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FoodThe Croft2023

'Potent Puds': A New Year's Indulgence in Collaboration with RumSoc

Anya Dixon works with RumSoc to help you celebrate this New Year.

By Anya Dixon, Food Deputy Editor

With the passing of Christmas parties and the upcoming New Year’s, the merriment of alcohol becomes a persistent figure in the party setting. With some choosing to delve into its delights and others choosing not to, it is clear that we all seek a bit of indulgence every now and then. However, for the majority, indulgences take the form of food - prevalently, desserts. That’s why I’ve compiled a few traditional favourites and added a tipsy spin to each of them, with the help of the UoB Rum Society. 

©️Anya Dixon

Caramelised Rum Banana Split: serves 1 

First up is the classic banana split but with a caramel and rum twist. The perfect caramel is notoriously difficult to make, however, follow the right steps and pay attention to the process and it becomes an achievable feat. 

Any dark spiced rum can be used for the caramel but we recommend Kraken or Dead Man’s Fingers dark spiced rum. 

  • 1 banana 
  • 2-3 scoops vanilla ice cream 
  • 50-100g sugar 
  • 1-2 tbsp. water 
  • 2-4 tbsp. dark spiced rum 
  • Handful of crushed peanuts 
  • Chocolate sauce (bought or made): 
  • 90g milk chocolate bar
  • 25ml milk 
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  1. Slice the banana evenly in half (long-side) and put to the side on a plate. 
  2. In a saucepan, add the sugar and water on a medium heat, mix only once so the two are combined and keep on the heat for roughly 5-10 mins. Do not stir the caramel, instead swirl the pan if needed – stirring will cause the caramel to crystallise.
  3. Once the caramel is browned nicely and the sugar has dissolved, take off the heat – at this stage the caramel is incredibly hot so be careful
  4. Since the caramel will begin to harden quickly, the rum should be immediately added – whisk gently. It is better if the rum is room temperature to minimise the hot caramel bubbling up and reacting with the coolness of the rum.
  5. Once combined, drizzle the rum caramel over the sliced bananas - ensure the majority of the caramel covers the inside of the banana. The caramel can be transferred to a small measuring jug or pouring glass beforehand to minimise mess. 
  6. (Optional) to make the chocolate sauce, break the chocolate up into a small bowl and pour in the milk. The mixture can either be microwaved or heated in a saucepan. Either microwave the chocolate mixture for 30 second intervals until chocolate is fully melted or transfer to a saucepan, place on medium heat and stir until chocolate is melted and combined with the milk.
  7. Once ready for serving, place the caramelised bananas on a serving plate, scoop the ice cream and place in between. Drizzle the chocolate sauce over the caramelised bananas and ice cream, then garnish with crushed peanuts, alternatively, any choice of fruit or whipped cream can be added. 
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Rum-Twist Tiramisu: Serves 6

This recipe calls for Coffee flavoured rum – we recommend Kraken Dark Roast Coffee Rum to enhance the coffee taste. Alternatively, Dead Man’s Fingers Hazelnut rum can be used for a nutty flavour. 

  • 200g packet of lady fingers 
  • 250g mascarpone 
  • 4 espresso shots/2 black coffees 
  • 2-4 tbsp. rum 
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract 
  • 3 eggs
  • 110g caster sugar 
  • Cocoa powder (to dust)
  1. Crack and separate the eggs into two bowls. Put the egg whites to one side, then combine the yolks with sugar using an electric whisk or handheld whisk. Keep whisking until the colour fades from yellow to pale yellow/white and constancy thickens. 
  2. Add the mascarpone and vanilla extract to the mixture – stir until well combined 
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until the constancy thickens into a foam-like texture – it should be fluffy and should form stiff peaks 
  4. Gradually add the egg whites to the previous bowl containing the mascarpone mixture and gently fold it through using a spoon or mixing spatula – it is important not to stir too harshly because of the air in the egg whites, instead a gentle folding technique should be used, almost like scooping the mixture. 
  5. Putting the creamed mixture aside, use a new bowl to combine the coffee and rum – espresso shots from a coffee machine may be used or alternatively, two regular black coffees from ground coffee. Make sure the coffee is room temperature. 
  6. One at a time, dip the ladyfingers into the coffee-rum mixture, being careful not to soak for too long, and line the sponge fingers neatly together in a medium-sized, rectangular dish – do this until the bottom of the dish is covered. 
  7. Spread roughly half the cream mixture over the coffee-rum fingers. Repeat step six, placing the ladyfingers on top of the cream. 
  8. Use the remaining cream mixture and spread over the top. Refrigerate for at least 5 hours before dusting the cocoa powder and serving. Enjoy!
©️Anya Dixon

Black Cherry Trifle with Cherry Brandy: serves 12

This trifle is perfect for a bigger crowd with its sweet fruity flavours flavour, and a hidden brandy twist. This dessert involves using the same technique as the tiramisu with its dipping and layering. I recommend De Kuyper Cherry Brandy Liquor for a sweet cherry flavour with almond undertones, but any cherry-flavoured brandy works too!

  • Madeira loaf cake 
  • 230g jar of black cherries in kirsch  
  • 135g black cherry jelly cubes (Hartley’s works best!)
  • 50-100g black cherry jam 
  • 500g Madagascan vanilla custard
  • 3 tbsp. cherry brandy
  • Double cream 
  • 300g approx. fresh cherries to decorate 
  1. Slice the madeira loaf cake into approx. 2 cm slices and generously spread the black cherry jam on half the slices of the loaf - use the other half of the loaf to sandwich the slices. 
  2. Strain the cherries in kirsch, saving the juice, and put to one side. 
  3. Pour the cherry brandy into a separate, small bowl and 1-2 tbsp. of the cherry kirsch liquid. Combine before dipping the sandwiched slices of madeira into the mixture. Make sure to fully immerse the slices and keep in mind to do this quickly. Layer the dipped slices into the bottom of a large/medium dish. Dipping each slice individually will ensure even flavour throughout the trifle.
  4. Pour the strained cherries over the sponge layer evenly, then begin to make the jelly. Follow the instructions on the packet and use the remaining cherry juice as part of the liquid in the jelly mixture. 
  5. Leave the jelly mixture to set for approx. two hours before spreading the set jelly evenly in the dish – this forms the next layer in the trifle. 
  6. Next, begin to whip the cream until soft stiff peaks are formed, being careful not to over-whip. 
  7. Pour the custard into the trifle dish to form the next layer before spooning out the whipped cream to top the custard. Garnish with fresh cherries.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Happy baking! 

Feature Image: Grace O'Sullivan

Happy New Year from The Croft and UoB RumSoc! Follow and support RumSoc here - and celebrate!