With the jolly season fast approaching it is time to think about cocktails and decadent indulgences to embrace the festive cheer.
And with many of us still living with restrictions and unable to socialise, it is time to dust off the cocktail shaker and brush up on chocolate making skills.
Rum has to be one of my favourite spirits. The dark rums for their deep and mysterious flavour and the whites for their summery, tropical vibes. But I do feel it plays second fiddle to trending spirits like gin and whiskies. It's time for rum to have its moment!
Rum as we all know hails from the West Indies and is the legendary drink of sailors and pirates. The recipe I have created for Spiced Rum and Ginger truffles have a modicum of a truly delicious rum made in Wales, Barti Ddu, with a richly spiced flavour offset with the delicate savoury flavour of Welsh laver seaweed, found on our coast in Pembrokeshire.
I had an idea to make a ginger truffle but hadn't quite refined the details in my head, something was missing. So on my evening beach walk, I had a lightbulb moment.I usually find that a walk in Nature clears my head and it is where most of the creative process starts or gets embellished.
So I thought of the cocktail Dark 'n' Stormy which has Gosling's dark rum, ginger beer and lime juice (and is patented by law in the US). I don't have Gosling's rum but I do have Barti Ddu, so I made a Sailor's Surprise (a name I came up with), and converted that flavour combo into a vegan chocolate ganache truffle. Coated in organic raw cacao, these are rich, velvety, with the warmth of ginger and a subtle hit of rum. Perfect for dark and stormy nights.
Alcohol and chocolate, like everything, in moderation, are part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Celebrating and sharing good food and drink is embedded in our culture and creates connection, joy and longevity.
Firstly gather and prepare everything you need , your mise-en-place, it makes evertyhing stress free, and we don't need any more of that in our lives. Makes about 20 truffles.
You will need:
230g of plain dark chocolate, I used Belgian chocolate buttons from Buy Wholefoods Online.
120ml coconut milk, or dairy cream
2 teaspoons of ground ginger
15g finely diced stem ginger (in a jar with syrup, one piece)
5 teaspoons of Barti Ddu rum
3 teaspoons of lime juice, freshly squeezed
Organic raw cacao powder
Melt the chocolate slowly in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water. Do not let the bowl touch the water, or any water get into the chocolate.
In a small saucepan, add the coconut milk, or cream, and the gingers. Stir until blended.
Once the chocolate has melted, stir in the ginger coconut milk and whisk until incorporated.
Add in the rum and lime juice and whisk again. Leave to cool and then put in the fridge to set for a couple of hours.
When ready to make the truffles remove the mixture from the fridge, and using a teaspoon, scoop out some of the set truffle mixture. Roll into balls between the palms of your hands and coat with loose raw cacao powder.
These would make a perfect petit four to serve with coffee after dinner, as a gift for a foodie or simply a delicious treat for yourself. May need to come to room temperature for a few minutes before serving to get the best of the flavours.
Written by Patricia Alexander-Bird
Nutritionist, Lifestyle Medicine Practitioner and Health and Wellness Coach (in training). B.Sc., Dip Nt, BANT