag and are used for all things baking.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk – Just a little
- Vanilla Extract (optional)
- Amaretti Almond Liqueur – a small drop 😄
- Rolla Granola Organic & Nutty Granola – 100% gluten free AND Vegan and packed with nuts (which is why I love it).
- Glacé/Candied Cherries – Just a few (even more amazing if you make your own!)
- Slivered Pistachios – For their incredible bright green colour and rich nutty flavour
- And a couple of gluten free Rich Tea Biscuits
Choosing granola for making Granola Chocolate Salami
- Make absolutely sure the granola you choose is gluten free. And that includes that it is made with gluten free oats and has no risk of gluten cross contamination.
- If you are sensitive to all oats or have other dietary needs, make sure the granola is safe for you (or whoever you are sharing with) to eat.
- Choose a granola that is packed with interesting ingredients and not just ‘rabbit food’ flakes. Plenty of nuts and fruit are what makes this Gluten Free Chocolate Sausage special!
Why I use Rolla Granola…
For this Chocolate Salami, I used Rolla Granola Organic & Nutty Granola. And the reason for this is simple… It’s100% gluten free AND Vegan and is fabulously packed with nuts. That makes it not only super-yummy, but brilliant for a chocolate salami that has a great flavour and a perfectly pretty ‘sausage’ slice. Rolla Granola make lots of different granolas… all of which are worthy of their credentials, whether in Salame di Cioccolato or a bowl.
Can I make this recipe Dairy free and Vegan?
Since we’ve already established that my Chocolate Salame recipe is gluten free and egg-free, the question is now whether it can be made dairy free and vegan. And yes. It can! These are the subs and checks you need to make…
- Butter – Use a good dairy free and vegan alternative!
- Dark Chocolate – Choose one that is 100% dairy free.
- Condensed Milk – This can now be bought as a ‘plant-based’ option. My favourite brand (and the one I use) is Nature’s Charm Condensed Coconut Milk. But there is also a similar coconut version made by Biona and also a vegan version made by Carnation (although it does contain oats).
- Granola – Make sure the granola you choose fits safe dietary requirements yet is still super-interesting.
- Biscuits – Although the biscuits need to be plain, the type you use is flexible. Pick a favourite that you know works for you.
How to roll the sausage…
Making the mixture for Chocolate Salami is really simple. All you need is a large heat proof (or microwave-safe) mixing bowl, a mixing spoon, a hob/microwave and a fridge. Well… more or less that’s it. You’ll find a full list of equipment included in the recipe card below.
But how do you turn that gooey pile of chocolatey yumminess into a ‘sausage’?
There are a number of techniques out there, which vary to some slight degree. Although my salami isn’t the best or most even-looking ‘sausage’ in the world and I’m sure you can do better… The method I used for making it, was as follows…
- Chill the mix until starting to firm, but still pliable.
- Use good quality baking parchment – Cut off two large pieces and lay on the work surface.
- Liberally sprinkle sieved icing sugar across the surface of the baking paper in the area that the ‘sausage’ will be moulded.
- Split the mixture in half and share it between the two pieces of sugar-dusted parchment.
- Work it into a rough ‘sausage’ shape using a firm spatula or flat knife.
- Fold/wrap the baking parchment over the sausage, then twist the ends tight to ‘seal’.
- Mould the sausage a little more into shape, including rolling on the work surface as helpful, twisting the ends as tight as possible to help condense the mix.
- Chill for a good hour to firm, before unwrapping and re-dusting any gaps in icing sugar to ensure a good powdery coat.
- Dust off any excess icing sugar with a clean, dry pastry brush, before stringing.
- Store at room temperature to ensure a cuttable texture.
Note: Some recipes suggest wrapping and rolling in clingfilm. It’s up to you.
