This easy, no-bake chocolate confection came about after seeing several recipes for it. The original recipes in "Artisan Patisserie for the Home Baker" were too complicated, so I simplified by eliminating the candied orange peel, and I added my own twist to it with orange zest, crystallized ginger, and orange liqueur-soaked cranberries. What I love about this Italian chocolate log is the playful way that it mimics a salami with its marbleized fat. I will be making several of these logs for the holidays and freezing them.


1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons orange liqueur
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup whole almonds
Zest of one orange
1 cup butter cookie crumbs
1/4 cup crystallized ginger slices, chopped
2 egg yolks, beaten


Step 1
Soak dried cranberries in water and orange liqueur for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Step 2
Melt chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and combined, 3 to 5 minutes. When melted, add the sugar, almonds, orange zest, drained cranberries, cookie crumbs, and crystallized ginger. Stir to combine and remove from heat. Cool for a few minutes. Add the beaten egg yolks and allow the mixture to come to room temperature.

Step 3
Form the chocolate mixture into a log, smoothing the surface to be sure none of the filling is sticking out. Wrap the log in wax paper and refrigerate until firm. Slice and serve.