I got the idea for these snowmen from the traditional French pastry religieuse. They do take a little while to bake but they are cute.
Preparation time: 2 ½ hours
Cooking time: 35 minutes
For the Choux pastry
- 90 g butter cubed
- 220 g water
- 110 g plain flour sieved
- 3 eggs
For the filling
- 1 punnet (150 g) raspberries
- 300 ml double cream
- 2-3 tbsp icing sugar, depending on the tartness of raspberries
For the decoration:
- 250 g white chocolate
- 40 g butter
- 80 g icing sugar
- 15 g marzipan or fondant
- red food colouring
- orange food colouring
- black writing icing
Preheat the oven to 200 °C/ gas 6. Get a sheet of baking paper and draw 12 circles of 5cm diameter. You can use a compass or just find something that is roughly the right size. Then draw 12 circles that are around 2.5cm diameter. You will need 2 baking trays as the choux pastry tends to spread. Turn over the baking paper. You can stick it down at the corners with a bit of choux pastry when you are ready to pipe out the circles- this stops the paper moving around when baking.
For the choux pastry, place the cubed butter and water in a pot. Slowly bring to the bowl on a medium heat.
When the mixture is bubbling remove from the heat and tip in the sieved plain flour. Mix quickly. Return to a low heat and stir for 5 minutes
Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little. You can transfer to another bowl but I like to save on washing-up. Mix in the beaten eggs a little at a time.
Pop the choux mixture into a piping bag with the largest plain nozzle you can get. Pipe using the circles you have drawn as a guide. The trick here is to squeeze the mixture out in the middle of the circle and only start to raise the nozzle after the mixture has filled the outline. If you pipe in a coil it will become evident when baked. Try and get a bit of height on your circles. Use a damp finger to gently press down the peaks.
Bake the choux buns for 25- 30 minutes until golden brown. If you have a baking tray at the bottom of your oven put a cup of water when the buns go in. This should help with rise. When cooked remove from the oven and use a skewer/ toothpick to poke holes in the bottom. Return to the oven to dry for 5 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks. Slightly tear apart the raspberries as you add them to the cream. Sift in the icing sugar to taste- although remember the white chocolate is very sweet. Using a piping bag with a small nozzle, pipe the cream into all your choux buns.
Melt the white chocolate. Easiest way is to pop it in the microwave but do be careful, it will turn lumpy. A minute or so should suffice.
Dip the choux buns into the chocolate. It’s up to you how to do this. A fork maybe of some assistance but I just dunk them in. Place the smaller choux bun on a larger one and push down slightly so they adhere.
Now to make the snowman’s carrot nose. I used marzipan as I had some hanging around. I placed it in the microwave for 10 seconds to make it more pliable. Include a bit of the orange food colouring and mix together. Form 12 carrot shaped noses. You can use a knife making small indents on the top to make it look more carrot-like. Stick the noses to the choux buns whilst the white chocolate is still tacky. Leave to dry completely or until you have lost patience.
Make a small amount of buttercream by mixing room temperature butter to icing sugar. Add in a little red food colouring. Put the mixture into a piping bag with a star nozzle. Have a few trial runs at piping a scarf. To make it easier to pipe, place the snowman on an upturned glass. Pipe the eyes and the mouth with the black writing icing and you’re done…..finally!
You could experiment with piping a hat or using the bottom of a strawberry to create a hat. Although I think at this point you’ll more than likely be too tired! Makes 12 (although in reality makes a few less as some will probably look pretty deformed).