Rum Chata Cocktails and Cheesecake

We have a bottle of a yummy cream liquor called RumChata and had a hankering to use it as more than just an after dinner drink. RumChata is made with Caribbean rum and cream with the addition of Horchata spices (including cinnamon, vanilla, sugar, etc).

Here are a couple of cocktails plus an alteration of Michelle’s cheesecake from my publisher, Bella Books , Thanksgiving blog (scroll down once you click through to find her recipe) to include bittersweet chocolate and RumChata.

au-lait

RumChata Egg Nog Au Lait

2 parts RumChata
2 parts egg nog
2 parts coffee
Nutmeg

Serve hot, cold or colder.

For hot, heat all the ingredients except the nutmeg in a small saucepan. Pour into a mug and sprinkle on nutmeg to taste.

For cold, whisk into a mug all the ingredients, except the nutmeg. Stir in a couple of ice cubes. Sprinkle on nutmeg to taste.

For frozen, place a mug of the cold RumChata Egg Nog Au Lait in the freezer for an hour. Stir with a fork and eat with a spoon.

creme-de-menthe

Mint Choco Chata Cocktail

2 oz RumChata
½ oz green creme de menthe
1 tablespoon chocolate syrup

Stir RumChata and creme de menthe together. If you don’t mind your drink to be a weird dark green, mix chocolate into the liquid. Otherwise, drizzle the chocolate into the glass in a creative pattern. Place in a couple of ice cubes and then pour over the cocktail.

cheesecake

Choco-Chata Cheesecake

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup sugar
4 package cream cheese, room temperature
4 eggs
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons Rum Chata

Mix the butter with the graham cracker crumbs and press into a well buttered springform pan. Set aside.

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add in the sugar and beat until fully incorporated. Add in the eggs one at a time. Add in flour. Alternate in the melted bittersweet chocolate and sour cream. Add in RumChata. Pour into prepared pan.

Spread the filling over the crust in the pan. Gently lift the pan and tap it down on the counter two or three times to settle the filling and help disperse air bubbles.

Place the cheesecake in a 200 degree F oven. (The lower-temp baking process makes for an exceptionally creamy cheesecake. The usual pan of water used when baking cheesecake is NOT used during this method.) Bake cheesecake for 3 hours. Remove from the oven. Crank the oven temperature to 500 degrees F. Return the cake to the oven and bake 5 to 10 minutes for a golden brown the top.

Take cheesecake from oven and set aside to cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, without releasing the side of the pan, run a knife along the inside edge of the cheesecake to loosen it. Cover and refrigerate the cheesecake until chilled for 3 hours or overnight. 

This recipe is for a 10″ springform pan. If using a smaller size, drop out 1 package of cream cheese and reduce the graham cracker crumbs to just a cup with 3 tablespoons of melted butter.

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Chocolate Rum Cream

I had 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk left over after doing another recipe of Dark Chocolate Gelato and had a bottle of Brugal Titanium Rum sitting on the island. My mind began to work on how best to combine them.

As much as I like Bailey’s Irish Cream, it pales in comparison to the memory of a delicious rum cream I had many, many years ago. A web search turned up a lot of recipes, none of which appealed, as I didn’t want to add eggs, coffee or another liquor. So I took parts of several recipes and created my version of Rum Cream to which I added Hershey’s chocolate syrup because, why not?

rum cream

Chocolate Rum Cream


1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup cream
1/3 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons rum
1 tablespoon chocolate syrup

Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix. Scrape down the sides of the container and mix again. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

Spring Showers Bring Rainbows

Rainbow desserts to be precise!

I was talking on Facebook recently about Jello molds and I reminisced about my sister’s multi-layer, intoxicating, gelatin rainbow cake at her wedding reception:

Wayne and Kathy and their tie-dyed wedding reception!

Wayne and Kathy and their tie-dyed wedding reception!

All that conversation made me want to make something festive this Easter weekend and what could be better than edible rainbows? And, what can make it even easier to endure a holiday than a spirited dessert?

You can put alcohol in each layer but I’m not in college anymore and so I only put it in the white layers. Adultify your rainbows by adding 1/3 cup vodka to the gelatin/yogurt layer and reducing the second amount of hot water by that amount so you are adding 1/2 of liquid.

Also, if you want it sweet rather than tangy, use 1/2 can of sweetened condensed milk in place of the yogurt (you will get four layers of white out of one can). Make it in two batches, though or the white layer will gelatinize before you use it. The top picture shows the ones made with greek yogurt and the bottom one with sweetened condensed milk.

