Fruitcake Rum Balls

Makes 18 x 50 gm balls

If your memories of Calcutta involve devouring rum balls from Kathleen, Flury’s, or Nahoum’s, and knocking back dirt cheap pegs of Old Monk at Oly Pub or DI—this fruitcake rum ball will hit you right in the nostalgia. But this is not the child-friendly rum ball from your youth. Loaded with dark chocolate, speckled with dried fruits and nuts, boozy with Old Monk rum, this one’s one hundred percent R-rated. Stuck with a bunch of leftover fruitcake from the holidays? This no-bake dessert is the perfect way to use it up and keep the holiday spirit going.

At a glance

– This recipe comprises fruitcake rum balls + chocolate coating & decorations
– You will need a large mixing bowl, a flat tray, a wire rack, and some parchment paper.
– This recipe has been broken into 2 stages for ease and comprehension. Please read the entire recipe from start to finish before beginning.

Stage 1: fruitcake rum balls 

1. 350 gm Christmas fruitcake (we get ours from Theobroma in Mumbai)
2. 130 gm digestive biscuits (16 biscuits)
3. 60 gm cashew nuts
4. 50 gm mini dark chocolate chips
5. 40 gm Dutch process cocoa powder
6. ½ tsp Xmas spice mix
7. 140 gm dulce de leche
8. 120 ml Old Monk rum

If you like it really boozy, you can up the alcohol, but 120 ml seems to be the perfect amount for us.

1 – Make your Xmas spice mix. Check out my Parle-G Xmas Macarons recipe or click here for the ingredients.

1 – Place the digestive biscuits in a re-sealable bag and lightly bash them with a rolling pin until you have both powdery and small chunks. Transfer these to your large mixing bowl.

2 – Chop your cashews into rough chunks and toss them into the mixing bowl.

3 – Toss your chocolate chips into the mixing bowl as well.

4 – Sprinkle in the cocoa powder and Xmas spice and using a fork, give everything a good mix. 

5 – Crumble in the fruitcake, and using the fork, gently mix it with rest of the ingredients.

6 – Pour in the rum and add the dulce de leche. With the help of a fork, mix the wet ingredients and the dry mixture together. It will start to clump together in small sticky masses. Taste the mixture and add more rum and spice if desired.

7 – Divide the mixture into 48 gm lumps and arrange them on a tray. Transfer the tray to the fridge for 30 minutes. This will firm up the lumps sufficiently so that they’re easy to roll into balls.

8 – After 30 minutes, take the tray out of the fridge and roll the lumps into smooth balls. Place them back in the fridge for at least 20 minutes as you proceed with Stage 2.

Stage 2: chocolate coating & decorations

1. 250 gm high quality couverture dark chocolate (50% cocoa)
2. 18 green sugar paste leaves and 18 red sugar balls (or whatever decoration you like)

If you like a strong bitter note, feel free to use a couverture dark chocolate with 70% cocoa for the coating. Keep in mind that cocoa powder is also quite bitter, so you don’t want to take things over the edge! Decorate the fruitcake rum balls however you like, but remember to keep it simple so that the flavours of the balls themselves come through.

1 – Line your counter with some parchment paper and place a wire rack on top of the parchment.

1 – Chop the dark chocolate into small shards.

2 – Transfer the chopped chocolate to a microwave-safe plastic bowl. 

3 – Microwave the chocolate at 450 watts for 30 seconds. Stir briefly with a spatula and then microwave it for another 20 seconds. Thereafter, keep heating the mixture in 10 second increments until the chocolate has completely melted. Do not let the temperature of the chocolate get higher than 34OC. The chocolate is ready when most of it has melted and you can still see a few lumps. These lumps will melt in the residual heat and on stirring.

4 – Take the chilled balls out of the fridge. To coat, dip and roll, one at a time in the melted chocolate. Lift the ball out using 2 forks, and allow the chocolate to drip for a few seconds.

5 – Set the coated ball on your wire rack. The parchment underneath it will catch any chocolate drippings which can then be collected and reused. After coating about 9 balls, your melted chocolate will start to get thick and gloopy. When this happens, simply put it back in the microwave and reheat it for 10 seconds at a time (stirring afterwards each time) until it is at the correct consistency again.

6 – After you’ve coated all of the fruitcake rum balls, quickly proceed to the next step while the chocolate coating is still wet.

7 – Top each coated ball with a sugar leaf decoration and a big red sugar ball. 

8 – Leave the coated balls to air dry at room temperature for 2-3 hours. 

If you live in a cool climate, you can store the fruitcake rum balls outside in an airtight container for up to 7 days. Room temperature in Bombay during the winter months fluctuates between 27 OC and 32OC, so I need to keep my fruitcake rum balls in the fridge, after the chocolate coating fully dries. These taste uh-may-zing after a few days of maturing. The spices and the rum really seep into the crumb and heighten the notes of caramel and chocolate. I highly recommend waiting a day or two before devouring!