Chocolate is great any time of the year, but it surely gets special attention on Valentine’s Day. A beautiful box of chocolates is a sweet and simple way to express your love for that someone special in your life, especially when they are crazy about chocolates!
This year, I am giving my someone special a (heart)y gift box filled with his favorite – Chocolate Rum Balls.
Valentine’s Day is a marker in our life and every year we try to do something special on this particular day.
This year we will probably have another date night and spend quiet time at home – listening to music, having a nice dinner and perhaps a trip down memory lane talking about the good ol’ days – that’s always fun! As of now, I’m not sure of what I will be making for dinner or if we will be in the mood of our favorite Thai take-out (not from my kitchen though!), but I am sure what we will be having for dessert – some decadent Rum Balls that I made today.
It’s my gift and its made with nothing but “love” . In addition, some chocolate, a couple of chocolate brownies (yes!), a splash of rum (ofcourse!) and some more chocolate makes it even tastier! I tried making these “heavenly bites of chocolatey goodness” just like the ones we would have at Baker’s Basket, back home in Pune, during our college days.
Make these rich, creamy, chocolatey rum balls and add a personal touch to your Valentine’s Day gift!
Makes about 12 rum balls
1 milk chocolate bar (I used Hershey’s Bar 1.55 oz.)
2-3 chocolate brownies, home-made or store-bought (I used 2 of those slices of “very chocolatey” brownies as shown in the picture below from a local Panera Bread bakery) *Taken by cell phone camera. Please bear with the picture quality
2-3 tbsp dark rum
½ cup dark chocolate chunks
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
½ tsp instant espresso powder/instant coffee
1 pint (about 1 cup) light cream (or heavy whipping cream)
1 small ziploc/plastic bag (optional for decoration)
Roughly chop the milk chocolate bar and place a heat proof bowl over a small pot of simmering water. Make sure the bowl does not touch the water below. Stir in 1-2 tbsp of light cream and heat just until the chocolate bar melts and turns into moist cookie dough-like consistency, stirring continously, for about 5 mins. (Please note that milk chocolate bar is processed chocolate and does not melt the same way regular baking chocolate does. Hence it adds to the body of the rum balls along with the brownies)
Take the bowl off the heat and let it cool a little bit. Break the brownies into crumbs and add it to the bowl of molten chocolate. Splash a couple of tablespoons of rum and using your hands, try to mix everything into a ball, like you would knead dough. If the mixture won’t hold together add little more rum. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls and set them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Pop them into the freezer while you prepare the melted chocolate for coating.
To prepare the melted chocolate, combine the dark and semi-sweet chocolate along with instant espresso powder and ½ cup of light cream in a heat proof bowl sitting over the pot of simmering water. Stir frequently and heat just until the chocolate melts, for about 5 mins.
Drop the rolled rum balls into the melted chocolate, one at a time. Remove it out using a toothpick or fork and and place them back onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart and pop it into the freezer again for 10-15 mins, so that the chocolate coating hardens up.
In the mean time, stir in the rest of the light cream into the remaining melted chocolate to thin it out into a flowing consistency and then pour some into a small ziploc/plastic bag. Try to gather all the chocolate into one corner side in the ziploc bag to form a cone and snip off a very small corner piece so that the melted chocolate come out.
Take the rum balls out of the freezer. Squeeze the chocolate out of the small hole in the cone-like ziploc bag and drizzle it over the rum balls. Pop them into the refrigerator overnight, 6-8 hours so that they set and the rum marinates. (Transfer leftover chocolate into an airtight container and store in refrigerator. It’s serves to be a great homemade chocolate sauce that can be drizzled over your favorite ice cream or dessert.)
Place them in mini muffin parchment cups that can be available in any grocery stores. For the gift box, try local craft stores or card/paper stores like Papyrus or Hallmark or Archies in India. (I was surprised to find the heart-shaped gift box at CVS Pharmacy here, in Montclair)