The Cook, the thief, his balls and her cupcakes

May 25, 2010 · 57 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 Nestle.com.au

Ingredients
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

Method
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.

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{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite May 25, 2010 at 11:27 pm

Conor – poor you!!! A victim of crime? That really sucks – good luck getting all that sorted. And couldn’t agree more re the hold music.

Now, onto the food – I used to love “Fads” too when I was little – we were SO separated at birth!!

I LOVE the look of these choc balls – my mum used to make something similar for Christmas and the high alcohol content made some of those family gatherings much more bearable!!

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Conor May 26, 2010 at 8:22 am

Thanks Mardi, I’m at least over the shock & fist shaking part of the experience. Plus I have visiting you to look forward to and take my mind off things :D

Oh yes, nothing like sucking on a Fad and pretending you were smoking when you were 7. Not quite the same effect as a Big Boss Cigar, but more ladylike.

Can’t go wrong with boozy chocolate!

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Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz May 26, 2010 at 12:50 am

WHAT? Oh no…so sorry you had your car criminalized :-(

Hope the awesome cupcakes and booze balls made things better
.-= Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz´s last blog ..1 Potato, 2 Potatoes, Blue Potatoes =-.

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Conor May 26, 2010 at 8:24 am

Thanks! Getting things sorted now, and booze balls make most things better. I also still have lots of Kahlua and Frangelico in case the balls aren’t quite enough.

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Steph@raspberricupcakes May 26, 2010 at 6:33 am

That totally SUCKS!! And pretty crazy that they managed to get it out of a secure carpark too. Hope everything sorts itself out, those boozy footballs look like a good way to console yourself :)

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Conor May 26, 2010 at 8:30 am

Sucks balls, yes! Cheers, looks to be under control now, in the hands of my insurer. Maybe I should send them some chocolate balls just to be on the safe side.

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panamahat May 26, 2010 at 8:25 am

I cant believe it! How could you possible have more to deal with in the next few weeks? The universe has a lot of answering to do.

Glad you somehow found the time to show us your footy creations. Very cute.

Wishing you nothing but the absolute best of luck from here on in. xx

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Conor May 26, 2010 at 11:05 pm

I know! I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, stuff like this always seems to happen when you least need it. I’m sure the universe has piles of good stuff to throw at me in the near future.

Thanks lovely, you too xx

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Iron Chef Shellie May 26, 2010 at 9:11 am

Love the new banner Conor!

I still can’t believe your car got stolen =( I hope he/she will be found soon!

Very cute football cupcakes and footballs though. Should I ever have a grand final party, I shall be attempting these!
x
.-= Iron Chef Shellie´s last blog ..Cupcakes by Paolo at the Flemington Market =-.

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Conor May 26, 2010 at 11:07 pm

Thanks Shellie!

If you’re anything as slow as me at organising a housewarming, you can have a grand final party for it :)

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Emma @CakeMistress May 26, 2010 at 9:33 am

You had me at chocolate and booze.

I can’t believe they got into your locked carpark, grrrr. May the theives never have chocolately goodness again. At least you have plenty of Kahlua to console yourself.

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Conor May 26, 2010 at 11:08 pm

Oh Emma I knew that’d suck you in :)

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Tim May 26, 2010 at 9:39 am

Well, at least you’ll get a new car! :)

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Conor May 26, 2010 at 11:08 pm

True! Although, I’m yet to be told that by my insurance agency, so I won’t count that chicken before I’m driving it. Across the road.

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Jenn May 26, 2010 at 9:41 am

*sigh*.
*hugz*.
When I saw your tweet, I seriously wanted to fly down to your place, hunt the bastard, and then beat that person. Beat them until they i) realized their ways and ii) gave you a brand new Mercedes, or any other kind of car of your choice. PEOPLE ARE JERKS.

But your Boozy Balls are quite vunderbar ;)

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Conor May 26, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Thanks Jenn, your violent thoughts are very sweet. I bet you could kick their arse.

Danke! :)

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Jo @ secondhelping May 26, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Can’t help but agree with Emma@Cake Mistress:

You had me at chocolate and booze. Combining them with football sealed the deal.

I shan’t mention the “incident” except to say if I ever meet the thief I know what I’d do with his balls…

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Conor May 26, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Excellent. I’m glad we agree that all of the above are wonderful things of joy. The chocolate, booze and football, I mean. Not the thief balls.
:)

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Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella May 26, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Aww no Conor, you poor thing! But as usual you make me chuckle with your turn of phrase :P I’m not really up with all of that football stuff but your cupcakes are fabulous!
.-= Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella´s last blog ..Garden Tea Party Cupcakes =-.

