There is nothing more beautiful and heart warming than to watch your sons cook up a chocolate storm in the kitchen. Yesterday both the young men officially kicked off the holiday season with Chocolate Ganache rum balls. All I did was watch and eat the sinfully loaded goodies. of course, I helped them clean up the stuff.
There was a time when my kitchen would smell of Christmas baking and four little hands would help me make the delicacies. Roles change with time but the warmth and love of bonding over cooking in the kitchen remains the same. That is true love – for food and for each other.
Chocolate ganache is easy and tough at the same time. Simple ingredients and quick to make, this beautiful glaze can be used for anything from truffles, cakes, bread / cookie spread, cup cake filling. We used it to spread over the tasty coconut macaroons.
You just need to keep in mind two important things while making ganache- temperature and proportion. For layering you need to take 1:1 equal proportion of cream and chocolate, for filling it will be 2:1 ( two part chocolate one part cream) and if you want it as a pouring glaze just make the proportion 1:2 (one part chocolate two part cream) It is that simple.
There is no need to simmer or boil the cream, it should be hot enough to melt the chocolate. Use a rich dark chocolate for the ganache.
Usually heavy cream is the best but here I have used fresh cream with semi sweet very dark chocolate.
To make a voluptuous chocolate ganache you will need :
Dark chocolate (We used semi sweet)
Fresh or heavy/ double cream
Salt – one pinch
coffee powder – 1 teaspoon
Pure Vanilla – 1 teaspoon
butter – 1 tablespoon
Weigh the chocolate and cream to 2:1 proportion so that you have a thick voluptuous ganache.
In a heavy bottom saucepan heat the cream ( do not boil) on low-medium heat.
While the cream is heating, chop the chocolate with a serrated knife into very fine pieces.
Add butter salt and vanilla to the cream and turn off the heat once the cream is heated properly.
Add the chocolate and let it stand for a few minutes for the chocolate to melt properly.
With a kitchen whisk, blend the ganache slowly until it comes together in a creamy glossy mass.
To use this for making the rum balls or truffles you will need to set the pan in the refrigerator so the ganache cools down completely. Take out the pan every fine minutes and stir to let it cool evenly. It will go from soft to hard quickly so if if that happens simmer it over hot water for a few seconds.
Basically you will need to perfect the recipe by trial and error.
To use it for the frosting for a cake, let the ganache cool completely and whip it with a spatula or wooden spoon until it is light and fluffy. About 1-2 minutes.
We added Old monk dark rum to the ganache (about 2 tablespoons) before setting it in fridge for using later for rum balls.
Traditionally the rum balls or truffle balls were made with biscuits and nuts. I have had some awesome Danish rum balls (Rumkuglers) and trust me no other thing in the world can beat them in richness of flavour and texture.
I love the hands smeared in chocolate, the aroma of dark rum and freshly baked cake for putting together of one of my favourite truffles. I prefer them without any nuts.
Here we used a 8 inch Devil’s Food cake to make them. (1/2 kg cake) . You can use any other cake of your choice. An old pound cake or a fruit cake that you have had enough of should do. This is one of the good ways to use leftover cakes
The moist, rich cake was cooled completely before it was crumbled.
Add about 30 ml of dark rum to it and let it soak for say about 10 minutes.
Into the cake crumble went a handful of raisins and dried blackberries soaked in 20 ml of dark rum (including the liquid) and 1/2 cup of chocolate ganache.
Rum balls are supposed to have a potent taste of rum, that’s the way we love them. It is sinfully boozy and chocolaty.
In went 1/2 cup of grind mix of nut to this. Walnuts, pecans go well.
Everything was mixed well and the mixing bowl was then covered with a plastic wrap.
The mixture was left to cool in fridge for an hour.
Now to make the balls :
Make small or large balls with the dough and coat them with more ganache or thick melted chocolate/ molasses and then roll them on desiccated coconut/ chocolate rice, sprinklers / mix ground roasted nuts for a decorative layering or keep them plain like I did.
Place the balls on a parchment paper and put them in the fridge.
You can also roll the dough into a small logs and cover them in marzipan and dip the ends in melted chocolate to make rum logs.
You can use cocoa powder and any fruit jam / honey / golden syrup/ corn syrup / for binding
Also, you can use Brandy, Bourbon instead of dark rum but there is a reason these are called Rum Balls 🙂
Enjoy them fresh or freeze them for later use. The rum balls stay good for 10-15 days in fridge. That is if they aren’t gobbled up sooner than you can blink your eyes.
Hope some of you will try this and do not forget to let me know your experience. These rum balls are midway between the solid rum truffles and Christmas pudding. They are soft and moist. One can make the other variation just by adjusting the proportions. I prefer the melt in the mouth texture. 🙂