Friday, 30 November 2012

Reindeer Cake Balls

A Christmas post!? Well, yes. You see for me, the Christmas season always starts on 30th November. This is largely in part because my Mum is absolutely crazy, and would have Christmas all year round if she could, so as a kid Christmas began with our advent calendars. It's also partly because the 30th November is the anniversary of the date that Alex and I first because a couple, and it's become a tradition of ours to celebrate by putting up our Christmas tree together on the 30th November. (6 years today! ♥ ) It makes sense if you think about it, because advent calendars start on the 1st December, so you HAVE to put those up on the 30th November, and if you're doing that, you might as well go the whole shebang, right? So, December will be well and truly Christmas month here at The Princess and the Cake. And I can't wait!

Anyways - onto the cake! I made these reindeer cake balls with my little sister last Christmas, and we had a lot of fun doing so. This recipe is great for getting into the Christmas spirit, and the decoration part is perfect for getting the kids involved (and that includes the big kids like my sister and I!)


For the cake balls:
100g margarine
100g caster sugar
1 medium egg
1tsp vanilla extract
100g self raising flour
100g butter
200g icing sugar
a few drops of vanilla extract
Milk, if required.

To decorate:
250g milk chocolate (you may end up with a little left over)
1tsp vegetable oil
1 red smartie
8 chocolate covered raisins
White, red and black writing icing
Sprinkles (for the puddings)

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Makes 9 reindeer and 7 puds (see photo below)

  1. Start by making your chocolate antlers for your reindeer. Melt 50g of the chocolate and pour into a piping bag. Pipe 18 antler shapes onto a tray lined with grease proof paper, then pop this in the fridge to set.
  2. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 and line a bun tray with cupcakes cases.
  3. Cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Fold in the flour until the ingredients combined to create a smooth batter.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake cases and bake for 15-20 minutes,  until golden brown on top and springy to the touch. Allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. Whilst the cakes are cooling, prepare your butter cream. Beat the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract together until smooth and creamy, adding a little milk if necessary to achieve the desired consistency.
  6. Take the cooled cupcakes out of their wrappers and break them into a blender. Pulse the cakes on a high speed to break them into fine crumbs. Once the cake is sufficiently crumbed, pour the crumbs into a bowl, then mix in the butter cream a tablespoon at a time until you get a mixture that holds together well without crumbling, but isn't too sloppy - you will not need to use all of the buttercream! Save the leftover buttercream for decorating.
  7. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper, and make some space for that tray in your fridge or freezer. Measure out 30g portions of the cake mixture, then shape it into a ball with you hands and place this on the baking tray. Pop the tray into the freezer for 20 minutes to set.
  8. Melt the remaining chocolate, either in the microwave or in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Once the chocolate has completely melted, stir in a teaspoon of vegetable oil to "thin down" the chocolate. Don't worry - you won't be able to taste the oil!
  9. Take your tray of cake balls out of the freezer and place on your work surface next to the melted chocolate. Dip each cake ball into the melted chocolate and tap off any excess chocolate. Put the cake balls back onto the lined tray and allow the chocolate to set. (this won't take long if your cake balls are cold enough!)
  10. Use a little left-over butter-cream to stick two of your chocolate antlers onto the bottom of each cake ball, then stick a nose onto the top of each cake ball (the red smartie is for Rudolph, and the chocolate raisins are for Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen!) Use the writing icing to draw eyes, and facial expressions onto each cake ball, and display on a plate with Rudolph in the middle.
  11. Turn any leftover cake balls into Christmas puds by spreading a little of the leftover buttercream over the top half, and decorating with sprinkles (as below!)

Happy Thoughts

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