This post is one I wrote a while ago too, back when it first snowed. Since its April, you'd think it'd be way behind the times, but we went for a walk along the canals this week and there's still snow around. Will it ever be spring?!
I hate snow. A winter spent in northern Japan will do that to you. Add to that the fact that I was travelling all over the country while the snowstorms were going on last week, and you have the recipe for a rather grumpy girl! Luckily, the leader of the Brownie pack I help with came up with a solution...the Snow Challenge badge! For those of you who don't do Guiding, challenge badges are exactly what they sound like; you do a selection of challenges and then you get a badge!
This Snow Challenge involved doing some outdoor activities in the snow, but also choosing some indoor ones to do too. Unsurprisingly, I chose the food challenges! The two for this badge were making a wintery meal, and decorating some cupcakes or biscuits with a winter theme. So, I cheered myself with having a baking and decorating session!
To start with, snowmen onigiri. Rice balls, filled with chicken mayo, decorated with nori, carrot, mangetout and ham. These were so fun to make, and really easy (although a circle punch would have made them less fiddly!)
This one got a hat too!
I also decorated some polar bear cupcakes! The recipe and idea came out of a magazine John's Mum gave me for Christmas, and as soon as I saw how cute they were I just had to make them! Other than the marshmallows as decoration, the recipe is entirely vegan. I nearly had a panic attack when I realised I was halfway through making a cake with no EGGS but I succeeded! My friend, Stacey, helped me and we decorated a whole family! They were really fun to make, quite easy, and tasted DELICIOUS!
Mummy and Daddy bear in muffin cases, and a baby made in a normal cake case.
Recipe for Polar Bear Cupcakes
200g plain flour
75g dessicated coconut
100g caster sugar
30g almonds (I used ground almonds when I made it, but my mum used mixed chopped nuts. Both worked)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb. of soda
190ml coconut milk
4tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
White marshmallows, both normal and mini ones
Dark chocolate/black writing icing/edible pen
200g icing sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp hot water
150g dessicated coconut
Preheat oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6
Whisk together coconut milk, oil and vanilla. Mix in flour, coconut, sugar, almonds, baking powder and bicarb.
Spoon into cupcake cases. As shown above, you can make large or small ones, depending on your preference.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until risen and golden. Remove from oven and leave to cool.
Cut the large marshmallows in half, and draw paw prints and muzzles on them (4 paws for each muzzle). Pipe dots on the small ones for eyes and ears.
Mix icing sugar with lemon juice and hot water to make the icing. Put the dessicated coconut on a plate. Once the cakes are cool, cover with the lemon juice and roll the cake in the coconut until covered. Use the rest of the icing to stick the marshmallows to the polar bear.
Death by knife!
If you want the cake but not the fuss, it still tastes yummy as a plain, big cake too!