Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Chocolate Rum Truffles

My first run in with these little babies (or I should say large babies) were at a bakery that opened in the Universiti Sains Malaysia where I did my undergraduate studies. 

The bakery was situated in a building which also housed the University sundry shop. I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the building, as my memory of that time and place has become rather fuzzy over time. I do however, remember quite clearly that these babies were called Rum Balls! They were golf ball sized balls of dark chocolate cake tipsy with rum essence hiding plump black raisins rolled in chocolate rice sat in frilly white cupcake cases. 

I am calling them Chocolate Rum Truffles. You may call them faux Chocolate Rum Truffles if you prefer. Either way, these boozy little numbers are full of deep, dark chocolatey goodness made extra lovely by lashings of real rum. 

You will never guess how this got made. You see, I had actually made a tray of Alice Medrich's Cocoa Brownies - using the recipe below - to start with. As this brownie has a firm, chewy texture, I love cutting out shapes from it using my biscuit cutters. Then of course, I was left with the scraps. 

So here is what I did: I put the scraps in a large bowl. Using a fork, I mashed up the scraps. I then added about one to three tablespoons of dark rum into the brownie mash. Do not pour in too much rum. I rarely listen to my own advice about alcohol additions, but in this case I do. If you are lavish with the alcohol, you will end up with a sludgy mush that you cannot roll into balls. It will be the end of all your efforts. Mix it together. With clean hands, bring the mixture together into a ball. Pinch little bits of the mixture, roll into balls and roll the balls in chocolate rice. Place in a little paper case. Do the same until all the mixture is used up. Place all these little truffles in a container and keep chilled in the fridge. Wait about 2 hours before eating so the flavours have time to develop. They should be kept refrigerated, as the texture changes in ambient temperatures. They will keep for up to a week in the fridge (if they last that long).

Adapted from The Wednesday Chef

140g Salted Butter
280g Caster Sugar
80g good quality dutch-processed Cocoa Powder
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
2 Eggs
65g Plain Flour

Preheat the oven at about 130 Celsius. Line an 8' x 8' square baking tin with foil overhanging on the sides for easy lift after the brownies have baked and cooled.

In a heavy-based saucepan over low heat, melt the Butter. Remove pan from the stove.

Stir in Sugar, Cocoa, Salt and Vanilla. Mixture will look grainy. Check the sides of the pan. If it is warm to the touch and you can place your palm on the side, the Eggs are ready to go in. If not, let the mixture cool a little. 

Add the Eggs in one by one, beating vigorously after each addition. The mixture will come together to look smooth and glossy. Fold Flour in gently until it disappears into the mixture.

Pour the mixture into the lined baking tin. Smooth it out in the tin.

Bake at 150 Celsius until the top has a 'crackle' effect or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. About 25 - 30 minutes. 

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