Tag Archives: rum

SPICED APPLE SPARKLER

Spiced rum & cider cocktail

It might be because I was raised in the West country but I’d take one of these over a bucks fizz on Christmas morning every time. This is made from apple and spice and all things nice. And by ‘all things nice’ I mean rum.

For the simple syrup (there’s enough here for two drinks but you can easily increase the quantities) lightly muddle 3 sprigs of rosemary with 3 tbsp sugar in a small pan. Snap a cinnamon stick in two and add this to the pan along with 3 tbsp of water. Heat gently and allow to bubble for a few minutes. Leave to cool before using.

Ingredients

makes 2
30ml cinnamon and rosemary simple syrup
50ml spiced rum
ice
dry cider, apple slices and rosemary sprigs to serve

Shake the rum and syrup along with the rosemary and cinnamon from making the syrup in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Strain it into glasses filled with ice and top up with cider. Garnish with an apple slice and a fresh sprig of rosemary.

Spiced rum & cider cocktail

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RUM ‘N’ RAISIN FUDGE (small batch)

rum & raisin fudge

Fudge is now my go-to recipe when I have a little bit of condensed milk to use up. I find making it in small batches much easier on the wrist too as it requires so much less beating!

Rum and raisin is a classic fudge combo and they’re wonderful rich flavours for this time of year. I like to steep my raisins in the rum as I think this makes them plump up a bit more and it also means that some of the ‘raw’ alcohol flavour burns off a bit. This is rich and mellow and creamy and wholly indulgent. There’s enough here to share but it’s totally up to you if you do or not!

Ingredients
Cuts into 12 big pieces

50g raisins
50ml dark rum
200g condensed milk
55g butter
125g soft brown sugar
100g granulated sugar
75ml cream
1 tsp vanilla paste

rum & raisin fudge

Put the rum and raisins in a decent sized pan and gently heat them for a minute or two.  Put the raisins in a mixing bowl but don’t worry about cleaning out the pan properly.
Combine all of the other ingredients except the vanilla in the pan and melt it together over a low heat. Stir it well as it melts to ensure that the sugar is completely dissolved.
Increase the heat a bit to bring the mixture to boiling point. Continue to gently stir it (you don’t want to splash yourself!) to stop the mixture catching on the bottom of the pan and burning. Let the mixture bubble for about 10 minutes, it should darken a little and have reached ‘soft ball’ stage when it’s done. You can check for ‘soft ball’ using a sugar thermometer or by dropping a little of the mixture into some ice-water. It should form a soft ball, obviously!
Once you’ve reached soft ball stage you can remove the pan from the heat and pour the hot fudge into the bowl containing the raisins. Add the vanilla paste and then beat the living daylights out of the fudge with a wooden spoon. You’ll need to keep beating it for quite some time but eventually it should start to lose its glossiness and become thicker with a slightly crystallised texture.
Pour the fudge into a small tin lined with grease-proof paper, smooth off the top and leave it in the fridge to cool completely before cutting into squares and lifting it out of the tin.

rum & raisin fudge

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CHILI CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CAKE

Chocolate mousse cake

I don’t think that I can actually overstate how bloomin’ amazing this cake is. Even Roald Dahl Willy Wonka style naming wouldn’t come close to describing exactly how delicious this dessert tastes. Not just tastes mind you, the texture is heavenly too, crisp and meringue-like on the top and at the edges, rich and fudgy in the middle. And oh that slight spiciness too, tingly and warm and brilliant. Yes, I am proud of this bake.

Chocolate mousse cake

The cream complements it wonderfully, and I’ve allowed plenty of it (because I’ll always be a West-country girl), but you could of course serve the cake with just a dusting of icing sugar and scoop of ice cream.

Ingredients
serves 8 (but I wouldn’t share it)

150g dark chocolate
4 eggs
100g sugar
75g butter
1 tsp vanilla extract/paste
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
pinch of salt

Vanilla-rum cream
300ml double cream
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
1 tbsp dark rum
1 tsp sugar

fresh raspberries and mint to decorate

Chocolate mousse cake

Pre-heat your oven to 180°c and grease a spring-form cake tin. Line the base with grease-proof paper.
Chop up the chocolate and melt it together with the butter, either in a double boiler or by using short blasts in the microwave. Let this cool a little.
Separate the eggs, putting the whites and yolks into two large mixing bowls. Add the sugar to the yolks and beat them until they are really pale (the colour of butter) and thick and fluffy. Add the spices and vanilla to this and briefly beat it again.
Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold a stiff peak.

