Merry Christmas, Happy Christmas, Joyeux Noel, Feliz Navidad
I have had my eye on a special decadent treat for you for the holidays for months now.
Dinner with Julie and also a similar version on About.com. It is simple to duplicate and I even added a tablespoon of British Columbia Ice-Wine as an added bonus. It reminds me of one of my favourite chocolate bars Fruit and Nut from Cadbury and makes a great conversation piece on the holiday platter.
Kala Christougena, Frohliche Weihnachten, Buon Natale
Chocolate salami is a traditional Portuguese dessert made from dark chocolate, broken cookies, butter, and eggs. I didn't know this until after I had made this special treat for you. It is more of a candy than a cookie, but no matter what it is pure heaven!!! How appropriate that I will have my future in-laws who are all Portuguese at my home for Christmas Eve!!! Chocolate salami has the same cylindrical shape as a salami, but is not a meat product. It is served as sliced cross-sections, the dark brown of the chocolate substituting for the red meat, and the broken bits of cookies substituting for the fat of the salami.
And then there's the valley's most celebrated offering...eiswein or ice wine. Invented in Germany in 1794, this intense, gorgeous nectar is made by leaving grapes on the vine through a frost, after which they are promptly picked and pressed. Water, in the form of ice granules, stays in the press and what goes into the fermenter is the sweet essence of grape. Among the dozens of types of dessert wines in the world, my absolute favorite is ice wine. The world's leading producer of ice wine is Canada, followed by Germany and then Austria. Because of the concentrated taste, ice wine is one of the most elegant and refined dessert wines. I often fill a Bernard Callebaut chocolate cup with ice wine and dessert is simple and delicious. Because the wine is so intense, a typical serving is just one ounce. Its opulent flavours are balanced by crisp acidity. Imagine a kaleidoscope of peaches, nectarines, apricots, and honey. You'll probably pay more than $50 for a tall, skinny bottle of ice wine, but just about every Okanagan winery makes its own signature variety. Optimal weather conditions can never be assured, so true ice wine is a real treat. Last week we had some chilling weather so they have already harvested their grapes and this years ice wines have already been produced.
Shub Naya Baras, Selamat Hari Krimas, Geseënde Kersfees
I used ice wine but you could use any liqueur of your choice such as Frangelico or Grand Marnier...even rum. Since this is a Portuguese treat it would be perfect with Port also!!! Slice off fairly thin slices and serve on top of thin gingersnaps or perhaps more digestive biscuits. This Chocolate Salami recipe produces a beautiful log of chocolate studded with dried fruits and nuts. It can be customized with any fruits and nuts you like. Why not try soft dried figs, medjool dates, dried cranberries, almonds...the skies the limit!!!!
I know you are all enjoying the holidays so my wish for you is to have continued success in your kitchen and peace and joy!!!Enjoy your time with your family and friends to the fullest and we will see you next time!!!
Fröhlichi Wiehnacht, Nadolig Llawen, Seasons Greetings!!!!!!
8 oz. good quality dark or semi-sweet chocolate of your choice, chopped (or combination)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup cream
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and roughly but finely chopped
5 Digestive biscuits, roughly but finely chopped
3/4 cup raisins
2 tablespoons ice wine
icing sugar, for rolling
To make the ganache: Place the chopped chocolate, butter and cream in a medium heat-safe bowl, Bring a small saucepan filled with water to a boil over medium heat. Place heat-safe bowl with chocolate mixture on top. Whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is well-combined and smooth. Set aside your ganache for now.
Combine finely chopped digestive biscuits, raisins and hazelnuts in a small bowl.
Add the ice wine to the ganache, and then add the biscuit mixture. Stir until well-combined and there is a uniform texture throughout. Press some cling-wrap to the top of the mixture and refrigerate until firm enough to roll, at least 1 hour.
Once the candy has firmed up, scoop half of it from the bowl and, using waxed paper or parchment, roll it into a log about 2 inches in diameter and 9 inches long. Once it is a cylinder, roll it on the counter a few times to try and get it as round a salami shape as possible. Repeat the process with the second half of the candy, forming an identical log. Wrap with plastic wrap. Return to the refrigerator.(Alternatively place the logs on a baking sheet and freeze them until firm, at least 2 hours. The salami can be kept frozen for up to a month, but if you plan to freeze them for that long, wrap the logs with plastic wrap to prevent odors or freezer burn).
About 15 minutes prior to serving, remove the logs from the refrigerator or freezer. Roll them in powdered sugar to make them resemble salami. Cut them into thin slices and serve. The logs can stay at room temperature for several hours before getting too soft. If they do start to get too soft, refrigerate or freeze briefly to firm them up. If the sugar coating starts to melt, re-roll them in sugar as needed.
Makes 1 large or two small salamis.
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