IMG_2024

Rainbow Gelatin Shooters

3 to 4 boxes of colored, flavored Jello (I went for blue, green, yellow and red)
2 packages of Knox unflavored gelatin
2 cups Greek yogurt, divided
2/3 cup vodka, divided

Mix 1 package of any flavor gelatin according to the package directions. Typically, that is one cup boiling water added to the gelatin. Let sit a minute before stirring for three minutes and then adding 1 cup cold water. Pour into a dish or glasses. I use an 8×8 glass casserole dish if I’m making squares or you can use around six to eight pretty glasses. Refrigerate until set, which gives you about 30 minutes before you can move on to the next layer.

Mix 1 envelope unflavored gelatin with 1/2 cup hot water and stir until dissolved. Add 1 cup Greek yogurt and an additional 1/2 cup hot water. If you want to include booze, add 1/3 cup vodka to the measuring cup and pour in enough hot water to bring it to 1/2 cup liquid. Stir well to make sure it is well combined. Cool slightly before pouring half (just enough to cover the gelatin and make a thin layer) of the yogurt mixture over the set gelatin and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Leave the remaining gelatin/yogurt on the counter until after the next color layer.

Repeat the first step with the next color. Continue, interspersing color layers with white layers until done (or you run out of space in your vessel). I did mine starting with blue, then green, then yellow, then red (reverse Roy G Biv). For the cubes, I started with a violet layer.

These are best made the night before to help the layers bond to each other.

IMG_2017

Rum Sidecar

drinkMy friends, Charlotte and Thomas, brought me back some rum from the Dominican Republic and I had some lovely lemons just begging to be used, so I made a version of the Sidecar.

Very bright and perfect for the warm, humid evening! If you find the drink a little too tart, add a tablespoon of agave nectar to the shaker to sweetening things up.

Rum Sidecar

1 1/2 ounces rum (I used Brugal Titanium)
1/2 ounce triple sec or other orange liquor
3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

Rub the rim of a chilled cocktail glass with lemon juice and dip it in sugar.

Shake the rum and other ingredients well with ice, then strain into the prepared cocktail glass. You may need to slightly adjust the amounts of triple sec and lemon juice, depending on the brand of rum you use.

 

Frozen Fuzzy Navel with Slow Cooker Peach Puree

Finding a use for slightly under ripe or frozen peaches just got a little easier with my CrockPot. I put the peaches and some other goodies in over low for a couple of hours and then pureed the result. That puree is finding its way into all kinds of dishes, including this cocktail recipe.

peach cocktail

Frozen Fuzzy Navel

Ice
1/3 cup peach puree (see recipe below)
1/2 cup orange juice
2 ounce peach schnapps
1 ounces vodka

Fill a blender about half-full with ice. Chop the ice with a few pulses and then add the peach puree, orange juice, peach schnapps and vodka.

Blend on high until it’s the consistency of a smoothie.

Slow Cooker Peach Puree

8 peaches, sliced (this works best with slightly under ripe or hard peaches)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup peach schnapps (optional)

In a slow cooker, combine the peaches, sugar, cinnamon, butter and schnapps. Toss lightly to combine. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours. When good and soft, dish out enough to put over a bowl of vanilla ice cream and put the rest in a blender and puree until smooth. Store in pint bags in the freezer until ready to use.

Perfectly Minty Peach Cocktail

IMG_7977The peaches were beautiful at the Crescent City Farmer’s Market today. Of course, they were from Chilton County, Alabama (only the best will do).

After eating one over the sink, as it was so juicy, I decided I needed to make a drink to highlight them.

Perfectly Minty Peach Cocktail

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup mint simple syrup, recipe follows
2 to 3 fresh peaches, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup rum
ice cubes

In a blender add the lime juice, simple syrup, peaches and rum. Mix to combine. Adjust to taste. Add ice cubes to blender and mix until chilled and frothy.

Serve in glasses with a slice of peach and a sprig of mint.

IMG_7981

Mint Simple Syrup: Bring 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water to a simmer, stirring until all of the sugar is dissolved. Pour over mint leaves and allow to cool and steep for thirty minutes. Remove mint and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Watermelon Rum Cooler

The sale on watermelon was too good to pass up — even with the smallest watermelon weighing 15 pounds! Getting the thing home was one thing; finding room in the fridge another.

After we cut it, we had more than ten cups of watermelon. After snacking on it for three days, I decided that what we really needed to do was have a drink with it. What is more refreshing than a watermelon cooler?

IMG_7933Watermelon Rum Cooler

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 or 2 mint sprigs
1 cup fresh lime juice
3 cups rum
4 cups seedless watermelon chunks
8 cups crushed ice
watermelon chunks and mint sprigs

Make a simple syrup with the sugar and water. Pour over a sprig or two of mint. Let cool and remove the mint. The mint simple syrup can be made ahead and refrigerated a week in advance.

In a blender, combine half the simple syrup with half of the lime juice, rum and watermelon chunks and blend until combined. Add half of the ice and blend until smooth. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Serve in chilled glasses garnished with watermelon chunks and topped with mint sprigs.