Step 2: Rum Sphere Ingredients

To start off, there are some tools that will make this a lot easier. If you don't have a scale, it'll be hard to measure out accurate amounts of the ingredients. I've provided my best guess as to the volumetric amounts of the ingredients you'll need in parentheses. Also required is an immersion blender to mix the alginate bath. If you don't have one, a regular blender will do in a pinch.

You'll probably want a turkey baster. You don't need one, but it'll help later on.

Also a requirement is a set of hemispherical candy molds. I have a set of cherry cordial molds that are set into a sheet of plastic - these things are really cheap, and you can find them at Hobby Lobby or any similar store.

Gather together the following:

For the rum spheres:

350 ml water
15 g (20 ml) of rum
100 g (~ half a cup, packed) light brown sugar
8 g (~2 tsp) calcium lactate or calcium lactate gluconate
10 g (~1 tbsp) molasses (optional, but does a lot of good for the flavor)
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Allspice

For the alginate bath:

1400 ml hot water
65 g (~1/2 cup) sugar
6 g (~1 3/4 tsp) sodium alginate

Prepare the rum ball solution by mixing the rum, brown sugar, calcium salt, molasses, and spices in the water. Heat in the microwave until everything has melted, and filter to remove the excess spices.

Make the alginate bath by pouring the sugar and sodium alginate into hot water, and blending with an immersion blender until all the solids have dissolved. This will whip a lot of air into the solution, so cover the container and set the bath aside until all the bubbles are out.
<p>So apparently these comments are 5-6 years old. There's a good chance no one's reading this anymore. But I need to know... do you have any recommendations for replacements for someone who'd rather not use banana or, really, tropical fruits at all?</p><p>Actually... as I've just watched your &quot;make chocolate from scratch&quot; video, I could go that route and use homemade dimpled chocolate rounds (plus chocolate cake and chocolate meringue). Oh god... I actually adore pairing chocolate and rum. That could be insanely good.</p><p>Hm...</p>
Why not just use cupcake pans and only put a little bit of batter in the bottom of each. They'll cook super fast, you won't have much waste and you won't need to go through the extra effort of cutting them all out! You could even use the paper cupcake liners all just lined up on a cookie sheet. No pans to clean!
That's a great idea! Man, that's going to be a huge timesaver.<br><br>My way seems sort of stupid now. :)
If you're looking for a particular size, your way definitely works. I've done it myself quite a number of times!
Those are the tastiest looking liquor balls I've ever seen. Pause.
I've done this a couple times now and I think it's awesome. I was just wondering if anyone felt like doing the math out and figuring out the proof of the resulting solution. Also does anyone know the highest proof you could freeze in a conventional above-your-fridge-freezer? I'd love to get a full shot out of these but the -80C blast freezer in the lab doesn't like it when we put food in him.
Glad to hear you like it! I'll have to do the math on the spheres, Now I'm sort of curious about the proof...<br/><br/>I'm pretty sure around 30% is the highest you could go in a conventional refrigerator, according to the <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/ethanol-water-d_989.html">Engineering Toolbox</a>. Mine hovers around -15 to -20 C, and I assume that's a typical temperature. Do you have access to liquid nitrogen? I'm guilty of occasionally borrowing the dewar for a night to make ice cream. :)<br/><br/>Also, at very high proofs, the alcohol might start interfering with the gel formation - at what point, though, I couldn't pretend to know.<br/>
That's totally WICKED!!!!!! 5 stars!!
These look great! Willpowder, here I come! As soon my science project compounds arrive in the mail I will be making these. And I'm not completely sure I'm going to share them... Ooh -- I have a question! If I assemble them ahead of time (say, mid-morning for a late afternoon dinner party), what is the best way to store the little darlings until I'm ready to bake and serve them?
I don't really know how well the assembled and uncooked dessert would keep. It might be just fine for a couple of hours, but my main concern would be the spheres - they tend to slowly leak liquid, and that could (in theory, anyway) make the cake soggy. Plus, the banana might get all brown and mushy without some sort of added protection. However, I do know that all the separate components keep pretty well in the refrigerator. The swiss meringue is pretty stable and even the "quick" meringue would probably keep in the fridge for an afternoon. The cake bases can be refrigerated or, for long-term storage, frozen. The rum spheres should be covered by reserved rum liquid for storage, so they won't deflate too much. Sorry I can't be more useful! If it helps, the assembly is pretty quick - I'm terrible at piping the meringue, but even my monkey's paws could manage to cover about two to three pieces in a minute.
