Friday, September 24, 2010

Snowman Cake

Bring out the child in everyone with an enchanting snowman, made with chocolate-mint cake and melt-in-your-mouth icing. Candy eyes and a chocolate-cookie hat help bring him to life.

Prep time: 55 minutes
Bake time: 40 minutes
Yield: 12 servings

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 1 teaspoon mint extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
                                                           Gather all the sweet treats for decorating
  • 1 Ring Ding or Ding Dong
  • 1 old-fashioned chocolate cookie
  • Mini blue M&M's
  • 2 blue taffy rolls (Airheads)
  • 2 Junior Mints
  • 1 Jelly orange slice, trimmed
  • 1 thin 2" lengthwise black-licorice string
  • 3 blue candy melts or nonpareils
  • Clear rock candy

    How to make:
    1. Heat oven to 375 degree F. Grease and flour two 4-cup and two 1 1/2-cup ovenproof bowls. In medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In measuring cup, combine milk and mint extract.
    2. In large bowl, beat together sugar and butter on low speed until blended, about 1 minute. Increase speed to high and beat 2 minutes, or until light and creamy. Reduce speed to medium-low and add eggs. One at a time, beating well after each. Alternate flour mixture and milk mixture; beat until batter is smooth, occassionally scraping sides of bowl with rubber spatula.
    3. Divide batter among prepared bowls. Bake 30 minutes. Remove 1 1/2-cup bowls, and let cool. Continue baking 4-cup cakes until center comes out clean when inserted with a cake tester, about 10 minutes longer. Cool in bowls for 5 minutes. Invert cakes onto wire racks, and let cool completely. 
    4. Meanwhile, prepare frosting: In the top of a double broiler, oven simmering (not boiling) water, beat together sugar, water, egg whites, light corn syrup, and cream of tartar on low speed until combined. Increase speed to high, and beat constantly for 10 to 12 minutes, or until stiff peaks form, scrapping sides occasionally with rubber spatula. Makes about 4 cups.
    5. To assemble cake: Trim the flat side of each cake layer. Spread a thin layer of frosting on trimmed sides of cakes. Place same-size layers together to form two round shapes. Stand cake upright, and place smaller cake on top of larger one to form the snowman shape. Secure cake layers together by inserting a trimmed wooden skewer.
    6. To decorate cake: Spread a thin layer of frosting onto bottom of Ring Ding, and secure to cookie. Spoon remaining frosting into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2" star tip. Pipe border around Ring Ding and place blue M&M's onto border to create a decorative hat. Place taffies together and shape into a scarf. Set the hat and scarf aside to firm up.
    7. Transfer cake to a serving platter. Working down from the top, pipe star shapes around the entire cake. (If shapes are too pointy, gently tap down with fingertips.) For the face, arrange Junior Mints for the eyes, trimmed orange slice for the nose, and licorice string for the mouth. Wrap scarf around the neck. Place candy melts down middle of body for buttons; top with hat. Scatter rock candy around cake and serve.

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