Every family and, or group of friends have a few Christmas traditions and rituals. How the presents are opened, a particular dish, a routine to the day or how chores are allocated. These can be passed on for many generations. One of mine is my sister, Jan, rum balls. I can't remember a Christmas without one and when I moved away from home, I carried on this tradition. Along with my niece this year, so I hear, happy thoughts. It was one tradition I could manage as over the years I have worked more Christmas days than not, and in hospitality, it's a very busy time.
The original book and recipe
It’s a simple recipe, that has over the years provided a lot of joy and taste bud sensations. One of those recipes you look at and think, really, can they taste that good? Well I assure you they do. It does have rum in it after all.
Maybe this is what started my love of this diverse spirit. The taste of Christmas.
This year my traditional rum ball making was in full swing. Made early enough I was able to share them with friends and dabble a bit myself, saving some for the special day, just.
I never really thought to advance from the original recipe, they were the taste of my family Christmas, my childhood. Why would you want to mess with that?
Well, 540 varieties of rum on the back wall at our restaurant, that's why. How could I not, I mean really??
So I decided to take my balls to the top shelf and Angostura 1824 is the rum that spoke to me. A smooth, yet full flavoured rum, with hints of vanilla and subtle tannins from the roughly 12 years it spends in charred American oak casks. Cocoa and almond notes are also in the flavour profile of this rum, which most definitely is designed to be drunk neat.... certainly not as a cooking rum. BUT, it is the festive season and how much do a box of fine truffles cost. Go for it!
The flavours of this fine rum mixed with chocolate and coconut are a match made in heaven. Of course a snifter on the side is highly recommend.
So the humble but very tasty rum ball has been taken to a new level. A cross between a rum ball and a divine truffle with a simple twist. So easy to make. An absolute perfect delight for the new year’s celebrations and throughout the coming year. So 2017 is the year of the Angostura rum ball, when any celebration occurs, or any reason really. A very simple recipe taken to new heights. The height of the top shelf.
2 packets chocolate ripple cookies
1/2 tin of condensed milk (a little more may be needed if to dry)
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
2-3 (go on make it 3, I do) shots of angostura 1824. Which is 60-90mls
1/4 cup Dutch cocoa
Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend to a moist but firm consistency. If not sure pop a ball in the freezer for 5 minutes to check it sets firm. Taste, if needs more rum to your liking, go for it. If too wet add more crumb or coconut. Roll into small size ball, bit smaller than a ping pong and coat in Dutch cocoa powder.
Makes 28-30, depending on size rolled. If you don't have a food processor, blend cookies in any blender to fine crumb, add other ingredients and mix by hand.
If making for the little ones, mix all together except the rum, take some mix out and have 2 batches. Kiddie friendly and 18 plus
These will keep in the fridge for quite a while, if you can let them.
So good, so, let the good balls roll.