Pastry chef Aoife Noonan knows a thing or two about creating show-stopping desserts for the big day.
"We always loved Ferrero Rocher in our house over Christmas. This is a fun take on those chocolates, but they are much more technical and take a bit of time to prepare as you need to freeze the two layers for the middle separately. The inside is a more adult version, featuring a liquid centre of Frangelico, while the outside is covered in milk and white chocolate as well as hazelnuts. The nice thing about this recipe is you can just take elements of it if you wish, making truffles out of the snowman heads instead"- Aoife Noonan
Makes 8 snowmen
You will need specialist sphere moulds
For the snowman bodies
For the Frangelico centres
- 250g milk chocolate, chopped
- 125g hazelnut or praline paste
- 125ml cream
- 125ml water
- 30ml Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur
For the Rocher mix
- 300g milk chocolate, chopped
- 20g unsalted butter
- 400g hazelnut/praline paste
- 300g white chocolate, chopped
- 100g cocoa butter
- 100g hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
For the snowman heads
- 220g white chocolate, chopped
- 40ml cream
- 1 tablespoon Frangelico liqueur
- 100g white chocolate, to coat
- Strawberry laces, to garnish
- Mix the chocolate with the praline paste in a bowl. Bring the cream and water to a boil in a saucepan. Once boiling, pour the liquid over the chocolate and whisk to melt. Add the Frangelico and pour into small demi-sphere moulds and place in the freezer for at least four hours or overnight until completely frozen. Once frozen, push two half spheres together to make a ball and roll to ensure smooth. Freeze again.
- For the Rocher mix, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Put the butter in a small saucepan and heat until melted. Alternatively, put the butter in a bowl and melt in the microwave. Once the chocolate and butter are melted, combine them with the hazelnut paste in a large bowl, whisking thoroughly to combine.
- Pour half of the mix into 8 medium demi-sphere moulds and smooth the top using a palette knife. Push a frozen Frangelico ball into the centre of each and place in the freezer for 1-2 hours. Keep the remaining Rocher mix aside at room temperature. Once frozen, demould the Rocher halves and set aside. Working quickly, spoon the remaining Rocher mix into the mould and smooth out using a palette knife. Place the demoulded demi-spheres on top, pushing down slightly. Freeze again for 1-2 hours.
- To garnish the snowmen bodies, put the white chocolate and cocoa butter in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Spread the chopped hazelnuts out on a tray. Once the chocolate has melted, remove the Rocher balls from the freezer and dip into the melted chocolate. Shake off the excess chocolate and then place the balls in the hazelnuts, tossing the balls in the nuts to evenly coat. Dip the balls in the chocolate and cocoa butter mix again for a final coating. Place in a container and freeze until required.
- To make the snowman heads, melt the 220g chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Once melted, add the cream and the Frangelico. Mix well and place the mix in the fridge to set for 1-2 hours.
- Once set, scoop large teaspoons of the mix and roll into 8 balls. Place on a plate and set in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- While it is setting, melt the 100g white chocolate in the same way and remove the large Rochers from the freezer. Using a toothpick or skewer, dip the frozen white chocolate balls into the melted chocolate and shake off the excess. Place each white chocolate ball on top of the larger hazelnut Rocher ball, pushing down to stick in place.
- To assemble, once the chocolate heads have set, decorate the snowmen with strawberry laces for scarves and any other edible decorations desired. Keep the snowmen chilled in the fridge but make sure to remove 30 minutes before serving so the centre can become soft and gooey again.
TIP- Roll in coconut instead and use rum instead of Frangelico.
Photography: Brian Clarke, assisted by Harry Weir