November is always a big birthday month. Let’s bake a birthday cake, I usually go for my favorite chocolate. I wanted to make a chocolate rum cake this year. My friend dug up an old recipe she saved from the newspaper, it was titled Janice’s whiskey cake from the food section of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 27th 1996.
It looked like a classic, the recipe called for white cake mix and whiskey, I substituted chocolate cake mix and dark rum. It worked great, the instant pudding made it nice and moist. But still not enough chocolate for me, any excuse to top it with some chocolate ganache. I also made the ganache with a tablespoon of the dark rum. After melting the cream and chocolate I placed it in the refrigerator over night and then whipped it up the next day and spread it on top of the cake as frosting. The birthday guests really enjoyed this cake, it will make a repeat appearance.
I have a few staples at the holidays and eggnog is one of them. Thankfully there is no calorie counting allowed during the holidays. I made this recipe last year and have been thinking about it ever since. It is worth the effort the taste and quality is above anything you can buy in the carton. I suggest making it at least two weeks ahead of time. It is quite boozy, so the longer the nog ages the mellower the flavor of the liquor. Rumor has it the eggnog can last for a year in the frig. But no worries it will be gone before that.
“The word nog was an Old English term for ale, and a noggin was the cup from whence it was drunk.
Although most Americans think of eggnog as something they get out of a milk carton during the two-week period leading up to Christmas, eggnog descends from sack posset, a strong, thick English beverage built upon eggs, milk and either a fortified wine (like Madeira) or ale. It was a highly alcoholic beverage, often served so thick it could be scooped. It was also very much an upper-class tipple, as rich folks were usually the only ones who could procure the proper ingredients.”
- 12 large eggs (pasteurized if you need peace of mind)
- 1 pound sugar
- 1 pint half-n-half
- 1 pint whole milk
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 1 cup Jamaican rum
- 1 cup cognac
- 1 cup bourbon
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (plus more for serving)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Separate the eggs and store the whites for another purpose.
- Beat the yolks with the sugar and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl until the mixture lightens in color and falls off the whisk in a solid “ribbon.”
- Combine dairy, booze and salt in a second bowl or pitcher and then slowly beat into the egg mixture.
- Move to a large glass jar (or a couple of smaller ones) and store in the fridge for a minimum of 2 weeks. A month would be better, and two better still. In fact, there’s nothing that says you couldn’t age it a year, but I’ve just never been able to wait that long. (And yes, you can also drink it right away.)
- Serve in mugs or cups topped with a little extra nutmeg grated right on top.
I’ve been thinking about Rum Balls all year, after trying my first Rum Ball at a holiday party last winter. They were bakery bought Rum Balls and I wanted to keep popping those rum balls into my mouth. I made my first batch this season. There are lots of recipes to choose from but I was looking for the most chocolate and rum I could get. I tried this recipe, it’s like baking brownies. As opposed to most recipes that call for wafer cookies. Those did not seem like it would give the richness I am after. Next time I would like to try some of the 90 proof rum I saw at the store. And instead of rolling them in crystal sugar, which was just to sweet and crunchy, try some chocolate shavings. I have to say the search is still on for a better recipe. Perhaps more of a truffle approach cuz there is still one more batch to make for the holiday party. The quest for rum balls continues.
second attempt at making this recipe, I baked the brownie mixture a little longer to dry it out more in an attempt to add more rum. This seemed to help, and them added a few more tablespoons rum, which did make it a bit more gooey. So I took what i had on hand and mixed in another 1/2 cup of Ghirardelli hot chocolate mix. I also used the ghirardelli hot chocolate mix to roll the rum balls in-this was a big improvement on the last batch of rum balls.
- Vegetable oil, cooking spray
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark rum
- Coarse sanding sugar, for rolling
- Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 12-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray; set aside. Melt butter and chocolate in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
- Whisk together eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in chocolate mixture, then fold in flour. Pour batter into prepared baking sheet. Spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Bake until top is shiny and a cake tester inserted into center comes out with some crumbs attached, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
- Break up brownie into small pieces; transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With machine on low speed, pour in rum, and mix until crumbs start to come together to form a ball.
- Shape into 1-inch balls, and roll in sanding sugar to coat. Transfer to a baking sheet; refrigerate, uncovered, until cold, about 2 hours. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
RECIPE: Martha Stewart living