Sunday, 25 October 2015

Hedgehog, Neighbourhood House open day, and Darebin Music Feast

There are some recipes I love because they taste great.  Then there are others where the taste goes deeper than flavours and burrows into the memory with a nostalgia that calls forth another time.  Hedgehog is one of those special recipes for me.  I have been eating it and making it since I can remember.

So when I was recently asked to bring a traditional recipe to a food swap, hedgehog was one of the first recipes that sprang to mind.  I have a recipe from my mum that I love.  Yet my mum often doesn't stick to one recipe.  She follows the same recipe for a while, then alters it or tries a new version, then returns to her favourite recipe.  I don't think she would mind that I have - ahem - four other hedgehog recipes since starting this blog.

Who would have guessed there could be so many variations on this plain old slice.  Almost as many as there are names.  Others know this sort of slice as tiffin, biscuit cake or fridge cake.  I guess the main thing is that it is no bake and must have chocolate and chopped biscuits in it.  I know others suggest using any variety of plain biscuits but for me it is always Marie biscuits.

As well as being in love with hedgehog, I cannot resist anything with condensed milk in it.  Hence my need to try both Lucy and Lauren's recent hedgehog recipes with condensed milk in them.  I merged them, using lots of melted chocolate like Lucy but coconut rather than sultanas like Lauren.  Always coconut.  That is why I even sprinkled some on top.

I highly advise against making this with small children just before they are heading to bed.  Yet I just wasn't organised enough to make it earlier.  The park had been just too much fun!

The hedgehog was destined for our local neighbourhood house open day that was held today.  I also made cheese stars (a bit like this) so that Sylvia has something to eat that is not sweet.  As it was, they had vegetarian sausages at the bbq so it wasn't as bad as I feared.  Though Sylvia was very taken with the cake stall.  Yes, my food ended up on the cake stall table as I had not realised it was different from the food swap.

Did I mention that the hedgehog tasted amazing.  Much richer than my regular one.  Chocolatey and gooey and very sweet.  Not for the faint-hearted.  At one stage I thought my hedgehog was not selling much.  Then I returned to the cake stall and it had disappeared.  Apparently someone (with very good taste) bought the rest of the slice that had not been sold.  Then I felt sorry for everyone else, except me because I was clever enough to leave a few pieces home for us!

The open day was a great success with a lovely relaxed vibe.  I sung with a singing group I have had one rehearsal with.  A friend did face painting.  Sylvia and her friend did some craft activities.  There was more music, an AGM, sewing activities, the sandpit.  As always I find the neighbourhood house a welcoming and generous place to be.

We would have stayed longer but E had another gig on.  He was playing in the Darebin Music Feast with his ukulele group.  I found the Music Feast a really interesting and creative place to be.  The ukulele gig started with a few uke players down the High Street in Northcote and members of the group and other ukulele groups were stationed along the way to join in as they walked up to the Town Hall.  This was a really fun start.

Once at the town hall, they played a high energy gig in the forecourt that was a great crowd pleaser.  My dad came along too and really enjoyed it.  While the morning had been cool and windy, by the afternoon it was quite warm.  A little bit too warm actually.

As the gig finished my dad, Sylvia and I headed to the very cute Little Box Brownie caravan for cool drinks.  Well they had cool drinks and I had a slice of brownie.  Very good brownie.  Rich, moist and a little crumbly.  I was pleased to enjoy the offerings of a local blogger.

Before we could sit and relax, we were invited along to a show in a lift.  Who could resist such a quirky idea!  So it was just me, E, Sylvia and my dad in the audience for the show!  Not a big lift.  The performer was quite odd in an entertaining way.  We all found ourselves singing along to Cats are Forever and watching a slide slow of cats.

Then we listened to another band in the Town Hall as we sat outside in the shade relaxing.  There were a few food trucks there but by then we had eaten our full.

As we left, we caught the end of an opera performance from the balcony of the town hall.  I love a festival that constantly surprises and delights.

Northcote is the sort of suburb where there is quite a bit of street art.  This was my favourite piece of street art that I saw while we were there.

Making the hedgehog had required a trip to the supermarket.  So I was organised enough to plan tonight's dinner last night.  I made the Isa Does It pizza bowl with kale, rice, veg sausages, tomato cashew sauce and olives.  Like everything else I have tried from this cookbook, it was fantastic.  I really needed some good food after eating out all day and this was perfect.  Though I was glad to have a piece of hedgehog leftover for dessert!

I am sending this to Create Make Bake and Bake, Play, Smile for Fabulous Foodie Fridays #75, and to Karen and Janie for their Bonfire Night/Halloween edition of Tea Time Treats.

