It’s the Christmas story which stole the hearts of the nation, but can you believe it’s been 40 years since the release of Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman?
In a bid to celebrate the occasion, our very own Juliet Sear will be creating a magical snowman masterpiece, so you can have your own slice of this Christmas classic.
For the sponge:
530g golden caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla paste
120g coconut oil
600g self raising flour with 2 tsp baking powder whisked through
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 tsp. ground ginger
A generous pinch of sea salt
A pinch of mixed spice
To decorate you will need:
1.5kg vanilla buttercream flavoured with 1 tsp cinnamon and a
Heaped tablespoon of pureed stem ginger
750g blue sugar paste
1.2kg spruce green sugar paste for the hat and scarf
200g white sugar paste
Edible shimmer spray in pearl (optional)
A little black and orange sugarpaste for the face
2 tbsp black royal icing or buttercream
6 giant marshmallows
8” round cake drum
12-14” round cake drum
A side smoother
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line 4 x 8 inch tins with parchment paper
In a stand mixer cream the butter, sugar, vanilla and coconut oil until light and fluffy
In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt and mixed spice
Gradually add the eggs one by one into the butter beating well in between each addition. Bit by bit add the buttermilk alternating with a few spoons of the flour mix. Gently fold in the remaining flour and weigh 550-600g into each tin.
Bake for 25-30 mins, the cakes will brown very quickly but it is a loose mixture so make sure you test the cake with a small knife and make sure it comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for at least 30 mins before turning out of tins.
Method for Assembling The Snowman:
If you want to display the snowman on a cake board, ice this first. You can do it the day before, use a 12-14” round board and coat with 750g blue sugar paste, rolled out to a large circle, trip around the edge. Spray with a coating of edible shimmer spray. If you prefer the snow man can just go on a cake stand, make sure there’s enough room for his scarf.
Place one sponge on an 8” round cake drum, stick with a little buttercream and make sure it is central.
Spread over a layer of the spice buttercream, a few millimeters thickness allowing it to cover the sponge and go right out to the edge.
Add sponge layer 2 and repeat the process until you have all 4 layers stacked and filled
With a little more buttercream, crumb coat the sponge with a thin layer of frosting, as neatly as possible to make level and straight. Chill for 30 mins/hour until the sponge is firm. Repeat the buttercream coating on the top and sides to second coat, chill again.
To decorate, use a shimmer spray to make the cake shimmery
For the hat, use some large marshmallows, about 6, spread a little buttercream on the base and arrange them on top of the cake in the middle, this will help form the hat shape. Add a little circle of 200g white sugar paste to the top of the marshmallows to cover. If you don’t have these you can use an additional piece of sugar paste, you’ll need about 500g.
The hat is a spruce green colour, knead in a touch of green food colouring to 1kg of sugar paste until you get the desired shade. Roll out about 700g to make a nice big circle approx 12” round. Lift up and place the green icing over the hat shape, use your hands to form the hat shape, going over the to the edge, use your palms to push the rim of the hat over the edge. You may have to trim around the excess, use a pair of scissors. The hat rim can be a little rough, the edges don’t have to be completely straight, a little movement looks good.
Next make a sausage shape with 200g excess sugar paste and add this around the hat to give the band detail, place all around the edge, joining at the back, trim away the excess.
For the nose, use a 25-30g piece of sugar paste, orange colour, form a little circle, slightly flatten and add this to the front of the face, stick with a tiny bit of buttercream or royal icing, use a cocktail stick to help it stay.
Make two small eyes with black sugar paste, use cocktail sticks if you need to help them stay in place.
Pipe a thin smile with a little black buttercream or royal icing us a piping bag to get it neat, with a small round nozzle or just snip a whole off a few millimeters.
Lastly, add a scarf, roll out the excess green sugar paste to a flat length, about 2” wide, drape around the cake and bring to the front in a cross over, pinch a little together at the join. To fray the ends, cut a few marks with a small knife.