Chocolate mousse cake
Pour the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture and mix them together, making sure that they are well blended. Adding the chocolate to the eggs (rather than the other way around) will reduce your risk of the chocolate seizing. Take a big spoonful of the whipped egg whites and mix it into the chocolate goo. This will lighten the mixture a bit. Carefully, using a big metal spoon, fold in the remaining egg whites, a couple of tablespoons at a time.
Pour the moussey batter into the prepared tin and bake it for 40 minutes.

Chocolate mousse cake
Leave the cake to cool in the tin on a wire rack, the middle will sink a lot but that means that you can fill it with even more cream. Don’t worry if you have cracks in the top either.
Run a pallet knife around the inside of the tin and then carefully release the cake. Hopefully it will come away cleanly and you can slide it off the base and onto a serving plate. Carefully peel away the paper from underneath, this can be a bit fiddly because the top of the cake might be a bit crisp and delicate.
Place all the ingredients for the cream in a mixing bowl and whip until it forms soft peaks. Either pipe or spoon this on top of the cake to fill in the crater in the middle and decorate it with the raspberries and mint leaves. You can serve any leftover cream alongside the cake or it’s amazing on top of hot chocolate or coffee.

Chocolate mousse cake

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CHERRY JUBILEE CHEESECAKES

cherry jubilee cheesecake

I’ll be honest with you, I’m not 100% certain what cherries jubilee should actually be. I’ve got a vague idea that it’s vanilla ice cream with a boozy cherry sauce but the internet (source of wonder that it is) isn’t exactly clear which booze is preferable. Bearing this in mind I’ve opted for whatever seemed preferable to my taste buds. Generally speaking, they seem to know what’s best.
I did debate for some time the merits of using rum or bourbon in the cheesecake but in the end I decided on rum, largely because I’ve already made a bourbon laced cheesecake on here, so I already knew that that would be darn tasty.
These are darn tasty too (either that or I’m not that picky). The plump, tart cherries complement the sweet, creamy, boozy cheesecake perfectly. The colour of my cherry sauce was amazing too, it ended up being a rich dark purple which looked great against the ivory cheesecake.

cherry jubilee cheesecake

Ingredients
75g digestive biscuits, crushed
25g butter, melted
225g cream cheese
60g sugar
1 egg
50ml rum
1 tsp vanilla paste
Cherry sauce
100g pitted whole cherries
juice of half a lime
1/2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp water

cherry jubilee cheesecake

Line a six hole muffin tin with muffin wrappers, use silicone ones if you have them as they tend to be a bit more sturdy.
Mix together the biscuit crumbs with the melted butter and press a heaped tablespoonful of this base mixture into each cavity of the muffin tin then place it in the fridge to chill. Pre heat the oven to 170°c .
Beat together the cheese and the sugar until they are really nice and smooth. Next beat in the egg followed by the vanilla and the rum. It’s important to make sure that everything is well mixed.
Spoon the filling evenly over the bases. Place the muffin tray into a larger, deep tin (like a roasting tin) and fill that tin with boiling water. Put the cheesecakes in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Once cooked they should still have a gentle wobble to them. Turn off the oven, slightly open the door and leave them in there until totally cool. Transfer to the fridge to chill completely before serving.
To make the cherry topping simply combine the fruit with the cornflour, sugar, lime juice and water in a small saucepan. Very gently heat this, stirring frequently until you have a very thick cherry sauce coating the fruit. Leave this to cool too but don’t put it in the fridge as it will end up too thick, room temperature is ideal.
When you are ready to serve the cheesecakes, or a little bit before, remove the wrappers and top each cheesecake with a spoonful of saucy cherries. What a treat!

cherry jubilee cheesecake

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MOJITO POPTAILS

Mojito poptail

What could possibly be more refreshing on a hot sunny day than a cool mojito? A frozen mojito, that’s what!
‘Poptails’, ice pop cocktails, seem to be all the rage at the moment and it’s definitely a trend that I can get on board with. There are so many possibilities with boozy ice pops, you just need to resist the urge to make them too strong (or they won’t freeze solid). These would be so fun to serve at parties, you could even make dinky ones using an ice-cube tray. I think raspberries frozen in cubes of prosecco on cocktail sticks would be really cute for a special occasion.

