Friday, 17 December 2010

Snowmen for Cate


We requested a Holiday recipe from Becca and Chef Daddy so Cate, X and I could make it and report back for our guest blogging post. We had a lovely, lovely time making our frothy snowmen after school one day.

I’m not much of a baker, I’m more of a cook so I have to admit this was a challenge for me. But we took to it with gusto and did the best we could.

Cate thought whipping the eggs and sugar was the most fun of all. I let her have at it with her whisk for a while before I took over. Now, I have a Kitchenaid mixer that I love but it’s on American voltage. I’ve already blown up a few kitchen appliances and was too afraid to use it (and haven’t invested in a UK one yet) so I went to task beating the eggs into submission – it’s hard work! Let me tell you!

Once it was stiff enough Cate took over making the snowmen balls and putting them on a tray. I put them in the oven and then we left them alone to bake for several hours. We made Christmas cards, watched Thumbelina, had dinner, a bath and then I put them to bed.

The next day I put the snowmen together and when Cate came home from school that day we decorated.

Now, I have to admit I cheated. I bought the tubes of gel icing (sugar?!) and little Christmas sprinkles because the redcurrant buttons were just not going to happen this year (time, etc). I skipped the coconut snow as well as I knew it would end up everywhere as Cate is more interested in eating rather than presentation. But I think they turned out all right!

Chef’s Daddy’s are well, way better looking, but I have to say – they tasted mighty fine. And I had two wonderful afternoons with my three year old daughter baking, decorating and singing  Christmas songs (okay, only Jingle Bells as that’s the only one she knows). It was magical and we’re definitely going to make these again...soon. Perhaps next year I won’t cheat!

Here’s the recipe along with the redcurrant buttons and snow! Give it a go – it’s wonderful and much easier than you’d think.



A  Cheffy Daddy Recipe Christmas Delight

Snowmen (in their natural environment)

Snowmen Meringue

3 Large Eggs
110g Sugar
110g Icing Sugar
Desiccated Coconut
White Chocolate
Preheat oven to 60c. 

Place your three egg whites in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Add your caster sugar to your eggs and stir until dissolved into the egg. Transfer the eggs to a stand mixer, or kitchen aid, or handheld whisker. Beat until completely light, more than doubled in size, and has large stiff peaks. You can tell when ready, because when lifted over your head, the meringue will not drop. I would advise doing this over your one of your kids heads though, just in case.
At this point, fold in your icing sugar. Transfer to a piping bag, and pipe balls of meringue onto a greaseproof lined tray. You want three sizes of ball to for the snowmen. Place in your oven, and dry out for about 4-5 hours, or until crisp to the touch.
If you don’t want to use all that sugar in your children’s diet. You can make it easily with honey. 110g Honey, heat up in a pan until foaming and hot, then add to your semi-whipped egg whites.
When snowmen are removed from the oven, paint them with melted white chocolate to stick together, and coat them in desiccated coconut.


"Buttons"

Redcurrants
100g Water
100g Sugar

Heat sugar and water until the sugar has dissolved, and drop in your currants. Remove from the heat. Drain the currants from the liquid, and place on a tray lined with greaseproof paper. Place in your oven at 60c, and semi-dry for about 45 minutes. They will have wrinkled slightly and become glossy from the poaching.


 Eggnog "Snow"

300ml Whole Milk
300ml Double Cream
100g Sugar
2 Large Egg Yolks
Nutmeg

Place milk and cream in a pan, and slowly bring up to the boil. Meanwhile, beat your sugar and eggs together in a mixing bowl. When milk is hot, mix it in with your eggs. Whisk it thoroughly, and grate liberal amounts of nutmeg over it. If cooking for adults, I would advise adding a double brandy at this point.
Place in your freezer, in a large flat tray for about 4-5 hours, or until frozen. When frozen, break the eggnog up with a fork, until its light fluffy and resembles snow.
Stick your buttons to your snowmen’s bellies and stick your snowmen balls together with white chocolate. Place them on a bed of snow.



The Jolly Old England, ''Cross the Pond' blog has always been one of my favourites. When I first started out, and for a few months before, there were two or three blogs that really inspired me to start writing my own. It's the down to earth style, with a twist of a chat over a cuppa that brings 'Cross the Pond to life. You read the posts and feel like you've just had a catch up with a good friend. Check it out, a gem of a 'prefers-to-remain-anonymous' woman and a jewel of a blog. 

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