Friday, 19 December 2008

Rum Balls Made with Cake Crumbs

It was for these that I made Cocoa Sponge Cake earlier this week. I doubled the recipe, and that required the entire cake, including the fallen middle which in fact was not as bad as it looked. I didn't put in any chopped dried fruit or nuts, but I think I might, next time. A little candied peel perhaps, or dried apricots if I can't find any nice peel and some rum-soaked raisins sound about right, along with a few chopped walnut pieces.

So why do I go to the trouble of baking a cake just to make rum balls? It's not only because that way I know the flour is organic, and therefore won't give me any grief. It's also because cake crumbs make a far better rum ball than those made with cookie (wafer) crumbs. The texture is lighter and smoother. The end result is also less sweet and I know there are no nasty industrial fats in there either. I find it altogether preferable and worth the effort. After all, I make these once a year.

The amount of rum that goes into these depends on how dry your cake crumbs were. Mine were fairly moist, due to the same problem that caused my cake to fall, and did not absorb quite as much rum as usual. They're still pretty rummy. (Please don't gorge on rum balls and drive!?) As for the huge range in chocolate required, it depends on how large you make your rum balls - smaller rum balls have more surface in total and will require more - and how thickly you coat them. I used 300 grams to coat my double batch (48) of rum balls. It made a thin but sufficient coating I would say.

Rumballs with Tea
24 rum balls
1 hour - 40 minutes work time, not including making the cake

For the Rum Balls:
4 cups chocolate cake crumbs
1/4 cup unsweetened dessicated coconut
60 grams (2 ounces) dark chocolate
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup apricot jam
1 cup chopped dried fruit or nuts (optional)
1/3 to 1/2 cup rum

Make the cake crumbs by running chunks of stale chocolate cake over a coarse grater. Mix them with the coconut and set them aside.

Put the chocolate, butter and apricot jam into a large metal mixing bowl on top of a double boiler and heat until the butter and chocolate are melted. Stir in about half the cake crumbs, then about half the rum. Repeat with the remaining cake crumbs and rum. Mix gently but well.

Cover the mixture and put it in the fridge to chill for 20 or 30 minutes.

To Coat the Rum Balls:
150 to 300 grams good dark chocolate

Line a large baking tray with parchment or waxed paper. Scoop out spoonfuls of the chilled rum ball mixture and form into balls. Place them on the parchment as you work. I used a 1 5/8" disher (2/3 ounce) which I thought made a very nice size; neither too big nor too small.

Meanwhile, put the chocolate into the top of a double boiler, and heat until melted. When the chocolate is completely melted, use a fork to lift a rum ball into the chocolate. Roll it around until it is completely coated, then lift it with the fork again, letting it drip for a few moments to remove excess chocolate, then return it to the parchment paper.

Repeat with the remaining rum balls. Once they are all coated, set them in a cool place until set. I find it helpful to place the trays in the fridge for a while; they will be easier to peel off the parchment paper.

After that, they should be stored in an air-tight tub and kept in a cool place. They can be frozen if you like; just thaw them out 24 hours before you want them. They should keep quite well if kept cool, though. In fact I think it is best to make them several days in advance to allow all the flavours to blend and mellow.


Kevin said...

Those rum balls look good.

Sara Catlett said...

This is a wonderful recipe! I love the addition of apricot jam. Mine came out just like the picture and were delicious. Thank you!!!

Ferdzy said...

Thanks, Sara! I'm glad to hear you liked them.