More hedgehog recipes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Hedgehog (mum's recipe)
Hedgehog fudge with dried cherries
Prince William's fridge cake (posh hedgehog)
Steph's vegan hedgehog (v)
Walnut hedgehog (v) 

Hedgehog
Adapted from Bake Play Smile and Create Bake Make

250g marie biscuits*
130g butter (I used margarine)*
130g dark chocolate*
1/2 cup condensed milk (about half a 400g tin)*
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Topping:
200g milk chocolate*
50g dark chocolate*
handful of dessicated coconut

Crush marie biscuits in a paper bag so that the chunks about 1cm wide or less.  Melt butter and chocolate together.  Stir in condensed milk and coconut.  Spread into lined slice tin (18 x 28 cm).  Chill in fridge for about 30 minutes or more.  For the topping, melt milk chocolate and dark chocolate together.  Spread over the slice.  Sprinkle with coconut.  Chill until firm.  Remove from fridge about 20 minutes before cutting and slice into square.

NOTES: This could easily be made vegan by using vegan biscuits (such as Nice biscuits), vegan margarine, vegan chocolate and vegan condensed milk.

Update September 2016 - made this with a 72% chocolate that was so rich and dark that I added a few tablespoons of golden syrup.  It was still very rich but in a good way.

On the Stereo:
The very best of Peter Allen

24 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Lisa - you must be due a batch

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  2. Sounds like a lovely day, and I really think that I should try making some hedgehog!

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    1. Thanks VegHog - definitely one for someone with a blog name like yours :-)

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  3. yep, hedgehog (like lemon slice) is always a favourite, I put it down to the condensed milk. I wish I could have gone to the festival, it seems I plan to attend then something comes up or I forget there's something else on!

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    1. Thanks Faye - we don't usually have condensed milk in our hedgehog but I had a very memorable one with condensed milk a while back which made me want to try it today. And re festival, there is always so much on that is hard to keep up

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  4. Hedgehog sounds like proper nostalgic party food - what would the UK equivalent of marie biscuits be? That drinks caravan looks seriously awesome too. Reading your posts always makes me want to visit!

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth - the UK equivalent to Marie biscuits would probably be rich tea biscuits but digestives or even shortbread would do well too - just something plain and crisp. And I agree - isn't the caravan cute?

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  5. I love hedgehog (though I've not heard it called that before - it's a much better name than fridge cake though, so I may adopt it. I don't know Marie biscuits, but we use Lotus or vegan digestives in hedgehog, and it seems to work. I think that's the best thing about it - you can chuck in all sorts of things and it always tastes delicious!

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    1. Thanks Joey - hedgehog is a fun name - would love to know how it came to called hedgehog. Digestives are fine - I think others use lots of different biscuits but it is marie biscuits we have always used in my family so it makes if familiar and nostalgic for me. But am open to chucking in other stuff.

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  6. I have such an affection for Hedgehog slices, especially the Brumby's ones of old (I assume Brumby's existed out of WA). Despite this, I have never made a vegan one despite making many vegan tiffins. I do think of tiffins as being slightly different although would be hard pushed to describe the crucial points of distinction. Possibly it is the topping - I think hedgehogs have more of one than tiffins - and the condensed milk. At any rate, I now want to make a vegan one! Yours looks delicious.

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    1. Thanks Kari - yes we have Brumbys though there seem to be less of them about these days. I don't always ice hedgehog or put condensed milk on it but somehow the name "tiffin" sounds more healthy to me. Hope you try a vegan hedgehog - highly recommend Steph's one (link in this post) which does not have condensed milk and seems closer to tiffin (perhaps you would call it tiffin)

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  7. Sounds like a fun day out. Your hedgehog looks delish. And the Little Bix Brownie caravan is so cute!

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - yes, yes, yes. I have looked at Little Box Brownie's cookbook and blog so it was really nice to try her brownie - and it was so good and a little bonus that it came in such a cute caravan.

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  8. I'm not sure I have ever come across anything like the hedgehog dessert - it sounds completely delicious. And what a fun day you guys had! Your neighbourhood house open looks like such a big and fun event.
    I would love to hear a ukulele band!!! =)

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    1. Thanks Kimmy - would love you to come along to hear the ukulele group that E plays in! Highly recommend hedgehog - it is great comfort food for me

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  9. Hehe I love that someone bought the rest of the slice! They must have loved it :D

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - yes I was pretty chuffed that someone loved my hedgehog as much as me

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  10. How cool is a food swap!!! Hedgehog is one of my faves! No wonder it was so popular!

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    1. Thanks Lucy - it is lovely to see lots of other Aussie bloggers who love hedgehog as much as me

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  11. Another fab day in Oz!
    The Hedgehog looks very tempting! I have never heard of it before, although I have seen similar in the UK. I wonder if we just don't call it hedgehog?!
    Sounds like it is perfect for parties....

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    1. Thanks Kate - hedgehog sounds very british so I wonder if the name came from the UK - but it seems to go by many name and taste excellent no matter what it is called

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  12. This is one of my absolute FAVES!!!! We love hedgehog at our house! Thanks so much for linking up with Fabulous Foodie Fridays. xx

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  13. Love seeing street art :-)
    I remember buying tubs of sweetened condensed milk as a child and sucking it straight from the tube and it making our tummies churn! hehe not such fond memories.

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