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Conor May 26, 2010 at 11:13 pm

Thanks Lorraine, I’m glad I can make you laugh in my hour of theft! :) I think if we combined these cupcakes with your latest ones, we just need some more with little beers and pies on them and everyone is happy!

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mademoiselle délicieuse May 26, 2010 at 8:17 pm

I wonder who has gone to the trouble of stealing your car – surely it’s easier to steal something off the street? Karma will get to them sooner or later, or you can put the word out and we’ll hunt the thief down and curse them to a life of bad food!
.-= mademoiselle délicieuse´s last blog ..Epicure Recipe Card #23: Roast Lamb Rump with Anchovy Cream Sauce =-.

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Conor May 26, 2010 at 11:15 pm

I know! And my car isn’t exactly a cruisemobile. I am sure the thief is currently being laughed at by his friends for driving a nanna car.

Yes, a curse of nothing but cold gristle and rancid cabbage!

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Agnes May 26, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Can’t believe someone stole your car! If they knew it belonged to someone so fabulous who creates chocolate boozy footballs and footy field cupcakes, I’m sure they would have reconsidered.

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Conor May 26, 2010 at 11:16 pm

:) thanks Agnes!

Maybe they were upset I didn’t share my boozy balls and cupcakes with them are decided to teach me a lesson? Or maybe it was an Eagles supporter!!!

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gcroft May 26, 2010 at 8:31 pm

That’s a bummer! Sorry to hear that your car was nicked.

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Conor May 26, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Cheers :)

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Pam May 26, 2010 at 10:52 pm

I am sorry about the car theft and the darn hold music!

I’ll take a few boozy chocolate balls… please?
.-= Pam´s last blog ..Tiffany’s Tomatoes =-.

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Conor May 26, 2010 at 11:17 pm

Thanks Pam. At least one of the companies had some half decent jazz (just the right amount of melancholy) so it wasn’t all bad :)

Sure thing, I’ll wrap them up for you now!

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5 Star Foodie May 27, 2010 at 1:15 am

Oh, no! I’m so sorry about your car and everything!

I do love these boozy chocolate balls, they look scrumptious!
.-= 5 Star Foodie´s last blog ..Alouette Extra Creamy Brie Review and Giveaway =-.

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Conor May 27, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Thanks Natasha! I can recommend chocolate balls if you should ever find yourself in a similar situation.

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Cakelaw May 27, 2010 at 5:43 am

So sorry to hear about your car! I know what you mean about the hold music – I have just moved interstate, and to avoid making the umpteen dozen phone calls and always on hold, I have just redirected my mail for now.

Love, love, love your footie cupcakes and the boozy footballs – especially the cakes, ’cause they are so cute!
.-= Cakelaw´s last blog ..The Daring Bakers – Piece Montee (Croquembouche) =-.

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Conor May 27, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Thanks! I wish more companies had callback systems so it just rings you once you get through. Surely this is win-win? I don’t blame you for taking the non-holdmusic route. Sanity preservation, really.

Thanks very much, glad you like em :D

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Nancy/ Spicie Foodie May 27, 2010 at 6:40 am

Hi Conor,
Sorry to hear about the car theft :( Your desserts look so yummy and I like your new look. I also have a couple of awards for you ( if you participate in awards) please stop by and pick them up.
.-= Nancy/ Spicie Foodie´s last blog ..Matcha Blueberry Corn Muffins, a real treat =-.

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Conor May 27, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Thanks very much Nancy. So sweet of you to pass the awards on to me, thanks so much :) Despite the crappy week there are still lots of things to smile at!

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Lori @ Wannabe Gourmand May 27, 2010 at 8:04 am

Oh love – the houdini car theft was definitely McCrappy.

Yay to see the footy field cupcakes! You promised purple power ones next one – if not to eat then just to salivate over.
.-= Lori @ Wannabe Gourmand´s last blog ..dosukoi japanese noodle & bubble tea – fremantle =-.

