Every time I go to the German deli/bakery, I always have to get 1 or 2 (or 3) rum balls, which almost never make it home.
I started thinking about trying to make these at home, but every recipe I could find called for crushed chocolate cookies, which made very firm rum balls, nothing like the ones I get at the bakery.
I finally found a recipe in German, had to translate it to English, only to find out there was no actual rum in the rum balls. But, it did call for using ground up cake scraps.
Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t ever have cake scraps just lying around. So this is where my experimenting began. After several attempts, and a bottle and then some of rum, I have finally got the rum balls just right, need I say perfect.
Start off by baking up a Devils Food cake per the box instructions, only use the following amounts (4 eggs, 1 cup water and 1/4 cup oil, as well as 1 pkg. of instant vanilla pudding powder). Bake this off in a large pan and allow to cool to room temperature, then, and I know this goes against all logic when baking a cake, but tear it apart into small pieces. Allow this to sit out over night, uncovered, to allow the cake to dry out and slightly harden.
The next day, either crumble the cake with your hands or pulse the cake in a food processor and place in a mixing bowl.
Next up is the apricot jam, a small jar (250 ml/1 cup), scoop this out into either a small sauce pan and heat slowly on the stove top until liquified, or scoop into a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave until fluid. The pour the apricot jam through a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl, to remove the solids. Allow this to cool to room temperature (you can always do this step the night before while the cake is baking and then store this in the fridge – but allow the jam to come back to room temperature before using).
Mix in 1/2 tsp. of rum extract and 1/3 cup of Bacardi Black rum into the apricot jam and add to the chocolate cake crumbs.
You can mix this with a wooden spoon, or like me, put this on your stand mixer and let the machine do the work for you. You just want to mix this until completely combined. (About 30 to 45 seconds on speed 5 on a Kitchenaid).
Next up, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour to firm up the dough so that it is workable.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and get your coating ready (I used chocolate sprinkles). You can make these any size you wish, the bakery always makes them the size of a golf ball, but I made mine smaller, so this is completely up to each individual.
Scoop out the dough and roll into a ball, then roll in the sprinkles and place on the baking sheet. Continue until all the dough has been used.
Place the pan with the rum balls, uncovered, in the fridge for 24 hours to allow all the flavours to meld.
1 Devils Food Cake Mix (4 eggs, 1 cup water, 1/4 cup oil, 1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding)
250 ml./1 small jar Apricot jam
1/2 tsp. Rum extract
1/3 cup Bacardi Black rum (it is essential that you use good dark rum for this, light rum will not work)
Sprinkle (to coat – because you can make these any size you wish, the amount of sprinkles will depend on how big you make these.)
- Make cake according to box instructions, but using the amounts I have listed above. Bake cake and allow to cool completely.
- Once cake has cooled, tear into pieces and lay out on a baking sheet, uncovered, over night to allow the cake to dry out.
- In a small sauce pan place the apricot jam, heat over low heat until fluid. (Alternatively you can do this in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave.). Pour the hot apricot jam through a fine mesh strainer over a bowl, removing all the solids. Allow this to come to room temperature. Store in the fridge.
- The next day, remove the strained apricot jam from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature. Then place the cake pieces in the food processor and pulse to find crumbs (about 6 times). You may have to do this in batches.
- Dump the cake crumbs in your mixing bowl.
- Once the apricot jam has come to room tempature mix in the 1/2 tsp. Rum extract and 1/3 cup Bacardi Black rum into the apricot jam.
- Dump the apricot jam over the cake crumbs and place on stand mixer, turn to speed 5 (Kitchenaid) for 45 seconds (alternatively you can do this with a wooden spoon.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Prepare a sheet pan, lining it with parchment paper, pour your sprinkles into a bowl and get your scoop or spoon ready. (I used a small 2 tsp. sized scoop).
- Remove the dough from the fridge and start scooping the dough into balls, rolling between the palms of your hands and the place in the sprinkles and roll around to coat, pressing them in. Place on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough.
- Place the pan in the fridge overnight, uncovered, for 24 hours, then you can store them in a container in the fridge for up to 1 week. (these need the 24 hours for all the flavours to meld).
**Please remember there is rum in these, so eat responsibly.