Saturday 3 December 2016

Snowmen

Published 23/11/2011 | 05:00

Baking is a lovely way to be creative with your children. The snowmen can be made any size, just ensure you have sufficient coconut to roll the 'head' and 'body' in. You can add Santa hats or even a candy cane! Just be careful as there is a wooden skewer in the centre.

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1 x Madeira loaf cake

100g softened butter

250g icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

250g - 300g coconut

2 ginger biscuits

2 white marshmallows

2 orange jelly sweets (for the nose)

Fruit strip (for the scarf)

Strip of liquorice for the arms and mouth

Chocolate drops for the eyes

M&Ms or Smarties for the buttons

Fruit gums for the ear muffs

2 wooden skewers, cut to the size

of your snowman

To make the icing, whisk together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla until smooth and soft.

Using two different size scone cutters, cut out the shape from the Madeira cake and trim to form balls.

Spread icing over the balls and roll generously in the coconut.

Using a wooden skewer, secure the balls together.

Spread a little icing on to the marshmallows and 'glue' the biscuit and marshmallows together to form a hat.

Secure the 'buttons' on and wrap the fruit strip around the neck as a scarf.

Add chocolate drops for the eyes. Use liquorice for the mouth and arms.

Slice an orange jelly sweet and secure for the nose.

Place on a board and sprinkle a little icing sugar around the base.

Yule log

I love this recipe, it is always a good standby for us and it is very popular in our children's 'Edible Christmas Gifts' class. We have made the Christmas log with meringue mushrooms growing over it, although we once decorated it with hedgehogs -- small pear shaped pieces of cake, spread with icing, with toasted flaked almonds standing up in the icing and two raisins for the eyes.

For the cake

5 eggs

140g caster sugar

50g self-raising flour

50g plain flour

2 tbsp cocoa powder

25g butter -- melted and cooled

1 tsp vanilla extract

150g dark chocolate, broken in pieces

85g butter, cut in pieces

300g icing sugar, sieved

5 tbsp milk

4 tbsp apricot jam

1 light sprinkle of icing sugar, to decorate

Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5. Butter and then line a 28x38cm Swiss roll tin with baking parchment. To make the cake, whisk the eggs and sugar for 10 minutes or until the whisk leaves a trail. Whisk in four tablespoons of water, sieve in the two types of flours, then fold in the cocoa, melted butter and vanilla.

Pour into the tin, shaking it to level the mixture. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Loosen the edges of the cake, then tip it out on to a sheet of parchment. Carefully peel off the lining paper.

Roll up the cake from one long side with the parchment inside. Leave to cool for about 1 hour.

For the icing, melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over hot water. Stir until smooth, then gradually beat in the icing sugar (it will be quite stiff). Beat in the milk, then leave to cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable. Melt the jam with two tablespoons of water in a saucepan, then sieve.

Unroll the cake and remove the parchment. Spread a third of the fudge icing over the inside of the cake and then re-roll. Cut a diagonal slice off one end.

Put the log on a plate and dab a little icing on the side of the log, 6-7cm in from the straight end. Stick the cut slice, cut side down, on the icing. Brush the cake with the apricot glaze.

Spread the rest of the fudge icing over the cake with a palette knife. Run the prongs of a fork along it to resemble bark. Finish by dusting icing sugar lightly over the cake.

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