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Thursday 9 March 2017
Hedgehog cake (with chocolate fingers spikes)
I found a recipe using chocolate fingers and when it come to looking at this site while making the cake, the domain name registration had expired. Anyway how hard could sticking a few sticks in a cake be! Well as I stuck the last one in the backside, the two halves of the cake split. Oops. I did a quick patch up job with icing and the fork.
It actually was harder to stick in chocolate fingers than I expected. Firstly they melted if held too long and the hide of the cake was tougher than I expected. Probably because I had to bake it for almost twice as long in the mixing bowl as the original recipe in the cake tin. I found it easiest to stick two sticks in from each side to have enough balance to avoid one pushing the cake off the board. I still think pretzels would be better spikes (and easier to be vegan).
I am sending this cake to Tin and Thyme for We Should Cocoa. You can read more about the detective hedgehog games and food.
More animal cakes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Blues Clues dog cake
Sparkles the rabbit cake
Viking cat cake
How to make a Hedgehog Cake
Double batch of 20cm sponge cake batter (such as this one)
Chocolate buttercream icing (such as this one)
One and a half 200g packets of chocolate fingers
Raspberry jam, optional
To bake the sponge cake batter, grease and flour a largish round pyrex bowl. Set aside a little mixture to bake two or three muffins. Bake until cake is cooked. The muffins took about 30 minutes and the large cake took a lot longer than flatter cakes but I didn't note the time (perhaps 1.5 hours). I covered it with foil once it was golden brown so it didn't get too dark. Once a skewer inserted comes out clean, remove from oven and sit for about 5-10 minutes. Use a knife to loosen from the sides and turn out to cool.
When ready to shape the hedgehog, trim the flat bottom of the cake if it is not really flat. Cut cake in half from top to bottom. Place each piece cut side down. Push the two flat bottom sides of the cake together to make a higher dome than you originally had. (See photo collage above for guidance.) This is the time to put it on a cake board. You can use jam or some icing to sandwich together the halves. Put a muffin at one end and shape the muffin into a snout. Trim to make sure muffin sits flush against the dome. You might also need to shape (trim) the front of the dome so it slopes towards the muffin snout.
Now spread the buttercream all over the cake, using the buttercream to help shape the snout. Take a fork and, leaving a little semi circle at the front where the face will be, rake through the buttercream to make it bristly. To make the face we trimmed a piece of discarded muffin into a round nose and cut two of the chocolate sticks really short and arranged these as eyes and a nose.
Poke the chocolate fingers into the cake in a circle across the front where the fork marks bristles mark the end of the face. Keep make rows of chocolate finger spikes until you reach the back. This was slightly tricky as I had to work fast so the chocolate did not melt at my touch. The cake baked so long that the outer cake was quite tough to poke a chocolate finger through. I made a few holes with a little knife - wonder if a chopstick would help. The other problem was that I had to push so hard that it threatened to push the cake off the board so I found that if I did two at a time, one chocolate stick from each side, it had the resistance I needed. I also had to avoid the join between the two halves of the cake which would split the cake in half.
NB I am sure other spicks such as pretzels or chocolate sticks would work instead of chocolate fingers.
If you wish, you can spread some green icing and little flowers around the hedgehog for the woodland look. If so, it is best to do this before the chocolate fingers go in.
On the Stereo:
Molly Do Yourself a Favour: The soundtrack to the TV mini series and Molly’s life: Various Artists