My friends often ask me what it means to run a vegan and vegetarian cafe and if I miss cooking and preparing fish and meat, but the question i get more often is, doesn't it all taste the same? Last week I was in Italy and I was invited to a children's birthday party, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to show many of my friends that yes vegan and vegetarian food sometimes tastes the same, sometimes tastes even better but always tastes good!
So I decided to take an old super simple Italian recipe and turn it vegan, as I wanted to make something really yummy and full of chocolate - who doesn’t like chocolate? I chose ‘il salame al cioccolato” which literally translates to “the chocolate sausage”, this is a classic as it is very cheap and quick to make and it tastes delicious - it is one of this dishes that makes everyone happy!
Let’s crack on:
In the original recipe they use eggs, biscuits and butter but we will swap all these ingredients and make this completely vegan. In my case I had made some vegan biscuits the day before for my mum to enjoy with her friends, so I have used them for this recipe. If you don’t want to make your own biscuits and are struggling to find vegan biscuits at your local store then you can swap them with oat, rice pops, cereals. The biscuits I have used are made with ginger and gluten free flour and add a nice spicy aftertaste - I will share that recipe too here below in case you decide to make everything from scratch.
Get your lovely biscuits and smash them either in a food processor or with your hands, I prefer to use my hands as I like to have all different sized crumbs (but mainly because I like to use my hands and get them dirty!) - then add the sugar, pinch of salt, the dark chocolate powder and mix it with coconut oil. Ideally you want to warm that up a little bit so it is easy to mix with the rest, then add 1 ripe banana and keep mixing until you have a soft yet solid mix that then you will shape with your hands like a long sausage. The beauty of this cake is that you can literally add everything you want into the mix, perhaps some pistachios, or some almonds? I have added some broken almonds and some hazelnuts, seriously there is no limits here so you can get creative!
Take your chocolate long sausage and place that on some foil - I have placed some hazelnut crumbs on the foil so when I wrap the sausage the outside will be covered in hazelnuts. Then place the cake in the freezer for about 2 hours (at least). After that you can take it out, and slice it like a sausage!
My friends really loved it and were surprised when I told them that the cake was complete vegan, even more surprised when I explained how easy the cake was to make - and the kids loved it too! Job done!
Enjoy and let me know how it goes!
For the sausage: 10 minutes to prepare / 2 hours in the freezer
100gr of biscuits
50gr of sugar
100ml of coconut oil (or a bit less, it really depends on the biscuits you are going to use)
100gr of dark chocolate powder
1 pinch of salt
Then in my case I have used 150gr of hazelnut and 100gr of almonds
For the biscuits: 10 minutes prep / 20 minutes cooking 160degree
250gr Gluten free flour
45gr sunflower oil
60gr brown sugar
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ginger powder
1 pinch of salt