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Conor May 27, 2010 at 8:58 pm

Yes, was truly craptastic! Don’t worry, purple power will be coming. I have a few little plans drawn up :)

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penny aka jeroxie May 27, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Damn! I was a victim a few times before… AFEW so I know exactly what you are feeling. HUGs~~

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Conor May 27, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Oh god, more than once?! I’ll stop my complaining now then. Will accept the hug though :D

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Amy @ cookbookmaniac May 27, 2010 at 8:34 pm

It is so cool that you can be so eloquent after all that you have gone through. I would have been blinded by my anger and swearing right up a tree, to the point where I cannot come back down. Glad to hear it hasn’t dampened your spirits too.
.-= Amy @ cookbookmaniac´s last blog ..Ju-Rin – Someone give them a trophy! =-.

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Conor May 27, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Thanks Amy, though rest assured there has been much swearing going on. Granted, I’m quite sweary on a good day so this wasn’t much of a change ;) I am somewhat taken by the idea of swearing myself up into a tree though!

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Simply Life May 27, 2010 at 8:40 pm

Oh my, I want those chocolate balls!
.-= Simply Life´s last blog ..Yes, I Carried My Garbage For A Week. =-.

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Conor May 27, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Oh but you’re too far away for me to kick some to you!

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Patty Price May 28, 2010 at 12:19 am

Sorry about your car, that is a shocker! The booze balls and cupcakes look amazing, thank goodness that the car thief didn’t lift those as well!

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Conor May 29, 2010 at 6:07 pm

Thanks Patty, luckily the shock is starting to wear off. Yes just as well, I didn’t think to insure the balls and cupcakes.

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Chris @ bonviveur May 28, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Am generally apathetic regarding footy, but the cupcakes and choc balls are rather scrumptious!
.-= Chris @ bonviveur´s last blog ..Barista jam pictures =-.

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Conor May 29, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Cheers Chris! You have to at least slightly pretend to like the footy to get any of the treats, but you won’t be pop quizzed.

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denise @ quickies on the dinner table May 30, 2010 at 12:41 am

Oh sucky, sucky day!!!! : ( Poor you! *sigh* I’m with Jenn – if you ever find out who the sod is, we’re on him (her? – don’t want to be sexist here!). Jenn loves pummeling, I do eyeball gouging.

Anyway – I love boozy belly of your choc footballs YUMMMMM!!!!
.-= denise @ quickies on the dinner table´s last blog ..just pointing in the general direction =-.

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Conor June 1, 2010 at 9:43 am

Thank you! It’s good to know I’ve got such strength behind me. Who knew that food bloggers were such a bunch of fighters? Don’t mess with us!

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Trissa May 30, 2010 at 7:04 pm

What bad luck! It’s a good thing you got insurance… hope you sort out your new car soon! And the boozy (foot) balls look yummy – they remind me of chocolate truffles.

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Conor June 1, 2010 at 9:44 am

Thanks Trissa! Yes, thank god indeed, though still waiting for verdict from my insurer. Hopefully will all be sorted by the time I get back to Perth from overseas.

THanks :)

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Maria@TheGourmetChallenge May 31, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Oh conor! I’m so sorry to hear about your experience with crime! Totally sucks waking up to find that something of yours is gone! Hey at least, fingers crossed, you’ll get a new car.

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Conor June 1, 2010 at 9:45 am

Cheers Maria! I guess crime was due to find me one day, better this than having my diamonds stolen. My piles of diamonds. Actually, I think the piles of diamonds were in my car, I should mention this to the RAC.

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Kitchen Butterfly June 11, 2010 at 3:58 am

So sorry about your car……………the cakes look lovely, as do the boozy balls! Aaw…

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Penelope Tsaldari June 17, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Conor, sorry to hear about the car! Hope it all turns out well for you. I’ve missed ya, but it sounds like you’ve had your hands full. Posted this to my fb as well.
God, luv ya!
Penelope
.-= Penelope Tsaldari´s last blog ..Mining The Deep Smarts of Chefs-Resources.com =-.

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HollyT June 17, 2010 at 5:33 pm

those football choc things look amazing. i’d love to make some but Masterchef is on and that’s not negotiable…

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Hannah June 23, 2010 at 10:38 am

Conor! I’m so displeased with myself! I didn’t realise that I needed to update my google reader when you moved to yoru own domain, and so I’ve been crying myself to sleep every night for a month, wondering why you haven’t blogged, and… erm… you have been.

I do apologise! And I’m terribly sorry to hear about the car fiasco – I wish I could’ve lent my sympathies at the appropriate time. Bad Hannah. And now I’m off to read your next post, which will undoubtedly explain why you’re overseas, which was such a surprise to me when you mentioned something to that effect on my blog. Bad Hannah. But I’m back now, and less of a nincompoop! Hi!

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