Thursday, 23 December 2010

'tis the season to get baking...

Although every season is baking season if you’re me to be honest!
I bought the stuff to make these snowmen and I might as well make them as I was looking forward to it – will pass them on to friends in the pub tonight (instead of my original plan to take them to the cancelled party yesterday).
So, this is how you can make one (or many) of these!
Get chocolate-coloured cup cases (got mine from from Asda)
Follow the Chocolate Cupcake (devil’s food) recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook, as follows...
For the cakes
100g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
140g caster sugar
1and ½ tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
120ml whole milk
1 egg
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Put the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and butter in a fee-standing electric mixer and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy mixture and everything is combined.
Whisk the milk, egg and vanilla extract together in a jug, then slowly pour about half into the flour mixture, beat to combine and turn the mixer up to high speed to get rid of any lumps.
Turn the mixer down to a slower speed and slowly pour in the remaining milk mixture (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not over mix.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until 2 thirds full and bake in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

(and it really doesn't matter that the cakes are a bit flat on this occasion... :)

When the cup cakes are cold you can frost them with any white coloured topping you like.
I made cream cheese frosting – just because it’s my favourite!
Before you make the frosting, make the snowmen.
I put my snowmen on cocktail sticks so they stayed together, you could stick bits together with frosting but they're easier to transport with a toothpick "structure" - just be sure to warn people before they start eating!
The components for this...



fried egg sweets for nose (orange bit cut into triangle with sharp knife)

Bottom of fried egg sweet made bottom of hat

Sainsburys marshmallows, very helpfully taper at one end (smaller end = head, larger end = body) Scarves and tops of hats made from red jelly snakes (natural sweet company).

The eyes and buttons are made by wetting a toothpick, poking a hole in the marshmallow and pushing a silverspoon chocolate strand into the hole..

Now frost the frosting:

Cream cheese frosting (Hummingbird Bakery cookbook)
300g icing sugar, sifted

50g butter at room temperature

125g cream cheese (Philadelphia), chilled

(covers 12 cakes)

WARNING: If you go right in with a whisk onto icing sugar and butter you will have a layer of dust over everything in your kitchen and it’ll look like you’ve had plastering done. To avoid "icing sugar lung" and this not so great home decor look, start to crumb the icing sugar together with the butter (as though you were making a crumble), when its kind of combined add the cheese and whisk.

If you have a food processor with a lid, ignore the above and be happy!

Don’t whisk for too long though, it’ll get a bit runny!

Use a spatula to layer the frosting on top of the cupcakes.

Plonk snowman on top (I sprinkled a little silver edible glitter around them too).

Then, if you're bonkers like me, take them outside to photograph them in the snow, whilst crossing your fingers that your neighbours don't choose now as the time to come and speak to you...



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