I wanted to try baking Coconut Macaroons but ended up making Rum Balls instead. Because I did not want to go back to the supermarket, I decided to try making another dish with the shredded coconut. I had to put on my thinking hat and be creative. So I started looking through my cookbooks for a recipe. There are very few shredded coconut recipes with minimal ingredients.
When I stumbled on the recipe for Rum Balls, it was a life savior. Four ingredients and I added one more just for fun. Only shredded Coconut, fresh ginger, dark rum, sugar, and lime zest, which the last ingredient was my idea. Making this dessert or snack was somewhat of a workout. Anytime you have to mix melted sugar with other ingredients you get a good upper body workout.
Rum Balls or Kubecake is an African sweet sold by street vendors throughout West Africa, as stated by Dorinda Hafner in her Cookbook “A Taste of Africa.” Ms. Hafner continued by saying that the rum balls snack is an explosion of two hostile forces – a combination of strong dark rum and ginger. She was right. If you don’t like those two ingredients, do not attempt to make this dish.
I used Rhum Barbancourt to make the recipe. Because this particular rum is unyielding and also because of the aroma of the grated fresh ginger, I decided to add fresh lime zest to balance out the flavors. It worked! I also used store bought shredded coconut instead of freshly grated coconut. The worst for me was grating the ginger. If you ever grated ginger, you need to be very careful because 1) ginger does not take long to grate and 2) should not grate fast, or you will grind your knuckles or fingers instead. Be careful, please.
The recipe says to serve immediately or store in the refrigerator and serve later. I am not sure if it is because I did not use fresh coconut, but the texture was too soft for my liking. So I decided to place the Rum Balls in the refrigerator for a few hours. It worked. The Rum Balls were not that soft. I have to say that I mostly enjoy eating the Rum Balls cold than at room temperature. Enjoy!