When to serve Chocolate Salame
Chocolate Salami is a treat loved by foodies of all ages. It is traditionally served as an Italian dessert in a Trattoria, or with coffee, after lunch. However, when you eat it is up to you…
We love it as a post-dinner TV treat when we want something a little sweet. But it works equally well as a special lunch-box surprise or taken to a bake-sale.
With Christmas, it makes a gorgeously festive food gift for family and friends. Although it also looks amazing and tempting on a buffet table, sliced and ready to share. In fact… Why keep it just for Christmas? Chocolate Salami (just like its meaty cousin) can and should be enjoyed at any time of year!
Ready to make Gluten Free Chocolate Salami?
Below is my recipe for Gluten Free Chocolate Salami with a Granola Twist. I hope you make it and love it. If you do, don’t forget to tell me how it went… Leave a comment and tag me on social media too… Photos are welcome!
If you need other inspiration for gluten free Christmas eating and food gifts, don’t forget to check out our dedicated Gluten Free Christmas Index. It’s a one stop shop to Christmas recipes…
For everything else, the main Gluten Free Recipe ‘Book’ Index, is our navigational hub… So, grab a cuppa and spend some time browsing our 400+ recipes. All shared for free with our love.
Chocolate Salami with Granola
- microwave or hob and saucepan
- flat-bladed knife
- 100 g unsalted butter or good dairy free alternative
- 350 g good quality dark chocolate DF/Vegan as required
- 35 g sweetened condensed milk dairy free as required (see main post for UK brands)
- 30 g Amaretto almond liqueur = 2 tbsp (or alternative liqueur of choice) or use orange juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 200 g good quality granola preferably with a high nut and/or fruit content – GF DF as required
- 60 g glacé cherries – quartered
- 20 g slivered pistachios or unsalted rough-chopped shelled pistachios
- 20 g Rich Tea/Marie biscuits or other plain biscuits – broken into small pieces (GF/DF/vegan as required)
- 3 tbsp Icing sugar confectioners/powdered sugar (approx amount)
- In a large microwave-safe or heat-proof bowl, melt the butter with the chocolate stirring until smooth. For best results, either set over a saucepan of just simmering water, stirring until just melted. Or melt in a microwave set at medium on 30 second bursts, stirring well between each until just melted. Be careful not to over-heat.
- Once melted, remove from the heat and stir in the condensed milk, liqueur and vanilla until combined and smooth.
- Add and stir in the granola, cherries, pistachios, and broken biscuits.
- Once the mixture is evenly combined, chill in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes until firm, but still ‘pliable’. Keep a close eye and stir from time to time to ensure the cooling temperature remains even throughout.
- If for any reason, the mixture reaches a point that it is too stiff to work, gently reheat in a microwave on medium or over a steaming pan of water for a very short while to loosen and re-chill as necessary.
- Prepare two large sheets of baking paper, by laying flat and liberally dusting with sifted icing sugar (confectioners/powdered sugar).
- Divide the mixture in two and place one half on each of the prepared sheets of baking paper.
- Using a firm palette knife or flat knife, gently work the mixture into approximate sausage shapes (to a fatness you prefer).
- Fold the paper over the mixture, making sure the whole ‘log’ is dusted with icing sugar, and twist the ends tight to ‘seal’.
- Work the log in the wrapping into an even sausage with the hands and by rolling on the counter-top.
- When happy that the log is even, check the ends to ensure the twist is as tight as possible.
- Carefully place the two ‘salamis’ on a tray or board to keep them flat and place in the fridge to chill and firm up for an hour.
- When the chocolate has set firm, carefully remove the wrappings and (if necessary) add an extra dusting of icing sugar to any gaps in the coating.
- Dust off any excess icing sugar with a clean, dry pastry brush, so that you have a lightly ‘floured’ look to the sausage.
- Carefully tie with string, bringing round the salami at intervals of 2 to 3 cm, to create the look of a strung salami.
- Store at room temperature, wrapped/in an airtight container.
- When ready to cut, place on a wooden board and slice with a very sharp, fine knife.
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