Mojito poptail
I did toy with the idea of suspending mint leaves and slices of lime in these ones but in the end I decided against because, although it would look very pretty, I think it would probably make eating them a little tricky. And you know that I’m all about the eating!

Mojito poptail

Ingredients
makes 4-6 depending on the size of your moulds, but it’s easily multiplied

20 ish mint fresh leaves
30g sugar
75ml water
75ml white rum (I used Flor de Cana)
juice of 1 lime
flat soda water

Muddle together the mint and sugar in a small sauce pan, i.e give it a good bashing. Add the water and stir it together. Bring the mixture to boiling point and let it bubble away for about 10 minutes to create a mint infused simple syrup. Add the rum and continue to boil for one more minute. Remove from the heat and squeeze in the lime juice before leaving the whole lot to cool completely.
Once it has cooled you can divide it evenly between your moulds. Top each one up with the flat soda water (leave a little space for them to expand into as they freeze). Gently stir each one to make sure that the syrup is well blended with the soda water, insert their sticks and freeze them until they’re solid.
Once they’re frozen, gather your friends and enjoy! Now to start planning a trip to Cuba…

Mojito poptail

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HOT FUZZ

I’d normally always choose nectarines over peaches, I’ll be honest, I have issues with the fuzzy skins. I’m odd like that. However, for you guys, I braved it! (honestly, it was for you, not the rum…)

I suppose this is a bit like a hard-core Bellini, but as I’ve mentioned before I’m really not a fan of Champagne, so I’d opt for this any day. It’s fruity and refreshing with a lovely spicy kick from the ginger ale.

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Ingredients
makes 2

1 fresh ripe peach, peeled and stoned
6-8 large basil leaves
70-100ml rum (I used Flor de Cana Gold)
1 can spicy ginger ale (I used Gosling’s)
ice

Use a stick blender to purée the peach flesh. Roughly chop or tear the basil and muddle this with the rum in a cocktail shaker. Add the peach purée and lots of ice and shake well. Strain into tall glasses and top up with ginger ale. Give each glass a quick stir, sit back (preferably in a sunny spot) and enjoy.

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HEMINGWAY TART or mojito Key lime pie

This recipe is inspired by our road trip to Key West, where I had my first taste of proper Key lime pie.

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Obviously it would be wrong to visit any area of the Caribbean and not sample a rum cocktail or three. Ordinarily I’m a dark rum kind of girl but I do love a mojito, the mint it so refreshing, especially in the humidity of the tropics!

One of the key flavours of a mojito is lime so I thought that if I was going to have a go at making a Key lime pie I may as well put some rum and mint in there too, just for good measure.

It’s very quick to make but looks and tastes really impressive. If you aren’t a fan of biscuit crumb crusts then by all means use a short crust pastry case instead.

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I’ve christened this Hemingway tart partly because he had a house in Key West and partly because his reputation leads me to believe that he would have enjoyed a boozy tart!

Ingredients

base
175g digestive biscuits/graham crackers
50g butter

filling
400g condensed milk
60g full fat sour cream
2 tbsp good quality white rum (I used Flor de Cana 4 year old)
1 heaped tbsp finely chopped mint
4 tbsp lime juice (I didn’t use actual Key limes as they can be tricky to find in the UK)

lime zest and whipped cream to decorate

Start by pre-heating your oven to 180°c. Crush the biscuits to a fine crumb, I use a food processor but if you’re having a bad day there’s something to be said for sealing them in a plastic bag and going at them with a rolling-pin.

Melt the butter and mix it with the biscuit crumbs. Press this into a standard size pie dish using the back of a metal spoon. Bake this for 5 mins.

Whilst with crust bakes you can prepare the filling. Whisk together all of the ingredients except the lime juice. Make sure that the mint is evenly distributed throughout the mixture. At this point the filling will seem impossibly thin and runny and you will probably be cursing me, convinced that it will never set firm enough to slice.

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Remove the crust from the oven and set it aside for a few moments. Whisk the lime juice into the filling mixture and it should magically thicken to a wonderfully fudgy consistency. The joy of chemistry eh?

Pop the tart back in the oven for a further eight minutes. It shouldn’t colour at all, in fact it shouldn’t look any different when you take it out of the oven. The heat of the oven just gives the chemical reaction a little helping hand to ensure that the filling is fully set.

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Chill the tart completely before decorating with whipped cream and lime zest for extra tang.

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