Monday, 30 March 2020

Hedgehog Cake


Hedgehog cake, on a Hermes plate, served with Savennières Roche aux Moines wine.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide..

Hedgehog cake is a no-bake cake. It was a favourite in our family during my childhood. I don't know where the recipe came from (this one is not the original, but adapted from Lynn Hill's chocolate tiffin on Clandestine Cake Club website). I don't know where the name hedgehog cake comes from either. Places like Starbucks sell it as chocolate biscuit cake. Others, like Lynn, clearly know it by the name chocolate tiffin.

BRB cutting the cake.
Cutting hedgehog cake.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

Ingredients
200 g butter
50 g soft brown sugar
30 g cocoa powder
200 g Golden Syrup
400 g plain sweet biscuits
500 g dried fruit (any mixture of sultanas, apricots, cranberries, citrus peel, figs that you like, in any proportions)
350 g dark chocolate

Method
  1. Grease and line a 20 cm square tin, making sure you have a generous overhang of baking paper (for ease of lifting out the finished cake).
  2. Crush the biscuits so you have about half very fine and half in chunks of about 1 cm. 
  3. Cut any of the larger dried fruit so that everything is roughly sultana sized.
  4. Put the butter, sugar, cocoa and Golden Syrup in a large saucepan and heat gently to melt the butter and mix everything together.
  5. Add the dried fruit and the crushed biscuits, stir well and make sure everything is well incorporated. This will take longer than you think, but it will all come together eventually.
  6. Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and press it down firmly with a glass.
  7. Leave in the fridge to cool and set, at least an hour.
  8. Break up the chocolate and put into a bowl. Set the bowl in a cast iron pan half full of simmering water and leave the chocolate to melt.
  9. Once the chocolate has melted take it out of the water, stir to ensure the chocolate is smooth, then spread over the cake.
  10. Leave to set at room temperature, which will take ages (several hours). Before it is completely set, score cutting lines in the chocolate to make it easier to divide up and serve.
  11. Once cold and set solid, lift the cake out, carefully peel off the baking paper, then cut into 16 generous squares, or 32 half squares (logs or triangles).
  12. Serve with a rich semi-sweet Loire Valley white wine from appellations such as Savennières Roche aux Moines, Jurançon, Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh, Vouvray or Coteaux du Layon.
Hedgehog cake on a Hermes plate.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.
Hermes plate courtesy of BRB.

The biscuit used in our house for hedgehog cake was the otherwise very uninteresting Marie biscuit. These are not available in France except occasionally with Polish labelling, in Noz. Any really dull plain sweet biscuit will do. French supermarket shelves are full of similar biscuits. 

You could try it with a well aged Chinon too...
Hedgehog cake, on a Hermes plate, served with Chinon wine.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

If you live in a Golden Syrup free zone, use a mild honey, such as Robinia (known as Acacia in France) or a supermarket blended honey.


Yum

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4 comments:

Martin Swift said...

We used to make something very similar (without the dry fruit) when we were kids in the UK in the 60's and 70's. But we called it 'Blue Peter Cake' as the recipe came from a Blue Peter annual. Blue Peter was the most popular kids TV programme of the era.

Susan said...

I lived in the UK long enough to know what Blue Peter is :-)

Rhodesia said...

Wow that would tip the scales I am sure but I am very tempted to try it. Stay safe, Diane

Susan said...

It's absolutely delicious and we all had a full slice.

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