9.03.2011

South African Snowballs Recipe

The South African Snowball is a cake like treat, coated in pink coconut. I am not sure of the origins of this pretty in pink treat. Much like whoopie pies – snowballs are neither a cookie, pie, or cake. They have  a soft cake like texture but can be moulded and shaped like scones.




Amma usually made pink snowballs for Diwali more than she did any other time of the year.  I  recall her sometimes making yellow snowballs when she was without pink food coloring. If you too find yourself without Pink food coloring one of the best natural substitutes is beetroot juice. Cut a beetroot into slices then allow to soak in a quarter cup of water. Leave for a few hours then use the pink liquid as your food coloring. Use no more than one teaspoon of this beetroot juice as you don't want to make your coconut too soggy. Allow the colored  coconut to dry before using.

To make snowballs you will need:

  • 2.5 cups cake flour 
  • 2.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 125g butter (At room temperature)
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 2 eggs (Make sure the eggs are at room temperature)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 cup jam (you can use the jam of your choice. I have used strawberry jam).
  • 2 cups desiccated coconut
  • pink food coloring
  • 3 tablespoons jam for spreading 

     How To Make Snowballs:

    1. Start by sifting your flour. This may seem like a tedious task but it is essential if you want a flop proof snowball. Once this is done, add your baking powder then rub butter into the mixture to form fine crumbs. I use a bread knife to cut into the mixture this breaks down lumps very well. If you have a mixer then simply use this. Making sure the butter is at room temperature - this helps with the success of the snowballs. The butter and flour need to bind well to form fine crumbs.



    2. Whisk the eggs. Add vanilla essence then whisk until fluffy. Add castor sugar. Add the egg mixture into the bread crumbs mixture.

    3. Mix well until a soft pliable dough is formed. Although the texture of cooked snowballs is like that of a firm cake, the batter on the other hand is soft and thick. It should resemble  a combination of scones dough and pound cake mixture...something like the image below…you should be able to pull it apart with your hands.


    How To Shape Snowballs

    •  Pinch out small pieces of about 4 cm diameter dough and roll into small balls then place onto a lined baking tray.
    •  Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes or until cooked-cooking time varies differently according to different ovens. Try not to open the oven this will make the snowballs crack.
    • The snowballs don’t need to brown.Test to see if  snowballs are ready by inserting a toothpick. If the tooth pick is pulled out without any dough clinging to it- then the snowballs are cooked.
    • Once cooked remove from oven and allow to cool. While this cools-prepare the syrup and pink coconut.

    How to Make Snowballs Pink?

    To make pink coconut simply place the desiccated coconut into a bowl then add coloring. Mix well until all the coconut is colored. Allow to dry while you make the syrup.



    How to Make Syrup for Snowballs?


      To make the syrup for your snowballs you will need 1 cup of jam and a half cup water.
    Let the water boil then add jam and mix until the jam is diluted. I prefer the syrup not to be too weak since you don’t want it to seep through the snowball. You just want it to form a binding layer between the coconut and the snowball.

    Cream or Jam Filling Between Snowballs?

    Once the snowballs have cooled use  jam to stick the two pieces  together.
    The original Durban snowballs have a cream filled center (according to my sister --the  self proclaimed snowball connoisseur). I have used a jam filling for this recipe.

    If you prefer the authentic Durban snowballs then you could use icing sugar instead of jam. To make the icing filling simply mix 1 tablespoon butter with 3/4 cup icing sugar. Add a drop of lemon juice to the butter then beat until fluffy. Add icing sugar then mix until you have a smooth paste.

    Once you have finished inserting jam or icing into all the snowballs dip each one into the jam syrup then into the pink coconut.

    Snowballs are best served  cool when the jam has hardened forming a sugary layer between the coconut and the snowball.



    How to Store Snowballs

    Snowballs can be a little messy with the coconut I find it easiest to store them in a muffin cup, this way you can stack them into a storage container.

    If you found this recipe useful please feel free to leave comments below or perhaps if you have tried the recipe...let me know how it has  worked for you…don’t forget to check out other South African Indian  Recipes in this blog –the Recipe Index allows easy navigation for all recipes within the site.





    Snowballs Recipe Simplified


    Ingredients

    • 2.5 cups flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 125g butter (At room temperatures)
    • 1/4 cup castor sugar (you can add up to 1cup of sugar for this recipe. I have reduced my sugar content)
    • 2 eggs (Make sure the eggs are at room temperatures)
    • 1 tsp vanilla essence
    • 375ml Jam (you can use the jam of your choice. I have used strawberry jam).
    • 2 cups desiccated coconut
    • pink food coloring
    • 3 tablespoons jam for spreading



    Method

    1. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius while you prepare the snowballs. Start by sifting the flour. This may seem like a tedious task but it is essential if you want a flop proof snowball. Once this is done, add the baking powder then rub butter into the mixture to form fine crumbs. I use a bread knife to cut into the mixture this breaks down lumps very well. If you have a mixer then simply use this. Making sure that the butter is at room temperature also helps with the success of the snowballs. You want the butter and flour to mix together- this works best if the butter is soft.

    2. Next step is to beat the eggs. Add vanilla essence then beat until fluffy. Add the castor sugar.

    3. Add this egg mixture into your bread crumbs mixture. Mix well until a soft pliable dough is formed. Although the texture of cooked snowballs is like that of a cake, the batter on the other hand is soft and thick. It should resemble a combination of scones dough and pound cake mixture.


    4. Pinch out small pieces of about 5 cm diameter and roll into small balls then place onto a lined baking tray. Flatten the top by pressing slightly.

    5. Bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes. The snowballs don’t need to brown it needs to cook .You can test this by inserting a toothpick into one of the snow balls. Once cooked remove from oven and allow to cool. While this cools you can prepare your syrup and pink coconut.



    6. To make pink coconut simply place the desiccated coconut into a bowl then add coloring. Mix well until all the coconut is colored. Allow to dry while you make our syrup.



    7. To make the syrup for the snowballs you will need 1 cup of jam and half cut water. Let the water boil then add jam and mix until dissolved. I prefer the syrup not to be too weak since you don’t want it to seep through the snowball. You just want it to form a binding layer between the coconut and the snowball.

    8. Once the snowballs have cooled  stick  two pieces together. Once you have finished inserting jam into all the snowballs dip each one into the jam syrup then into the pink coconut.

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