Hallowe'en is nigh and what better way to celebrate some serious spookiness than with my very own...

Pus-filled Eyeball Cupcakes

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To create these oozing ocular orbs, you will need:

2 cups SR flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tbs rose pink food colouring
100g softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
100g lemon curd
250g cream cheese
100g icing sugar
blue and green smarties
black icing pen
red icing pen

What you do:
1. Preheat the over to 160 degrees C and put 15 cupcake liners in a cupcake tin.

2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a bowl.

3. In another bowl, cream the sugar and butter and vanilla. Slowly add the eggs, one by one. Then add the buttermilk and the food colouring and mix together well.

4. In a big bowl, alternately add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing well with each addition.

5. Spoon a little of the mixture into each cupcake liner. Add a teaspoon of lemon curd on top. Cover each cupcake with another layer of cupcake mixture.

6. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from over and after a few minutes put the cupcakes on a rack to cool.

7. To make the icing, beat the cream cheese, icing sugar and a few drops of vanilla essence until smooth.

8. When the cupcakes are completely cook, smooth the icing over each cupcake.

9. Put a blue or green smartie on top for the iris. Pipe a small blob of black icing onto the centre of each smartie to make the pupil. Pipe red lines from the centre to make veins.  

And so the witching hour has struck and it's time to hunt down my prey. Who will this week's random victim...I mean...recipient be? [Cue evil laughter]

The next morning...

OK, so this morning I toddled along to a family triathlon event to cheer on my hubby and friends, whereupon I came across this week's special Hallowe'en random recipient.
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Alison was the triathlon tattoo artist, whose job  was to brand each competitor on an arm or leg with a number in big fat texta. Interesting job. Anyway, so I sidled up to her when there was a lull in human traffic and asked her if she'd like to be this week's random recipient. Without any hesitation, Alison kindly agreed, and even posed with her cupcake for the photo above.  Because it's a Hallowe'en special, I entombed the cupcake in its very own see-through coffin and wrapped it up in black ribbon. Fabulously funereal, if I do say so myself.

As far as I know, Hallowe'en isn't really a big thing in Australia, but here in the Alice it does get a nod, mostly due to the U.S. ex-pat population living here. The supermarket attempts to flog off outrageously over-priced pumpkins for the purposes of jack-o-lantern carving and kids hit the streets of the more affluent suburbs at dusk for trick-or-treating. I don't know why Australia doesn't celebrate it more widely when it is a pretty big deal for our close cultural relatives, the U.S. and the U.K.

In fact, the first time I ever really had anything to do with Hallowe'en was soon after I'd arrived in England. I was living in a dreary block of flats in a grim little town populated by toddlers reared exclusively on a diet of crisps and cola by their perpetually cussing teenage parents.

I'd no idea it was Hallowe'en night, until I answered the door to a young lad of about 10 or so.

"Trick or treat," the unsmiling, scabby-faced boy said to me, with a just- detectable hint of malice in his voice.

Caught completely off-guard, and without any treats to hand, I rushed to the kitchen, grabbed some chocolate-coated digestive biscuits from the cupboard and ran back to the front door, thrusting them into the boy's hands.

The boy regarded my donation with a look of sheer disdain, then snarled,
"What's this, yer tight cunt?"

Before I could recover from the shock of the insult hurled at me by this malignant little delinquent of a garden gnome, he was swaggering off across the road towards the desolate little park. Probably to torture the squirrels.

So this is Hallowe'en? I thought to myself as I flicked the deadlock on the door. Forget the waking dead, it's the ones with a pulse you've gotta watch out for.

And on that note, I'm signing off to batten down the hatches. The front gate has been locked, the curtains are firmly drawn and I stand ready to release the hounds of hell on any young miscreant who dares come trick-or-terrorising.

Until next time, stay random.

P.S. For the ultimate in Hallowe'en cupcakes, check out these wicked creations, courtesy of the world's first 18+ cake shop.