Childhood memories: Romanian Biscuit Salami – Salam de biscuiti, a no bake cake with biscuits and cocoa that would make any child happy.
This is the first cake I have ever made on my own. I was 11 and in the fifth grade and we learned to make this cake during the “Manual Labour Classes”, that is really how they were called. During these classes all the girls went to a special classroom equipped with a stove, a fridge and a sink, a sewing machine and lots of sewing supplies, wool and knitting stuff and so on. The boys would go to another classroom or better said a workshop where they would work with wood and stuff like that.
While I never got the hang of sewing, I did enjoy the cooking classes and I have also learned how to knit and crochet pretty decently for an eleven year old girl. Another bonus of these classes was that we were only girls there, boys were a plague during those days… 🙂 And I remember very vividly the first time the teacher showed us how to make the famous No Bake Romanian Biscuit Salami – Salam de biscuiti. I was not much into sweets then, I rarely ate anything sweet and had no interest in cakes or anything containing chocolate (which was the worst at the time, imagine that 🙂 ), but this Romanian Biscuit Salami was something different. It might have been the fact that we had made it ourselves or the child-appropriate ingredients it contained, things like biscuits and cocoa, I don’t know, but I loved it.
It was the first recipe I’ve ever scribbled down and I remember pleading with my grandmother to buy some real butter (she would only use margarine) so I can make this Romanian Biscuit Salami myself at home. She gave in but refused to help me (she didn’t like this cake or any cake at all, so she would not have anything to do with it), so I made the biscuit salami one afternoon while she was at work. It worked wonderfully, it is really so easy that an eleven year old can do without any help. And I was so proud!!!
I have made it several times again afterward but then forgot about it. While my son was about 2 or 3 I have made it again, but he didn’t like it (he was too young, I suppose), so then I forgot it again. Recently I’ve remembered it again and decided it was time to give it another try. And I so loved it! Really, every bite was full of sweet memories, I could see that classroom again and remember some of the girls I haven’t seen or thought about in more than 25 years, I could remember my grandmother’s kitchen and the way the butter was melting in the pot. And this time Bruno loved the Romanian Biscuit Salami as well and insisted that I make it again soon. 🙂
Unfortunately this recipe is not the one I got when in school, that got lost at some point. But it is very similar, at least the taste is exactly the way I remember it. I only know that the old recipe was somehow different because I remember melting a whole pack of butter as a first step when making the Romanian Biscuit Salami. This recipe uses a lot less butter though, which is fine with me, if I can get the same taste and consistency with only haft the amount of fat is wonderful.
The No Bake Romanian Biscuit Salami – Salam de biscuiti opens a new series on Where Is My Spoon as well, the next two weeks will be dedicated to some of the most popular cakes in Romania, cakes that most Romanian people know and love, things like this Romanian Biscuit Salami, Romanian Meringue Brownies – Negresa, Romanian Lemon Cake – Lamaita or Alba ca Zapada, the Walnut Chocolate Buttercream Cake or Queen Marie – Regina Maria and so on. I still have a few spots open so in case you want me to try a particular Romanian cake for you, you could let me know.
- 300 g/ 10.6 oz butter biscuits, like Leibniz Keks or Petit-Beurre
- 120 ml/ 4 oz/ ½ cup milk
- 200 g/ 7 oz/ 1 cup granulated sugar
- 100 g/ 3.5 oz butter
- 50 g/ 1.8 oz/ ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon rum aroma (see note)
Break the butter biscuits with your hands into smallish pieces. Place into a bowl.
Place the milk and sugar into a small pot and bring to a boil, while stirring from time to time. Boil for about 1 minute. Add the butter and stir until melted.
Take off the heat, add the cocoa and the rum aroma and stir well.
Pour this mixture over the butter biscuits and stir well until all the biscuit pieces are coated in the cocoa mixture.
Cut two pieces of plastic wrap/cling film. Divide the biscuit cocoa mixture in two and place each batch on one of the cling film pieces. Form a rough sausage (as thick as you like it) and wrap it carefully into the cling film to form a “salami”. Repeat with the second batch.
Places the rolls in the fridge until they are firm, for several hours or overnight. Slice before serving.
You can use real rum if not serving the Romanian Biscuit Salami to children. Or you could leave this out altogether, it is optional.
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