Monday, 7 December 2015

Rum Ball Bars

Rum Balls are one of my favourite Christmas treats, but I thought I would try to simplify them a bit this year, what with one thing and another. I'm calling for chocolate cake crumbs, but I have to admit I bought ready to use chocolate baking crumbs for these, as part of my effort to reduce the work. The texture is not as good, but they taste fine. Making bars is also much less laborious than dipping individual rum balls.

I have to say the marzipan is a bugger to roll out though. It's very stiff. I just worked on it off and on until I got it thin and even enough, which makes it hard to say how long it took me. I was tempted to try a graham cracker crumb crust and next time I might do that. On the other hand, marzipan is a traditional fellow-traveller of rum balls.

Now is the time to make these; they keep well for at least 2 or 3 weeks and in fact improve with sitting.

48 to 60 bars
45 minutes to an hour prep time,
not including making the cake

Rum Ball Bars

200 to 225 grams (1/2 pound) marzipan
4 cups chocolate cake crumbs
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup unsweetened dessicated coconut
1/4 cup finely minced preserved peel
1/4 cup finely minced preserved ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup rum
1/2 cup butter
4 ounces (100 grams) unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup apricot or raspberry jam
8 ounces (225 grams) semisweet chocolate
6 tablespoons unsalted butter

Roll out the marzipan, on a sheet of parchment paper, to fit a 9" x 13" baking pan. You will need to keep it thin and even. Trim the edges and patch to keep a neat rectangle. Place it in the bottom of the pan, with the parchment paper, when you are done.

Mix the cake crumbs, cocoa, coconut, preserved peel and ginger, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the rum over the mixture.

Put the 1/2 cup of butter and the unsweetened chocolate in a heavy bottomed pot, and heat over very low heat until melted. Mix in the jam, then scrape into the bowl of cake crumbs and mix well. Press this mixture evenly over the prepared marzipan.

In the same pot, also over very low heat, melt the semisweet chocolate and remaining butter. Scrape it out over the pressed down cake mixture, and spread it out evenly, covering the entire pan. Set the pan in the fridge to set, then cut it into bars. Keep the prepared squares well sealed in a tin, in a cool, dry spot. Bring them up to room temperature before serving.

Last year at this time I made Baked Polenta with Cheese & Sausage.

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