Saturday, 24 December 2011

Twas the night before Christmas...

Every family has their own Christmas Eve tradition.  Sometimes it's watching a particular movie, or visiting particular family members.  In my family, it was preparing for the next day's feast.  Since I was around sixteen, the job has fallen to me to make Rum Balls.  The recipe always started with ten weetbix in the food processor with cocoa, raisins, condensed milk and rum.  In the last couple of years, I have deviated from this original recipe to discover something wholly rummier, yummier and more calorific.

My "Rum Truffles", as I called them, are a perfect hybrid of Chocolate Truffles and Rum Balls. They begin with a rich, brownie base which is blitzed with a whole lot of rum once cooled. I then set to rolling this mixture into the obligatory 'ball' shape which I find to be a gloriously calming activity - much like any repetitive task.  Trays of the 'brownie balls' (not looking incredibly appetising, yet) are then refrigerated (or popped into the freezer if a quick fix is needed) until set.  Copious amounts of milk and dark chocolate are then melted before each lovely rummy, brownie ball is submerged into whichever is your pleasure.  The slightly wonky, dark brown creatures emerge, in a waterfall of shiny, chocolately glory, just begging to be eaten.  It is with great sadness that they are put back into the fridge.  However, this wait is made ever so slightly easier by the knowledge that the best is yet to come for these drunken darlings. 

There are a number of choices for titivating the seemingly boring (in appearance, of course, never in flavour) chocolate 'lumps' up. I chose two: one, the most dramatic and sophisticate looking; and second, the most childlike, whimsical way I could think of.  In option one, the trays are drizzled, haphazardly, with white chocolate which contrasts beautifully with the milk and dark chocolate.  I love the elegance of the result.  I do feel that option number two will also appeal to you, as much as it does to me.  While white chocolate is still used, it is less elegantly dolloped into the top of each chocolate sphere and topped with a piece of chopped glace' cherry, this emulating....a christmas pudding!!!

Whilst I truly believe that presentation and appearance is of the utmost importance, the key marker of whether or not you are dealing with an exceptional rum ball/truffle/whatever, the warming of the heart as it goes down. There is a fine balance between a hint of rum and that terrible burning sensation as your body registers the alcohol that has entered it.  My family anxiously awaits their Christmas Day delivery of these gloriously seasonal treats and they will not be disappointed tomorrow as my (and my husband's) discerning tastesbuds have already given this batch the "all clear."

Enjoy responsibly!

F. x

1 comment:

  1. Dad has already said that if there's no rum balls because you pair have eaten them all, he's leaving! Can't wait....tomorrow is Christmas Day!! Yay!!