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Romkugler (Danish rum ball sweeties)

romkugler danish rum balls receip hyggestyle

The recipe for these delicious little treats is taken from Bex’s latest book, (Craft Your Own Cosy Scandi Christmas by Becci Coombes); this is probably the least realistic of her projects in that it assumes you will have left over cake in the house! Romkugler were traditionally made by Danish bakers as a way of using up leftover pastries and cakes at the end of the day. Not a problem we suffer from, to be honest, but if you are prepared to squirrel away the odd muffin or pain au chocolat, pop them in the freezer until you have enough for the recipe. I, on the other hand, have to go and buy cake for the purpose, but I find supermarket cheap-and-cheerful madeira sponge an excellent way of coping with the problem.

These yummy sweets are perfect to make with children, as they can take over the task of rolling the balls while you enjoy a cup of tea and supervise from a comfy chair. I love them made with spiced rum, but if you prefer to make them without alcohol either vanilla or rum essence will both work nicely (add a couple of tablespoons of orange juice to make up the amount of liquid). A kitchen mixer or food processor will make life much easier as well, although they can be made (fairly laboriously) by just mashing up everything with a fork.

Ingredients (makes 30-40)

500g leftover cake or Danish pastry

100g marzipan

3tbsp raspberry jam

3tbsp cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting

2tbsp rum

150g chocolate vermicelli

  1. Grate the marzipan (this is made more effortless if you put it in the fridge for half an hour first).
  2. Place the marzipan, cake, jam and cocoa powder either into a food processor or a stand mixer with the beater attachment.
  3. Mix/whizz until the mixture becomes a smooth paste; to start with, you will think “oh, that’s never going to work,” then all of a sudden the ingredients will change from a crumby mess to a glorious chocolate squidge.
  4. Now is the ideal moment to scoop out a sample and invite family members to air their opinion regarding the blend of flavours, and add more cocoa or marzipan accordingly (I always plump for the “it needs more rum” option).
  5. Once everyone is happy, pop the mix in the fridge for half an hour to let it firm up a little.
  6. Form into balls (about 15g or the size of a small walnut) then roll them in either chocolate vermicelli or sieved cocoa for a darker, more adult palate. 
  7. Place in petit-four cases and serve. The romkugler will last about a week in an airtight tin, but can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer for a month if you have used fresh cake/pastry.



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