Little Santas

These fantastic little Santas are granted to bring a smile to your face. They’re great fun to make and would be a welcome addition to any Christmas party!

Ingredients


  • buttermilk sponge ingredients:
  • 175 g unsalted butter (softened)
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 2 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk (beaten)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 0.50 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 125 ml buttermilk
  • double chocolate sponge ingredients:
  • 75 g dark chocolate (chopped)
  • 50 g unsalted butter (softened)
  • 175 g light brown soft sugar
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 0.50 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150 g plain flour
  • 1 rounded tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 0.50 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • a pinch salt
  • 125 ml soured cream
  • 75 ml boiling water
  • meringue butter cream ingredients:
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • 250 g unsalted butter (softened and chopped)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • little santas ingredients:
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 1 quantity buttermilk or double chocolate sponge (see above)
  • 500 g white ready-to-roll fondant or royal icing
  • red food colouring paste
  • icing sugar, for dusting
  • 12 tblsp apricot jam
  • 12 ice-cream cones
  • 1 quantity meringue butter cream (see above)
  • black food colouring paste

Method

  1. You will need: 1-2 muffin tins 7cm round cookie cutter Large piping bag, fitted with a medium star-shaped nozzle
  2. Buttermilk sponge method:
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Gradually add the beaten eggs, mixing well between each addition and scraping down the side of the mixing bowl from time to time. Add the vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and add the mixture in alternate batches with the buttermilk. Mix until smooth, then turn to the relevant recipe.
  4. Double chocolate sponge method:
  5. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Gradually add the beaten eggs, mixing well between each addition and scraping down the side of the mixing bowl from time to time. Add the vanilla and melted chocolate and stir well. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt together. Add the mixture in alternate batches with the soured cream. Add the boiling water and mix until smooth, then turn to the relevant recipe.
  6. Meringue butter cream method:
  7. Put the sugar and egg whites in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until it reaches at least 60°C (140°F) on a sugar thermometer. Pour into the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or use an electric whisk and mixing bowl). Beat until the mixture has doubled in volume, cooled and will stand stiff, glossy peaks – this will take about 3 minutes. Gradually add the butter to the cooled meringue mix, beating constantly, until the frosting is smooth. Fold in the vanilla and use immediately.
  8. Little Santas method:
  9. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4). Grease the insides of the muffin tin, lightly dust with plain flour and tip out the excess. Pour the buttermilk or double chocolate sponge into the prepared muffin tin, filling the holes two-thirds full. Bake on the middle shelf of the pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes, or until well risen and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Run a palette knife around the cupcakes and pop them out onto a wire rack to cool.
  10. Tint three quarters of the fondant/royal icing with the red food colouring paste. Lightly dust a clean, dry work surface with icing sugar. Roll the icing out to a thickness of 2mm and cut into 12 triangles to fit around the ice cream cones. Warm the jam in a small saucepan, sieve it, then brush the outsides of the ice-cream cones with a thin layer. Cover each cone with the red icing, smoothing into place with your hands. Trim off any excess.
  11. Take about 75g (2½oz) of the remaining icing and tint it pale pink with a tiny dot of red food colouring. Roll this out thinly and stamp out 12 x 7cm discs. Brush one side of each of these with jam and stick to the front of the cakes. Roll out the untinted icing and using the cookie cooker stamp out 12 crescents for Santa’s beard. Brush one side of each crescent with cold water and stick to the bottom half of Santa’s face.
  12. Cut out moustaches and stick above the beard. Fill the piping bag with meringue buttercream and pip a swirl on top of each cake. Sit the Santa hat on top of this. Pipe a ruffle around the bottom of the hat and a snowball bobble on top. Give Santa a red icing nose and eyes with 2 blobs of untinted fondant and dots of the black food colouring past.

Notes:

Taken from Christmas Cupcakes by Annie Rigg published by Ryland Peters & Small





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