The Cook, the thief, his balls and her cupcakes

May 25, 2010 · 56 comments

Today didn’t quite go according to plan. I was all set to get up feeling refreshed, hit the gym, have a incredibly productive day working on the paper I’m writing at the moment, and perhaps reward all my good work with a refreshing beer, a tasty dinner and some yelling at MasterChef with my housemate.

The first problem I faced with this plan was my lack of transport to get to the gym. This was primarily due to the fact my locked, alarmed car had apparently been squirreled away from my secure carpark by a hard up magician with a penchant for dull Korean cars.

Yes, today I found myself a victim of crime!

As I spent the next hour or two on the phone dealing with the Police, my insurance company, a hire car company and my bank, the crimes continued. Crimes against my ears, perpetrated by makers of hold music. No one wants to listen to inexplicable happy hardcore when they’ve just discovered a distinct lack of car in their parking bay and they haven’t yet eaten breakfast. I suspect insurance companies employ this tactic to reduce the number of claims they have to pay out to people who are unable to handle the hold music for long enough. I persevered however, and am now zipping around in a tiny little hire car while my insurance company sorts out my claim.

While my car void ruined my gym-going and paper-writing plans for most of the day, it also threw a spanner in my blog writing plans. I had planned to tell you about the football baking that I did a few weeks ago but it’s difficult to segue from car theft to football.

Actually, there, I’ve done it.

I’m responsible for the footy tipping competition in my department, which mainly involves having a tempting selection of chocolates and lollies on my desk for the winner to choose from each round, and handing over the prize money at the end of the season. Possibly my most important role however, is to organise a few morning teas for everyone to get together, get hepped up on caffeine, fat and sugar and rile each other up.

The perfect opportunity for the first such morning tea was just before the first Western Derby of the season. The Western Derby, of which there are two every football season, is when the two Western Australian football teams play each other, and they are quite big events for this football-centric state. It is pretty much expected of everyone to choose their side, no matter how half-arsed they may be in their support. I for one am an emphatic Fremantle Dockers supporter, and I have the scarf and patience to prove it.

Given the occasion for the Western Derby morning tea, and my confidence that we were in fact going to be pre-celebrating another Dockers victory, I thought I’d try my hand at some football themed baking. I came up with little footy field cupcakes, and boozy chocolate footballs. The goal posts for the cupcakes are made with trimmed apple yoghurt Pocky, after a local search for Fads (nee Fags) proved futile and I was unwilling to venture too far out into the dodgy delis of the outer suburbs for some.

The boozy chocolate balls are a suspiciously similar recipe as the “Sandy Cannon Balls” I made for my pirate party, but they will just bounce off your ship’s deck and maybe knock over a vase instead of blowing the hull to smithereens.

Boozy Chocolate (Foot)Balls
Adapted from

1.5 cups chopped raisins
2 Tb alcohol – I use 1 Tb Frangelico and 1 Tb Kahlua (recipe suggests using rum)
400 g dark chocolate (recipe suggests Plaistowe rich dark cooking chocolate)
395 g can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chopped toasted nuts – I use hazelnuts

1. Combine the raisins and alcohol, and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
2. Melt the chocolate, then combine with the condensed milk and stir in the raisins. The mixture will thicken up very quickly after combining the milk and chocolate.
3. Refrigerate until the mixture is firm, or until you are ready to form the balls.
4. Roll teaspoons of mixture into balls, then roll in the nuts. You might want to use some disposable gloves for this as otherwise you will end up with hands completely covered in chocolate. You may however not see this as a negative thing.
5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, or keep them in the freezer for a little chocolate treat whenever the fancy takes you.