Balls!

My Fellow Inebriates,

Our Canadian Cream is almost ready for consumption. Not that we haven’t had a small sip already, but at the end of this week it should be as good as it’s going to get—i.e., ready to chug. I have a few nagging worries, though.

Canadian Cream Label copyWhen we made the liqueur, we bought a one-litre carton of whipping cream. Two and a half cups went into the mix, my mum put half a cup or so in some solid-food risotto-like thing, and the rest sat in the fridge with nothing to do. Recycling day came along and, since the unused cream was two days away from expiry, we gave it a sniff. OMG! Holy shit, people! That cream smelled rank. Holy crap, two days early the stuff was horrid. Mum poured it down the drain and rinsed the carton…but it was hard not to look at our giant Canadian Cream jug and think…the same cream’s in there! OMG!

That’s really the reason we got into it early—to make sure it wasn’t off. You wouldn’t want to take a big slug of sour milk products and end up barfing. But it smelled fine. It tasted fine.

Alcohol keeps food from going off.

So what is this amazing preservative power of alcohol all about? How does it work?

Simply put, alcohol is poisonous. At concentrations above 15 percent, bacteria and fungi can’t survive. That having been said, cream-liqueur experts advise against keeping homemade concoctions more than a few weeks, and only then in the fridge. Roger that—we’d better finish this shit now. Review…on the way 😉

To this sage advice, my mum said, “Oh. I guess we’d better not make another batch then. It’ll be enough to get through this lot.”

This is exactly the opposite of what I meant. Of course we should make another batch. Right now.

But instead she said we were going to make whisky balls.

rum balls

I was immediately suspicious. Another recipe requiring us to cook with booze? OMG! The angels’ share is supposed to be miniscule—the tiny portion that evaporates naturally, not liberal gases spewing into the air from a hot saucepan. Damn it, why do the angels get any of our booze? Aren’t they supposed to be perfect creatures? Not addicts jonesing in distillery cask rooms.

“Relax,” said my mother. “Behave yourself.”

Apparently you don’t cook whisky balls.

They’re just like rum balls, which you don’t cook either—only they’re made by people who are too ungenerous to buy rum for loveable bears who have repeatedly requested it. Whisky balls are a not-horrible-sounding variation on rum balls. Let’s do this shit.

Here’s what we need:
  • 3 ¼ cups vanilla wafer crumbs
  • ¾ cup icing sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 1 ½ cup walnuts 
  • 3 tbsp light corn syrup
  • ½ cup whisky

Life is a compromise at LBHQ, so we’re using graham crumbs. We have to do this without Miss V seeing, or she will demand a bowlful of them (not that she would deign to eat a graham cracker).

Next two ingredients: check.

Walnuts…the kids will bitch a very great deal if walnuts go into this recipe. But perhaps they shouldn’t be the arbiters of our whisky-ball ingredients.

Corn syrup is one of those things that doesn’t age, and ours is probably older than I am. We’re going to use it anyway.

As for throwing half a cup of Canadian whisky into this recipe…what the hell. The plastic Wiser’s jug is enormous and its somewhat atonal siren song has been relentless lately—better do something with it other than just pound it. Sigh.

rum ball mixingOkay, so you really just mix all this stuff up and shape it into balls. (OMG, I’m not even allowed to help with that—what’s the big deal, a little fur?) Then you sequester your balls away for a few days in an airtight container so the flavor can mellow. Five days is about ideal. But it’s hard to be away from your balls for five days. You might find yourself opening the container and sniffing your balls every so often, wondering if they’re ripe.

Whisky or whiskey balls?

If your balls are Scottish, Canadian, or Japanese, they’re whisky balls.

If your balls are American or Irish, they’re whiskey balls. As a rule of thumb, if your country has an “e” in the spelling, so does your whisk(e)y and any balls made therefrom.

Our own Irish (well, actually Canadian) Cream—at one-third the price of store-bought! (And YOU can do it too!)

Check it out, my fellow inebriates. With roughly $33 worth of simple ingredients, we’re going to make almost 3 litres of dreamy Irish Canadian cream liqueur. Yes!

Okay, so typically we wouldn’t get all the ingredients ready like this. My mum would be more likely to begin a recipe, then run around the kitchen looking for ingredients she didn’t bother reading about, all the while cursing whatever’s burning, only to realize we’re out of whatever she needs. But today we got organized. After all, this is a documentary of sorts.

The Recipe

  • 8.75 oz milk chocolate chips (call it a rounded cup)
  • 1 shot espresso
  • 750 mL whisky (that’s 3 cups to you imperialists)
  • 2 cans condensed milk
  • 2 cans evaporated milk
  • 2.5 cups whipping cream

Can you believe it? That’s it! In fact, the only complicated part of this whole deal is getting the chocolate chips to melt nicely. If you don’t have a double boiler (and who does?), just put a smaller saucepan inside a larger one partly filled with water. Get the water gently boiling, then simmer it, making sure the water won’t go apeshit-splashy into the small saucepan. Put the chocolate chips and the espresso shot inside the little saucepan and stir as they melt. Mmmmm!

Meanwhile, get a bowl like our big pink one and pour the whisky into it. (Usually we make cookies and cakes in the big pink bowl, which makes the kids come running, and today was no exception. They loved making Canadian cream liqueur.)

Once the chocolate is melted and well stirred (no lumps), pour it into the whisky, whisking it up immediately so it doesn’t get a chance to harden. You’ll probably get a few little chips at the bottom, but most of the chocolate should become happily suspended in the whisky. It will look like the Exxon Valdez spill at first, then like diarrhea. Don’t worry, you’re doing it right.

Empty all four cans into the bowl and whisk everything up. The mixture will lighten pleasantly.

Pour the whipping cream in. This is the AHA! moment when you realize it looks just like the store-bought stuff. Just like it, people!

Whisk the mixture to ensure the color is uniform. Then…do you have a container ready?

Our branding/packaging is still incomplete, so we’re using this 4 L milk jug for the next two weeks while our Canadian Cream mellows. We’ll give it a shake every day, look longingly at it, sniff it…and after two weeks have passed torturously by, we’re going to pound it. Ahhh!

Almost forgot: store-bought Irish cream goes for $55 per 1.75 L. Our yield is 2.85 L for $33! OMG, making your own is one-third the cost of buying it!

Review in T minus two weeks, so save the date, MFI 😉

The DIY dream…almost a reality! (OMG!)

OMG, my fellow inebriates! As you know, my parents don’t always come through for me. But today….Today was another story.

When Mum came home with cream, chocolate, and other Martha Stewart–style ingredients in a shopping bag, I didn’t get too excited.

Then Dad came home with a big honking bottle of cheap-ass Canadian whisky.

🙂

Guess what we’re making??

OMG!

I wanted to make it last year but it never happened.

OMG!!

Did you guess? Did you???

OMG, MFI, we’re making our own IRISH CREAM LIQUEUR. Yes!!! Except it’ll be CANADIAN CREAM LIQUEUR because we’re using Canadian booze. As soon as everybody gets home, we’ll start (in Breaking Bad parlance) the cook. This day is going to crawl by….

Here’s my first crack at a label for our concoction. Thoughts?