Portion/Yield:Make about 30 x 17g bon bons
Naughty but nice comes to mind when I make these Date and Rum Bon Bons. They do remind me of Christmas with their alcoholic kick and the fruity fudgy texture and they do make a lovely homemade gift. I like serving these after dinner with strong freshly brewed coffee; there is something about rum, dates and coffee that just works. The conversation becomes louder and the laughs come from deep inside; these bon bons remind me of good friends around the table after a superb meal on a cold winters day.
Yum yum is a perfect description for these naughty little morsels. They are super fast to make and do not require any baking. Don’t try and make them too perfectly round as it spoils their rustic look. Another attraction for me with this recipe is its versatility, you can change the recipe to suit your mood and indulge in the things that you like. Do have a look at the food fanatics tips there are some marvelous suggestions.
Ingredients & Method
- 125g unsalted butter
- 100g Demerara sugar
- 125g chopped dates
- 10ml Dark Rum
- 5ml Vanilla Extract or the seeds of one vanilla pod
- 125g Digestive biscuits Desiccated coconut
The key to this recipe is that you must shape the Bon Bons while the mixture is still warm otherwise the coconut will not stick to the Bon Bons.
Place the digestive biscuits in a clean food storage bag; use a rolling pin to crush the biscuits in small pieces, not powder but not too big either; about the size of your small finger nail.
Weigh out the rest of the ingredients. Cut the butter in small pieces and place it along with the sugar in a large saucepan. Melt the butter over medium heat. Once the butter has melted and it starts to bubble add the chopped dates, turn the heat down and boil for 5 minutes. Stir the mixture occasionally, once the mixture start to form heavy bubbles and become sticky remove the pan from the heat and add the rum and vanilla. Stir in the crushed biscuits and mix well.
Let the mixture cool for about 8 minutes or until cool enough to touch but warm enough to form shapes and for the coconut to stick. Use teaspoons to form about 15g balls, roll each one in the desiccated coconut, and let them cool completely. They will set up and become fudge like in texture once completely cold.
Store the bon bons in an airtight container in the fridge. They do get better with time as they mature. Remove the bon bons at least an hour before serving to come to room temperature, it brings out the flavour. Refresh them by rolling them in fresh coconut just before serving.
Try some of these suggestions to change the bon bons to suit your taste, or perhaps you love the recipe and fancy a change? Replace the brandy with very strong earl grey tea or a double espresso. If you are not a fan of dates replace the dates with sultanas or chopped dried figs. Add a crunch to your bon bons by replacing 75g of the chopped dates with walnuts or hazel nuts or pistachios or even pine nuts. Any nut of your choice will suit perfectly, if they are big, chop them in to smaller pieces. For a bit of variety you can roll the bon bons in crushed flaked almonds or crushed flaked hazelnuts. If you are pushed for time , line a baking tray with parchment paper, grease with a light coating of sunflower oil, dust with the coconut and spread the mixture in to the tray. Press flat, sprinkle more coconut on top, let it set in the fridge and cut in squares or desired shapes, very quick and easy!