Lemon meringue snowman cupcakes. Oh yes, this is what Christmas is all about. Novelty added to anything and everything. Shoe-horned even. These raise a smile amongst 40 and 4 year olds alike. Head or scarf first? You decide.
One year ago: Christmas Truffles
Two years ago: Chilli Beany Lamb Shanks from the Slow Cooker, Last Minute Christmas cake, Cornish Ginger Fairing Biscuits and Sweet and Sticky Ribs
Lemon cupcakes with curd centres and snowman meringue toppers
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 150g self raising flour
- 150g castor sugar
- 150g softened butter or margarine
- 2 tbsp milk
- Zest of one lemon
- 60g lemon curd
- 1 egg white
- 50g castor sugar
- 360g icing sugar
- Icing writing pen in black
- 12 pretzels
- 6 sweet belts/sweetie laces
- 6 orange jelly beans
Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas 3 and line a 12 hole cupcake tray with paper cases. Beat the 3 eggs, self raising flour, 150g castor sugar, butter/margarine, milk and lemon zest together until paler than when you started and light and fluffy looking. In a stand mixer about 3 minutes, with a handheld 4 -5. By hand maybe 7 – 8 depending on how fast you work.
Spoon evenly into the cases making sure you don’t let the mixture go any further than two thirds of the way up as you need to allow space for the snowy icing. If there’s any mixture left over just make some more when this lot are out of the oven. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until a skewer comes out of the middle cupcakes clean and they are lightly golden on the top. Remove from the tin to a wire rack to cool.
Make the meringue by turning your oven to 160C/Gas 2 and then whisking the extra egg white to stiff peaks. Add the 50g castor sugar 1 tsp at a time, whisking for about 30 seconds between each addition. Then pop into a piping bag once it’s all combined and pipe 12 bodies and 12 heads onto a tray lined with greaseproof paper, stuck to the tray with a tiny dab of meringue left in the bowl. Don’t pipe too big as meringue expands in the oven. So about 2cm width for the heads and 2.5 for the bodies. Use your finger to squash any peak left as you pipe or you snowmen will have pointy heads. Pop into the oven and then immediately turn it down to 100C/Gas 1/4 for about 20 minutes. Have a prod to see if they are dried on the outside. Once they are turn the oven off and leave to cool in the oven for about an hour.
In the meantime use an apple corer to remove a little cake from the centre of each cupcake. Don’t drill all the way to the bottom. Then spoon 1 tsp of lemon curd into the now cooled and cored cupcakes then pop about one third of the cake you took out onto the top to form a plug. Whilst the meringue’s baking snap the pretzels up to make the arms for your snowmen. Also cut the orange jelly babies into quarters to make carrot noses. I made scarves by cutting the sweet belts in half lengthways and then in half widthways, but you could also plait sweetie laces too.
When the meringues are cool and out of the oven set up your decorating table – make your white snowy icing using the icing sugar mixed to a thick paste with a little boiling water. Poke pretzel arms into the body of the meringue snowman, draw two buttons onto his chest with the icing pen, then flood the cupcake with snowy icing and pop the body of the snowman on the top. Make the head by drawing two eyes and a mouth with the icing pen and adding the jelly bean nose which should stick well without anything as the inside of jelly beans are sticky. Drape the scarf around the neck then use a little of the snowy icing to stick the head on. Repeat until all the snowmen have a cakey home.