First things first, there is no meat in Salame de Chocolate. That’s one of those play on words things where it looks like something it is not. This one looks like a salami, but tastes like chocolate, port wine and heaven. My wife and I discovered this amazing little treat a few years ago in Portugal. I think we first had it as dessert on a TAP flight, but I may be mistaken. We fell in love with “chocolate salami” in all of its variations, but it can be hard to find stateside. As the holidays approached I thought it might be nice to surprise the wife with a little reminder of our pre-pandemic life and travel. I looked into having friends send some over, but then I stumbled across the recipe and decided to try my hand at making this Portuguese delicacy. It looked fairly simple, a straightforward no-bake recipe with easy to get ingredients. Armed with this knowledge I enlisted my son to help and one day before Christmas, we hit the test kitchen at the office to see if we could get something close to the original and it turned out pretty well. So, join us now as we introduce you to the culinary delights of the Salame de Chocolate.
You will need a way to mix this one up, a stand mixer will make things way easier, but it is not strictly necessary. Whether you are using the stand or a hand mixer and a bowl, get it set up and grab a spatula, measuring cups, and any other implements of creation you might need. Next, assemble your ingredients, I prefer to go ahead and get everything set out and premeasured for a nice mise en place. It makes things easier for me and assures that I actually have enough of all the things called for, but you do as you wish. You are going to need:
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 3 ounces tea cookies, we used Goya Maria cookies
- 3 to 6 tablespoons Port wine
With your ingredients in place, we are ready to start. Combine the butter, sugar, and salt in the bowl of your mixer on low speed until everything is well mixed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, you are going to have to do that a lot during this process. This is thick mixture, but it is going to be worth it.
Slowly, add the cocoa powder until it is incorporated. Take your time, this is a pretty dry recipe and if you get in a hurry you are going to throw cocoa powder everywhere. Once the cocoa is incorporated, add the cookies and mix until the cookies begin to break up, which is practically immediately.
Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides and pour in 3 tablespoons port. Continue mixing on low speed until the mixture begins to come together. If needed, slowly add more port to help everything stick together and get a nice consistency. You probably won’t need all of it, since this should be a relatively firm mixture, feel free to drink any remaining port, with my blessing. Continue to mix until the cookies are broken into small pieces no larger than 1/2 inch.
Dump the chocolate mixture onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Use your hands and practical grade school Play-Doh snake making experience to shape it into a log about 9 to 12 inches in length. I use some confectioners sugar to keep it from sticking to the plastic or my hands, kind of like the flour you use when rolling out dough. Do not use your grade school humor to consider what this big brown log looks like and wrap it with the plastic.
Roll the wrapped log back and forth along the table to create smooth sides, occasionally pressing on the ends to fatten it back up. It should be about as big around as something that is 1 1/2 to 2 inches across. When you feel good about the size and shape, twist the ends of the plastic wrap tightly to round the ends like a real salami and wrap in aluminum foil.
Refrigerate for at least 1 1/2 hours to let it firm up or let it go overnight. For the finishing touch, unwrap the whole things and generously coat the outside with confectioner’s sugar to give it that real salami look. If you are serving in the next day or two, wrap it in butcher paper and tie it with string to reinforce the salami illusion. If you are keeping it longer, wrap it inn plastic wrap to keep the moisture in.
When ready to serve, remove from the fridge, unwrap and slice it. I usually make my slices about 1/4 inch thick, but you do you. If you want it thinner, go with that, if you just want to take a big bite off the end like it was cookie dough, well, it’s your world. I like it fresh out of the refrigerator, some folks like to let is warm up a bit and soften, either way it is wonderful.
I am not sure how long this actually lasts. We store ours in the fridge and have been nibbling on it for about six weeks and it is still wonderful. There are a ton of variations on this base recipe. I have seen it made with dark rum, rather than port and with lots of different additions. If you want to change things up, add some toasted pistachios, pine nuts, hazelnuts, pretty much any toasted nuts; or some dried figs, cherries or dates. Go crazy with it and add up to 1/2 cup total of the things you love just after you mix in the port and see how it turns out. The good news is this recipe is so simple, you can make lots of variations.