No I haven’t gone crazy; there is no meat in here. The salami is really just a fancy name for what is essentially a boozy log-shaped refrigerator cake. This is a rich, decadent treat full of different textures and flavours. I recommend toasting the nuts lightly in the oven or in a dry frying pan before adding to the mixture for extra depth of flavour. As with many of my recipes, change the ingredients to your taste. Why not try a snickers peanut flavour, salted caramel, honeycombe, oreos and marshmallows or mincemeat even!
250g/9oz dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
250g/9oz amaretti (crunchy ones) or shortbread biscuits
100g/3½oz salted butter, softened
150g/5½oz caster sugar
3 free-range eggs
2 tbsp amaretto liqueur
2 tbsp cocoa powder
75g/2½oz toasted almonds, roughly chopped
75g/2½oz toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
50g/2oz walnuts, roughly chopped
1 tbsp icing sugar, to decorate
In the microwave or in a heatproof bowl suspended over a saucepan of simmering water (but not touching the water), melt the chocolate until smooth. While the chocolate’s melting, put the biscuits into a large freezer bag, seal and bash them with a rolling pin until you have a bag of rubble – not dust. When the chocolate’s melted, remove it to a cold place (not the fridge) and set aside to cool.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl and make sure the mixture is soft and fluffy.
Gradually, and one by one, beat in the eggs. Don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled at this stage: all manner of ills will be righted once the chocolate is added later. Then beat in the amaretto liqueur.
Push the cocoa powder through a little sieve or tea strainer into the cooled chocolate, and, with a small rubber spatula, stir till combined and then beat this into the egg mixture too.
When you have a smooth chocolate mixture, tip in the chopped nuts and crushed biscuits. Fold these in firmly but patiently to make sure everything is chocolate-covered. Transfer this mixture, still in its bowl, to the fridge to firm up a bit for 20-30 minutes. Don’t leave it for much longer than this or it will be difficult to get out of the bowl to shape.
Unroll and slice off two large pieces of cling film, overlapping them, so that you have a large cling-covered surface to roll the chocolate salami out on. Tip the chocolate mixture out in the middle of this and, using your hands, mould the mixture into a fat salami-like log approximately 30cm/12in long.
Cover the chocolate log completely with the cling film, and then firmly roll it, as if it were a rolling pin, to create a smooth, rounded cylinder from the rough log you started with. Twist the ends by grasping both ends of the cling film and rolling the sausage-log towards you several times. Then put it in the fridge for at least six hours – though preferably overnight – to set.
To serve, unwrap the cling film and dust the outside with icing sugar. Cut into slices. Best served fridge cold. Keeps for several days in the fridge dependent on will power.
I felt like making cookies today but wanted something more than a standard chocolate chip mix and pistachios and dark chocolate is what I had in the cupboards. It’s a combination that goes really nicely together. The rich dark chocolate and salty roasted nuts are great together in a buttery, chocolate shortbread round. An impressive, tasty bake with minimal effort required – Result!
Makes 12-15 cookies
2 cups plain flour
¼ cup coarsely ground pistachios
10 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
¾ cup light brown sugar
1 egg yolk
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup 60% dark chocolate chips
Coarsely ground pistachios, for garnish
In a large food processor, process the butter and brown sugar.
Add the egg and egg yolk, processing until combined.
Add the flour, pistachios, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt, and process once more. Scrape the sides of the processor.
Place dough mixture into a medium bowl, and add the chocolate chips. Gently combine until evenly distributed.
With a sufficient piece of parchment paper, wrap the dough into a round log, about 2.5″ in diameter.
Place in freezer for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 170C.
Cut the cookie dough off the log in even pieces, about .8″ or so apart, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until slightly browned. They will firm up once taken out of the oven.
A really simple but impressive looking biscuit recipe here for shortbread biscuits. One is flavoured with vanilla, the other with chocolate. Can’t decide which one to have? Roll them up into funky looking wheels and have both!
Makes about 20
Ingredients: Vanilla biscuit dough:
50g softened butter
25g caster sugar
50g plain flour
½ large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate biscuit dough:
50g softened butter
25g caster sugar
40g plain flour
½ large egg
15g cocoa powder
1. Firstly, make each of the doughs by creaming the butter and sugar together, mixing in the egg, sifting the dry ingredients over the top and mixing until the dough comes together.
2. Wrap each dough separately in glad wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes until firm.
3. Flour your work surface lightly and roll each dough out (separately) to a piece 25 x 18cm . Place the vanilla dough on top of the chocolate dough and roll up tightly. Re-wrap the roll in glad wrap and place back in the fridge to chill for a further 30 minutes.
4. Pre-heat your oven now to 180°C and remove the dough from the fridge, cutting 20 slices and placing them on a lined baking tray. Make sure the dough is very firm before you start cutting the biscuits or else, again, they may become misshaped.
5. Bake for 20 minutes or until the vanilla biscuit is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and serve, warm or cool, with a cuppa.
