Toffee Rum

Back in my hedonistic days as the assistant manager of the Bath Hobgoblin pub my drink of choice was “double dark rum, diet coke and a straw”(shouted quickly and loudly over the sound of loud rock music).  For some reason the straw was important, I forget why now, it was probably to help not spill it all over myself as I was generally quite drunk back then.  White rum has never been my thing either, although the guys at the Eldorado Rum stand at last years BBC Good Food Show let me sample one that I really liked (perhaps the exception to my rule).  Anyway, golden rum is my thing these days, its caramel flavours just bring out the best in a lime (and me).  I’ve spent a lot of time in the Philippines where Tanduay rum is king.  It used to be 30 pesos for a bottle of rum and 60 pesos for a can of coke (a beer was 15 pesos) so a rum and coke was 70% rum, 20% ice (also too expensive) and 10% coke.  Even better the Tanduay rum bottles had a lid lottery so when you opened your big bottle of rum you would see on the inside of the lid what your prize would be, it was usually another bottle of rum!

Whenever I visit a food festival there are always lots of people selling toffee vodka, and it’s lovely (most of the time) but for me vodka has always been a spirit that you use to make other drinks/infusions with.  Despite it being the straight drink of choice for every character in Eastenders (seriously WHY?) I would never choose to sip away on a plain vodka, and yet I use it in so many of my concoctions.  Actually there was a brief phase when I was about 13-14 and living in Hong Kong where a karaoke bar used to do 2-4-1 double vodkas with lime cordial for $10 which we drank A LOT of which is probably why I’m not a fan of the spirit now.

So I figured I could easily combine my love for golden rum with toffee as the natural caramel flavours can only enhance the toffee right?

Ingredients:

  • 70cl Golden Rum (I used Appletion Estate)
  • 600g hard toffees (such as Werthers Original)

Just put your rum and toffees in a sterilised jar and leave for about 24 hours (stir every now and then to help the hard toffee dissolve).  I used about 350ml rum and 1 x 200g bag of WO but it could have taken 2 bags easily for a sweeter version.

So there you go, it’s really easy and if you smash up the toffees before adding the rum then it will probably be ready in about 2 hours. Hell yeah!

Soda Bread

Straight out of the oven

I had a really crap night last night so this morning I decided I needed cheering up and what better to cheer the soul than freshly baked bread.  I turned to my new favourite baking book Bread Revolution by The Thoughtful Bread Company for Patrick’s recipe.  Marvelous, I thought, I have all of that except the red wine vinegar so out came the big bowl, in went the dry ingredients (including the wonderfully coarse Whissendine organic wholemeal flour) and then I realised we were almost out of milk. Arse.  I did however have Buttermilk in the fridge that I was saving for scones so I used that instead and swapped red wine vinegar for some Womersley Golden Raspberry and Apache Chilli vinegar.

Whilst mixing the sloppy dough (it’s meant to be that way) I realised that my loaf tin was out on loan so ended up adding extra flour so that the dough could be shaped and baked without a tin.  I then kicked myself for ONCE AGAIN starting a recipe without checking to see if I had all the ingredients and equipment (another reason I don’t really use recipes or bake much!).

Luckily it turned out really well, if a little more crumbly than it perhaps should have due to my substitutions but oh my it tastes so good! It has absolutely cheered my morning and I can now see soda bread being a much welcome and more frequent addition to the table. I used to eat quite a bit of soda bread as a kid, my Dad is Irish and so it was almost a staple loaf of the bread bin but for some reason I have just kinda stopped eating it, until now that is.  Next time I am going to try Thoughtful Bread‘s recipe to the letter though and you never know, I might even check to see if I have everything I need before ploughing in!

Note: I don’t get paid for posts or links, I support great producers because they are wonderful and I want people to know about them and try their fantastic products and thats why I link, share the love!