Tuesday, 5 February 2013


It's that time of year again and love it or hate it, you can't avoid it, not even hear I'm afraid.  I aways think it's the thought that counts more than anything.  The time, thought and effort put in is what everyone really loves and appreciates.  Having said that, these are all very simple, not very time consuming and will be loved by men and women alike.

Chocolate Salami has to have been my biggest seller at my local Farmers Market just before christmas with the majority of people buying them for men.  This is basically tiffin with the addition of nuts and possibly fruit.  It is formed into a sausage shape then dusted with icing sugar and when sliced looks just like a salami, hence the name.

300g Plain Chocolate
125g Golden Syrup
125g Butter
300g Short Bread Biscuits
50g Pistachios/Hazelnuts/Macadamias
Icing Sugar

Chop half the biscuits into small pieces and the rest into chunks.  In a pan melt the chocolate, butter and syrup over a low heat.  When it has all melted, stir in the biscuits and nuts.

Tip the mixture into foil lined with parchment and roll into a sausage.  Seal the ends by twisting them and refrigerate till set.  Remove the wrapping and dust with icing sugar.  This gives it that aged salami look and finishes it off perfectly.  Now re-wrap in new parchment and label.

I've gone one step further with the salami and made a Valentines Pizza.  Oh my word, you can't imagine how well this went down when I was developing the recipe.  It actually worked first time but I felt I should check it a few times just to make sure, I wouldn't want to let any of you down - quality control and all that!

So basically I've used a sweet flatbread dough and topped it with more sweet stuff, you can't go wrong with that really.  This recipe will make two 10" pizzas.

150g Self Raising Flour
150g Natural Yoghurt
35g Icing Sugar

4 tbsp Strawberry Jam
80g Mini Marshmallows
50g White Chocolate
Slices of Chocolate Salami
Candy Coated Chocolate Hearts

Heat your oven to 200C.  In a freestanding mixer, combine the flour, yoghurt and icing sugar to form a dough.  It will be a little sticky so generously flour your surface and tip the dough onto it.

Divide the dough in two and form into neat balls.  Roll out each ball into a circle for your pizza base and place onto baking sheets lined with parchment.  Do this now before you put any toppings on as it's much easier to move at this stage.

Next divide the jam between the two and spread it evenly leaving a slight edge.  Put them in the oven and bake for 6-8 minutes till the bases start to cook and the jam bubbles.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle on the marshmallows.  Return the pizzas to the oven and bake for a further 5-6 minutes when the marshmallows will have slightly browned and the base is cooked.

Remove the pizzas from the oven and sprinkle on the grated white chocolate, top with slices of chocolate salami and chocolate hearts.

Of course cupcakes are a firm favourite with men and women alike and there are so many products out there to make your life easy.  There are a great number of lovely cupcake decorations which can be bought online from suppliers like Just Bake as well as some from your local supermarket.

Chocolate Bark is another simple, quick and easy gift that always looks impressive and can be tailored to the tastes of your special someone.  Using moulds or by spreading melted chocolate over sheets of parchment which can be broken into pieces once set, you can add sprinkles and cupcake decorations, crushed peppermint canes, nuts, dried fruits, marshmallows, popping candy, the possibilities are endless.  Mixing different types of chocolate is also very affective.

Make sure you cool your chocolate at room temperature, don't put it in the fridge whilst it's still hot or it will go white.

What ever you do, Have a lovely Valentines Day X


  1. Fantastic Yasmin. I'm so impressed with your salami. How on earth do you wrap them so beautifully? And the pizza is such good fun - what a great post.

  2. Thank you but I can't take the credit for the packaging, that's all down to my clever husband - it makes all the difference.

  3. gosh, when I first read chocolate salami I was thinking of the meat with chocolate and instantaneously thought "ewww". But after reading the descriptions, they now sound pretty tasty!

  4. Thanks Xi, I don't think I'd fancy eating salami with chocolate in it either, this way is much better x