Forget Easter eggs for a second and consider indulging in a chocolate sausage. After all, tradition has been thrown out the window this year thanks to the pandemic.
Known for its meaty delights, sausage brand Heck has crafted a ‘gourmet, gluten-free chocolate sausage’ – or chausage. You might expect cocoa-infused salami (we did, too), but the catch is it contains zero meat and all the sugar.
The so-called sausage is a combination of gluten-free shortbread and Amaretti biscuits, with butter, milk, sugar, sunflower seeds, apricots, glace cherries, raisins and cocoa powder – all finished with a light dusting of icing sugar. And the end result looks like a chocolate salami.
For the uninitiated, the sweet treat is popular in Europe – particularly Italy. Nigella hails it “an Italian version of our chocolate refrigerator cake”.
Three HuffPosters had the chance to try Heck’s chausage – here’s our verdict.
At a first glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a proper luxe sausage. It comes wrapped in greaseproof paper within a plastic tube bearing Heck’s logo. The instructions say it must be kept refrigerated. So far, so sausagey.
But the biggest disappointment is the fact it’s not a sausage at all – that would have been more impressive, surely? “Considering Heck sells meat, you’d expect their ‘chausage’ to be choc-flavoured meat, rather than just a sweet snack,” says Life editor, Amy Packham. “So that part is a little bit of a letdown.”
Features writer, Adam Bloodworth, says his mind plays tricks on him when he has a taste. “It looks, in colour, like a dry-aged meaty sausage, and given it’s called a sausage, my brain will hopefully be forgiven for connecting the dots in my mind and making it taste like a meaty sausage, too.
“But amaretti biscuit is not a cow bi-product, and neither are shortbread and cocoa powder, my brain soon realised.”
“I could easily snack my way through the whole thing.”
However, the general consensus – meat aside – is that it’s a pretty tasty treat. “It’s delicious,” says Amy. “The amaretti biscuits are quite strong, so if you’re not a fan you probably won’t like it that much. But I could easily snack my way through the whole thing – in fact, I did.”
My partner and I both try it, too. Expect strong marzipan flavours thanks to the amaretti biscuits, with a chocolate undertone – the fruit, sadly, is more of an afterthought. While I love the flavour of marzipan and almond, my partner isn’t as pushed. (What a shame, more for me!) A couple of slices go down a treat with a cup of tea mid Sunday afternoon.
The texture is unexpected – it’s dense thanks to the fruit, but not horribly so, and there’s a nice crunch from the shortbread and amaretti. Amy says it’s similar to a rocky road.
Adam likens to the texture to meat – “or is that my brain confusing me again?” – but calls it a delicious sweet treat, anyway. “Emphasis on the sweet,” he says. “I only manage a little bit of it at a time – you can’t have too much.”
He adds: “It raises the question: what exactly is a sausage anyway? A long round thing made of chocolate, or meat? Who cares when it tastes this good.”
Costing £10 including delivery, just 500 have been made and they’re available to order for delivery between March 26 and April 2 from Heck’s website.
If you’re seeing loved ones at Easter, it’s something a little different to stick on the coffee table with your afternoon brew. Just don’t throw it in with your fry up.