Cut into buttery little pieces, this cross between a tart and a cookie crumbles and then melts away as you eat it.
¼ cup ground almonds
¾ cup plain flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
3oz cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 large egg yolk
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ to ¾ cup jam (I used seeded raspberry jam)
Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Butter a 9-inch dark-coloured tart tin.
Add the almonds, flour, sugar and salt to a mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the flour mix until small crumbs form then add the egg yolk and almond extract. Mix with a metal spoon until the mixture starts to come together in small clumps.
Turn the pastry into the prepared tin. It may look crumbly but this is fine. With your hands pat it out to evenly cover the bottom of the tin. Give the tart a standing rim by nudging the dough up the sides of the pan by 1/2 inch. Don’t worry if it looks a little ragged.
Bake the crust in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes, or until its edges are golden and the centre is starting to colour. The rim will sink down a little which is fine.
Remove the tin from the oven and turn the heat up to 240ºC. Carefully spread the jam over the tart and return it to the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes or until the jam is bubbly.
Cool the tart on a wire rack, slice it into wedges and serve.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And that means time for biscuits! These shortbread biscuits are great any time of year but the orange adds a festive spin to a classic. Use real butter in this recipe. I often sub it for baking margarine but butter is the only option for that crisp and well… buttery taste. Add a pinch of salt or use slightly salted butter as an extra little flavour enhancer.
This recipe makes 8-12 biscuit wedges.
4oz plain flour
2oz caster sugar, plus extra for topping
Zest of 1 orange
Sieve the flour and cornflour together. In a separate bowl, cream the butter until soft then add the caster sugar and beat until the mixture is pale and creamy. Add the orange zest then work in the flour a tablespoon at a time.
Roll out the shortbread to an 8 inch circle. Transfer to a large baking tray. Pinch the edges and prick the shortbread well with a fork. Cut through into 12 sections with a knife then sprinkle with a little caster sugar.
Leave to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes then bake in an oven preheated to 165C for 25-35 minutes or until pale golden brown. Re-cut down the lines you originally scored. Cool on the baking tray for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tip: If you like a coarser textured shortbread use 2 oz rice flour or semolina instead of cornflour. As a change, soft brown sugar makes a caramel coloured shortbread and this goes well with the orange flavour.
A classic combination of light almond sponge and buttery shortbread sandwiched together with a layer of raspberry jam.
You could try any jam you like or even different curds. I’ve had good results with chunky homemade blackberry & apple jam and lemon curd is really tasty too.
For the base:
3oz butter, softened
1oz caster sugar
1 egg yolk
6oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
7oz raspberry jam
For the topping:
3 ½oz butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon almond essence
4oz ground almonds
3 ½oz caster sugar
Flaked almonds, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line an 8×8 inch cake tin with greaseproof paper and grease with butter.
First, make the biscuit base. Cream the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add the sugar and beat until the mix is light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk, mix well then sift in the flour and mix to form a dough.
Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured work surface to the same size as the base of the tin then press it into prepared tin. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes then remove and allow to cool.
Spread the jam on the cooled base and place in the fridge while you make the topping.
Place the melted butter in a bowl, add the beaten eggs and almond essence and mix well. Stir in the ground almonds, semolina and caster sugar.
Take the tin from the fridge and spread the almond dough over the jam being careful not to mess up the jam. Place the almond dough in blobs then join them up with the back of a metal spoon to make this easier.
Sprinkle the top with flaked almonds and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden and set in the centre. Allow to cool in the tin then cut into bars.
Sprinkle with icing sugar or brush with apricot jam to glaze for nice presentation or apply to face for a nice taste. Your choice.
This recipe came about because I had a load of cream cheese in the fridge and half a jar of Biscoff spread that needed using. I very nearly didn’t bother experimenting with this recipe as I didn’t think it would work but man, I’m glad I did. The base of the cake is like a soft shortbread with subtle comforting flavour from the vanilla and salt. The gooey Biscoff topping is sweet, caramel-ey and creamy and together, the layers remind me of an old-school dinner dessert or those puddings in a tin that you microwave which is certainly no bad thing.
2 cups plain flour
1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 Tbs. milk
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
Gooey Biscoff Layer:
8 oz full fat cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup cookie butter/Biscoff spread
16 oz icing sugar, sifted
A pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with aluminium foil and grease with butter or margarine.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and mix with a whisk until well-combined. Add the egg, melted butter, milk and vanilla and mix well until a dough is formed. Press the mixture into the prepared pan.
For the topping, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and Biscoff spread and beat well until smooth and creamy. Slowly add the icing sugar, sieving in batches, and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.
Pour the Biscoff layer onto the cake layer and spread evenly.
Bake for about 40 minutes. The edges will be set, the top will be shiny and the centre will still be a slightly wobbly but will continue to cook while the cake cools.
Cool the cake completely in the pan before cutting. It will have risen in the oven and will sink a little as it cools to create a lovely chewy topping.
This recipe yields 20 squares of gooey deliciousness. I urge you to try this cake. It is so easy and so so tasty.