Eating chocolate is usually associated with celebrations and happiness, and scientists have proved that eating chocolate can help boost your mood, making you feel more relaxed and happier. It is because chocolate, especially dark chocolate, can stimulate the production of endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals in the brain that produce feelings of joy. Not only that, but dark chocolate also harbors serotonin which is an antidepressant that can boost mood.
Chocolate is like an edible hug. Everything about it brings us joy. Whether or not we are conscious of it, chocolate is the first snack we look for when we are sad and upset. Even pop-culture reference has deemed it the one and only solution to a sleepless night or a bad dream.
When we eat chocolate, the anandamide contained in it causes the production of dopamine. Dopamine is a feel-good chemical that makes us happy. Finally, chocolate releases endorphins into the brain. Endorphin is another feel-good chemical. It also decreases stress levels.
However, take note that even though chocolate is the best of life’s guilty pleasures, there are also a lot of wonderful benefits to enjoying a bar of chocolate every now and then.
Shokoladnaya Kolbasa, also known as Chocolate Salami, is one of those old time favorite sweets of Russian kids. But, what is exactly Shokoladnaya Kolbasa? It is sausages that are not filled with meat. Instead, the cooks pumped chocolate and cookie pieces in the sausages. This kind of Russian cake used to make the kids squeal with delight.
Shokoladnaya Kolbasa, the special Russian chocolate cake to boost your mood is quite popular during Soviet Union times. With all kinds of shortcomings and deficits of crucial items and foods, having a sliced meat sausage on the table was enough of a sign of a family’s material well-being.
Where is the name Chocolate Salami derived from? Many people probably have no idea, but the recipe has taken its own legitimate place in cookbooks and notebooks such as cookies, cocoa powder, butter or margarine, and sugar.
Back at the Soviet Union times and in the absence of food processors, cookies were simply ground into crumbs manually by hand; butter or margarine was heated to make it melt, and the presence of sweet concentrated milk was making everything taste a lot better.
Chocolate Salami Delight
The correct dish name for Chocolate Salami has never been introduced by anyone in particular, but variants of its recipe including honey, nuts, prunes, and even halva have become quite famous in Russia. If you want to get creative, you can try to make this delight while experimenting with all kinds of add-ons such as nuts or dry fruits. It can be served with tea or coffee; it also goes well with any kind of after-dinner liqueur.
The hardest part in making chocolate salami, however, is when you need to wait overnight for it to be able to be served. You have to roll the salami into loaves, carefully place it in plastic bags, and lock it into a freezer overnight. The wait is not without result; in the morning, your chocolate salami would be ready on the plate.
Shokoladnaya Kolbasa Recipe
Ingredients: 1 package of plain vanilla cookies, a ½ cup of walnuts or pecans, 3 tablespoons of good quality Cocoa, 7 tablespoons of melted butter, 1 large egg, and a ½ cup of sugar.
Instruction: First, you need to take the cookies and ground them into small pieces, cut the walnuts or pecans or any kind of nuts you like into small pieces. Prepare a small, non-stick pot and put in it cocoa and sugar, and mix them together.
After that, add an egg and melted butter, and simmer the whole mixture on low heat for 3 – 4 minutes. Do not forget to add the tiny pieces of cookies and nuts, and mix them well. Make sure that the mixture is thick as it should be.
The next step is to take parchment paper and cut into a rectangle; make sure the size is enough for the mixture to fit. Take a piece of melted butter and rub the surface of the parchment paper to prevent the mixture from sticking to the paper.
Transfer the mixture from the pot on to the parchment paper and roll it until it shapes like a sausage. Twist each of the ends of the parchment paper so that it holds its shape still. Put it in the freezer for about 2 hours, and then place it in the refrigerator for about an hour before serving. Once it is ready to serve, slice it like salami and enjoy.
Soviet Housewives’ Savior
In the Soviet Union, throwing away food or leftover was almost always frowned upon. Older generations would remember vividly the ill years when it was difficult to find some basic food items. So, people felt compelled to be creative with their leftovers.
If you try to read the country’s main cookbook, you will find a lot of recipes where leftovers are among the list of ingredients. It was especially common when cooking desserts. For example, fresh bread. On the fourth day, the bread became stale, so, what do you have to do with it? Well, you can dip in milk and make a type of French toast to complement your Russian breakfast or use it for breadcrumbs.
The most creative dish was Shokoladnaya Kolbasa or Chocolate Salami. The name indicates that not only chocolate was rare, but also salami. This dessert was only served on holidays and special occasions, with kids helping their parents.
Shokoladnaya Kolbasa was an essential part of Soviet childhood. They got themselves served with generous servings of Shokoladnaya Kolbasa and candies on special occasions like the end of the holiday or special dinner. Generally, chocolate in any form, be it candy or salami, is still deemed a festive snack and greatly appreciated.
So, that is Shokoladnaya Kolbasa, the special Russian chocolate cake to boost your mood. Try some!