Monday, July 1, 2013

Sweet Swap 2013 & my Mini Rum Balls {Recipe}


One of the greatest pleasures of baking is sharing the spoils. I bake for family, friends, neighbours and charity.

When I found out about the Sweet Swap, I couldn't sign up fast enough. Linking up with fellow Australian food theme bloggers to share some sweet love and get a little in return - who wouldn't want to get sweet parcels in the mail?

It's been like Xmas in July.

The same week I got my matches I accidently killed my blog. Having already committed to the swap, I resolved to start my blog again so I could take part properly. Organiser Amanda was very understanding - thank you.

Choosing what to make was probably the hardest part. It needed to be a completely new recipe that I'd never blogged about, taste fabulous and be resilient enough to survive being posted in the mail. I decided on Di-licious Mini Rum Balls.

These rum balls were particularly special because I used walnuts I’d handpicked from my brother in law’s house in Ballarat.

I must confess that up until now I haven't been much of a fan of rum balls. It's a size thing.

At their traditional size I find rum balls completely overwhelming. In miniature though, they're quite darling and a lovely pick me up in the afternoon.

Despite the decent swig of rum in them, Olive happily gobbled them up. My father proclaimed them irresistible and my mum ate more than she planned to. They'll definitely be on my Xmas baking list.


I wanted the wrapping to be as just as fun as the treat itself so I sourced brown craft boxes and tied them up with red bakers twine.

A message from me was tucked inside and I then wrapped the boxes in brown paper and tied them up with string – Julie Andrews was definitely onto something with her favourite things!

I posted my sweet parcels to:

Wen from What's Mummy Up To
Mary from Beyond Jelly  
Julie from I Dream in Chocolate

Before long three sweet parcels arrived on my doorstep.


 My first parcel was from Guilia at Love at Every Bite. An Italian expat living in Canberra, she made me the most divine traditional Italian Ricciarelli biscuits and homemade honeycomb.  I will definitely be hunting down the recipe for those biscuits!


A couple of days later, another sweet parcel, groaning with treats, arrived from Monica at Gastromony.

Not one, but three delicious treats! Chocolate & Peanut Butter Fudge made in a Thermomix (and dusted with edible gold glitter) was unbelievably smooth and creamy. Caramelised Cornflake Pralines were devoured by Olive in a flash. The crumbs I got to try were pretty tasty! The gluten free Lemon Myrtle and Thyme shortbreads were also lovely and I’ll be forwarding the recipe link to a celiac girlfriend.


Last but certainly not least were the whimsical Pop goes the Brownies from Flick of  Flick your Food.
She thoughtfully included a separate packet of pop rocks in case the brownies didn’t pop in our mouths as planned. It was the first time my daughter had tried them and the look of amazement on her face was priceless!

A big thank you to the organisers of the Sweet Swap. It was so much fun. To see what other sweets were swapped across the Australian Food blogosphere this July, you’ll find all the links here.


Recipe: Di-licious Mini Rum Balls
Recipe makes 120+ tsp sized balls.

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups shelled walnuts, roughly chopped
375g Chocolate Ripple biscuits (1 ½ packets)
¾ cups icing sugar
¼ cup cocoa
½ cup white rum (eg. Bacardi)
3 Tblsp golden syrup
Extra cocoa for dusting
R
Method:



  1. Toast walnuts in a clean, dry frypan set over low heat. Be careful not to burn them.
  2. Put toasted nuts into a food processor and process till they are small, even crumbs. Empty into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Break up biscuits into food processor and process to small, even crumbs. Add to walnuts.
  4. Sift over icing sugar and cocoa and mix everything together til evenly distributed.
  5. Make a well and pour in rum and golden syrup. Mix everything together til you have a large sticky brown ‘dough’.
  6. Using a measuring teaspoon, scoop out even teaspoons of mixture and shape into balls.
  7. Toss balls into a bowl with the extra cocoa to give them an even coat.
  8. Store them in an airtight container with the extra cocoa – they’ll last for weeks!


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