Disclaimer: I received a pdf version of “Charcuteria: The Soul of Spain” . Any links to book are affiliate links.
Chocolate Sausage? No, it isn’t a recipe for actual sausage made with chocolate, it is a dessert fashioned to look like sausage and it is made out of chocolate. Kinda brilliant… but then again, I do love Spain, Spaniards and their whimsical sense of humor 🙂
Charcutería: The Soul of Spain is an in depth look at Spanish charcuterie, unfortunately most of which is completely unavailable to us here in the United States. This book covers every facet of it and is peppered with anecdotes from the author’s experiences in Spain, which also make it a fun and engaging read as it connects to recipes in the book. The writing and explanations are descriptive and never feel like the author is talking “at” you instead of “with” you.
If you have ever wanted to know anything at all about the art of making charcuterie, this is the book. It gives a wealth of information about the topic, the ingredients, the methods, etc. It is not for the faint of heart, be forewarned… It is an arrestingly honest approach to the subject, but one that reminds us all to honor the animal that gave it’s life.
So, in saying all of that, why did I chose to do a dessert?! To be perfectly honest, I didn’t have access to a meat grinder and didn’t want to do a mediocre job on something and have to show my work. I used to (help) make charcuterie at the very first restaurant I worked in after culinary school. I loved it. I was fascinated by the process, but I also saw what happens when you don’t do something correctly. I’ll give you a hint: it’s BAD. Charcuterie is very much akin to baking, in that you can not “mess with” the ingredients or the method. If it says “X” amount of salt, that’s exactly what it means!
This book is incredibly informative, but not really a “beginner” book. The photographs and writing are beautiful, I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the art of charcuterie. My dad may very well be the recipient of this very book for Father’s Day this year… maybe we’ll make some non-chocolate sausage.
- 9 ounces 250 g dark chocolate (60% cacao or higher)
- 3½ ounces 100 g unsalted butter
- ¼ cup 50 mL Pedro Ximénez (PX) sherry
- 10½ ounces 300 g shortbread or vanilla wafer cookies, crushed to a powder
- 5¼ ounces 150 g finely chopped and skinless almonds, walnuts or cashews
- 2½ ounces 75 g golden raisins
- 2 teaspoons 10 g pure vanilla extract
- 1 ounce 25 g confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- Place a double boiler containing 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water (in the bottom pan) over medium heat. Bring the water to a boil. Break up the chocolate into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces and place the pieces, along with the butter, in the upper pan of the double boiler.
- (If you don’t have a double boiler, you can just microwave the chocolate and butter on low for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring the mix every 2 minutes, until melted.)
- Allow the chocolate and butter to melt together and then transfer the mixture to a room-temperature large mixing bowl. Stir well and add the PX sherry.
- Add the cookies, nuts, raisins, and vanilla extract to the chocolate mixture and stir well, making a dough.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour to overnight.
- (The cookies will absorb all the liquid.)
- Place a large piece of parchment paper on your counter. Place ½ of the dough on the paper and reserve the other ½ in the refrigerator.
- Spread the dough out across the paper. Using the paper to help you roll, shape the dough into a compact “sausage” shape.
- Repeat the process with the other ½ of the dough and set both rolls of dough in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour to harden.
- Place a fresh sheet of parchment paper on the counter. Pour the confectioners’ sugar on it.
- Roll the “sausages” in the confectioners’ sugar until completely coated.
- Slice the “sausages” on the bias into 1-inch to 2-inch rounds.
- Transfer to a platter and serve chilled.
NOTE: These are especially good with a little flaky sea salt on top.
Also, I substituted dried cranberries for the golden raisins and I added white chocolate chips to mimic the little chunks of beautiful white fat in sausages.
Aside from the above substitutions, I followed the recipe to the letter and my chocolate sausage came out a bit crumbly and dry. If I were to make it again, I would reduce the cookie crumbs by a few tablespoons and hopefully that would make it easier to get a clean slice that held together.