Back when I lived in the Philippines, we would make rum balls. We experimented with different methods, but the one we liked best was the one made with ground up and crushed chocolate cream wafers. We found that the wafers absorbed the alcohol best, and after a few days of resting in the fridge, they were absolutely divine! Making these was a social activity, not too different from making dim sum as a group, and we’d chat away while working at crushing the wafers and later, shaping the dough.
Rum balls show up in our grocery stores during Christmas season, but I’d often feel a bit dissatisfied having them, so I stopped buying them after a while (this, however does not stop the “oh hey, rum balls!” reaction until I recall my sense of lack of wow and don’t. My budget is grateful.)
Then recently my mom was telling me how Sister#2 (sis-in-law 2) was so happy with the rum balls she was buying and she asked me how our recipe for rum balls went. I didn’t have a proper recipe written down but I kind of remembered what ingredients went into it.
So the other day I made a batch, reasoning that it would be easier with the use of my rarely used food processor (I know, I should use it more.) It was definitely easier! The texture was smoother than I was used to and the cream was wonderfully blended in; and I am of two minds which is better; the purely hand-made one, or the food processor helped version. You can try both and figure out which one you prefer better! ^_^
Also, you can shape these with your hands, or use spoons to pat them into balls if you like. I find shaping the dough by hand is faster, personally. If using hands (or food glove covered hands), a light application of butter seems to help keeping the rum balls from sticking to your hands.
Rory’s Rum Balls
8 packets 125 g chocolate cream wafers Chocolate cream ones work the best.
2 tbsp instant coffee powder
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup brown granulated sugar
250-300 grams glucose syrup
200 ml rum
1/3 c unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder plus extra for dusting/coating
Open the packets of wafers and crush finely into a large glass or ceramic bowl; either using a food processor or blender, or by crushing them in a ziplock bag, until they are crumby. Do not remove the cream from the wafers; they help make the dough.
Dissolve the coffee powder in the vanilla and rum.
Add the 1/3 cup of cocoa powder, the coffee-ed rum and the glucose syrup. Mix together until well blended.
If you want a smoother dough, keep going until it kind of resembles play-dough.
Put into a glass or ceramic bowl (if you were using a food processor.)
Scoop out about half a teaspoon of dough.
Mold it into a ball with clean hands or press against the side of the bowl repeatedly until it’s in a rough ball shape.
When you’re happy with the shape, put it into a shallow bowl that has extra cocoa powder in it.
Roll ball in the cocoa powder with a different teaspoon or chopsticks until well coated. You may wish to use icing or powder sugar, or dessicated coconut or sprinkles.
With spoon or chopsticks, move balls into a plastic container. Fill the container, and keep in the fridge for at least 3 days before eating to allow it to fully absorb the alcohol and settle. Enjoy!