Oh wow. It never occurred to me to keep everything separated. I'm such a dork! Thanks for opening my eyes to the obvious. =)<br/><br/>I think I'm going to spring these on my friends for dessert after my annual Christmas Eve dinner.<br/>
Very cool i think i'll make these for mai (parents' ) Christmas party!
those look like poops. :D
Haha, congratulations on taking grand prize. I have yet to try this, but it's on my short list.
Sounds and looks incredible, and the only comment I had was that it's a shame you're using dime-store spices, which are sometimes sweepings off the floor of the mill. (or so I've heard) I buy my spices from Penzey's, and believe me, it's more than worth the difference in cost. The most valuable part of this lovely dessert is your time, and it's a shame to cover that up with anything but the best in ingredients. All that being said, your dessert looks lovely, and would be an unforgettable ending to a dinner with very special friends, or perhaps just one very special friend. How long do the rum balls keep in the freezer?
So, they don't seem to freeze very well. After I thawed the test spheres out, they leaked the remainder of their liquid out pretty quickly.
I should have realized the sharp(ish) crystals from the freezing liquid would pierce the very fragile shell surrounding them. I'm sorry to have put you to the trouble. It's too bad in a way, because if you had the spheres in the freezer, the dessert would still be very, very special, but a whole lot easier to execute while your guest(s) is waiting patiently for your dessert course magic. On the other hand, it probably tastes a whole lot better than it would have if it were freezable, and the dessert is now reserved for even more special occasions. (In my case, that would probably the 25th wedding anniversary, or the kid's college graduation, which just happen to be the same year.) This really falls into the realm of "Genius Desserts," and I can't tell you how impressed I am with the recipe and technique.
You wrote that instructable about freeze-thawing gels...shouldn't you have figured out that it wouldn't work? =)<br/>
Different gels can have different syneresis behaviors - I wasn't optimistic, but I figured I'd give it a shot. :)
You know, I feel guilty every time I use those spices in anything outside of cinnamon toast. Unfortunately, I inherited the packrat gene pretty heavily from both of my parents, so I think I'm stuck with them until I either can't stand the shame or my girlfriend throws them out when I'm not looking. On the other hand, after checking out the Penzey's catalog online, the temptation to refurnish my spice shelf is pretty strong... I'm actually not sure how the spheres would handle being frozen.They can keep in the refrigerator for a few days, but I've never been able to keep them around for longer than that! I'll try making and freezing some this afternoon and get back to you on that.
I wonder if cooking the cake batter the same way as pancakes would work? That way they'd already be in handy-dandy little circles and not quite as crumbly. Sounds absolutely delicious. I'll have to try this one :D
That's a great idea! They'd be thinner than the cake rounds, which would improve their bite-sizeability, and they'd be more flat. Heck, even making pancakes instead of cake could work! Little banana pancakes - delicious!
Bet they taste great but,......................can't even begin to tell ya what they look like,OR even remind me of!!
I don't have a clue about some ingredients. What are calcium lactate, calcium lactate gluconate and sodium alginate and where do I buy them?
Sodium alginate is a seaweed-based polymer that thickens into a gel when exposed to calcium salts.<br/><br/>Calcium lactate and calcium lactate gluconate are both calcium salts that have a minimal amount of flavor.<br/><br/>Calcium lactate can be purchased as a dietary supplement from pretty much any vitamin store.<br/><br/>Calcium lactate gluconate and sodium alginate are available from many specialty ingredient stores online. I bought mine from <a rel="nofollow" href="http://willpowder.net/products.html#2">Willpowder</a>.<br/>
Wow... that's one of the most elaborate and scientific desserts I think I've ever seen. Love the use of alginate for rum flavour bombs :) and the depth of detail about the meringues. To my chagrin the first thing I thought when I saw the finished meringues was "they look like fake dog turds"... now I'm just imagining eating banana-rum-meringue-cake. (drools)
Haha, I didn't realize how bizarre the first picture looked until you mentioned it. I hope that won't discourage people, I swear they don't look quite as bad in person. :)
first img is disgusting
I love the last picture where you can see the tiny bubbles under the surface of the gel! Great instructable!! I definitely want to try this!
if that was me i'd just eat/drink the spheres
They're pretty good on their own. And equally impressive!
Wow this is really cool. The rum spheres remind me of egg yolks. 5/5
Awesome non-drink use of sphereication!

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