Italians, as a rule, do not eat dessert after a meal, choosing perhaps a piece of fruit instead. However, it is a well-known fact that we find time “between” meals to satisfy our sweet tooth. Biscotti may accompany the morning cappuccino as well as the evening espresso and any time is the right time for gelato!
Salame dolce (sweet salame) is a traditional Italian confection that resembles a cured “meat” salami but is really made of chocolate. This rustic dessert is popular in Italian households and rural trattorias.
This recipe requires no cooking, can be made in advance, keeps nicely for 1-2 weeks and makes a fun foodie gift.
- 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and cooled completely
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and cooled completely
- 1/2 cup coarsely crushed cookies (3 Walker Scottish pure butter shortbread cookies)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips or bar cut into pieces (Ghiradelli)
- Confectioner’s sugar
- Spread the crushed shortbread on a baking sheet and bake in a 350* oven for 6 minutes until lightly toasted. Cool and then transfer to a small bowl.
- Coarsely chop the nuts and add to the toasted shortbread crumbs.
- Place the softened butter and chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and then place the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water. Stir until the butter and chocolate melt and the mixture becomes smooth.
- Add the nuts and shortbread to the chocolate and then stir until incorporated into the mixture. Cover the bowl and refrigerate 30 minutes, until mold-able.
- This recipe makes 1 large salame, 2 medium-size or 4 small ones. I usually divide the mixture in half, making 2 (8 x 2-inch) salami.
- Using a piece of plastic wrap, place half the mixture (if you are making 2) in the center and form into a log. Roll up the log in the plastic and then roll back and forth to compress and even it out. Unwrap the log and transfer to a clean piece of plastic wrap and then roll it up and twist the ends tight (using kitchen twine or twist ties if necessary).
- Repeat with the remaining mixture and then refrigerate just until firm.
- Salame dolce should be eaten at room temperature. When ready to serve, unwrap and dust with confectioner’s sugar on all sides. Cut into slices. (If you are giving this as a gift, wrap in parchment or brown paper and tie with kitchen twine to resemble salame).