Don't just dream about a white Christmas, indulge in it.
215g plain (all-purpose) flour
130g caster (superfine) sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
112g unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
190 ml full-cream (whole) milk
112 ml vegetable oil
1 tbsp Greek yoghurt (or sour cream)
½ tsp vanilla extract
Light blue batter: 2 drops blue food gel
Dark blue batter: 6 drops blue food gel
2 peppermint extract
½ batch Swiss meringue buttercream frosting
4 drops blue food gel
2 peppermint extract
700g white chocolate, melted
12 Ferrero Raffaello
300g marshmallow fluff
200g white chocolate, frozen
1 can pearl mist spray (optional)
To make the chocolate snow, add the frozen chocolate to a food processor and process until you reach little crumbs. Don’t add the entire block as it is, make sure you chop or break up the chocolate. Also, take care not to over do it otherwise the chocolate heats up and melts and you’ll need to re-freeze it again. Once it resembles small crumbs, add to a small bowl and place in the freezer until you’re ready to use it. We’ll get to how you’ll use the pearl mist spray in the next bit.
To make the snowballs you’ll need a half sphere mold. If you google: Small sphere mold: Martellato Polycarbonate Chocolate Mold Half-Sphere 50mm, 8 Cavities, the exact mold I used in the video will come up and you’ll be able to order yours.
Begin by melting your white chocolate in a microwave for 20 seconds at a time, mixing each time until smooth.
Fill each cavity of your mold with the white chocolate. Gently tap the mold to get rid of any air bubbles and then turn the mold upside down onto a baking tray to allow the excess chocolate to drip out. Use a bench scraper or knife to scrape away the excess chocolate. Place the mold in the fridge to allow the chocolate to set.
With these particular molds, the chocolate just slides out really easy. If it gets stuck, gently tap one end of the mold onto your workbench and the half sphere molds will come out. Repeat another time so that you have 24 half chocolate spheres.
Add the marshmallow fluff to a large piping bag and fill the inside of half of chocolate molds with the marshmallow. Gently place a Ferrero Rafaello chocolate ball in the marshmallow and then pipe a little marshmallow on top of the chocolate.
Place the other half of the molds onto a warm frypan to slightly melt the edges of the rim of the half sphere. Sandwich with a filled chocolate half. Melting the chocolate very slightly will allow the molds to stick together to form an entire sphere.
Once you’ve made all 12 chocolate spheres, place in the fridge for 1 hour to set.
Re-melt the left over white chocolate in the microwave. Roll each sphere in the chocolate using a fork or candy spatula (like the one I used in the video). Coat it well and then allow as much of the excess chocolate to drip off before you place in a bowl of the chocolate snow. You’ll need to work quickly because the chilled chocolate sphere causes the chocolate coating to set quickly so you need to coat them in the chocolate snow quite quickly. I’d recommend coating the spheres one at a time. Place the spheres back in the fridge for 20 minutes to set. Lightly spray the set spheres with pearl mist.
Preheat a fan-forced oven to 140°C (275°F) or a conventional oven to 160°C (320°F). Line two cupcake tins with the cupcake liners.
Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixing bowl and mix with a hand mixer until well combined.
Next, add the softened butter and mix on low speed until the mixture reaches a crumbly, sand-like texture.
Add the eggs, milk, oil, yoghurt, peppermint extract and vanilla, and mix on low speed until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Scrape down the side of the bowl and mix for a final 20 seconds.
Split the batter into 3 mixing bowls. Leave one white. Colour the other light blue and the third dark blue. Transfer to three separate piping bags.
Fill each liner three-quarters of the way by adding random squiggles of each coloured batter. Bake for 40–50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
To prepare the frosting add peppermint extract and blue food gel to a bowl with the frosting and mix until well combined. If mixing by hand with a spatula isn’t working, use an electric beater on high speed. Sometimes adding food gels to swiss meringue doesn’t work by hand and you need to combine it using a machine.
Fit the end of a piping bag with a Wilton 8B piping tip, fill your bag with frosting and frost your cupcakes in a signature swirl.
Sprinkle with some more chocolate snow before placing the chocolate snowball on top.