It's recently been a busy birthday time of year for us. So it has given me a lot of practice in making this chocolate hedgehog cake which has proved popular so I wanted to share.
My boy who just turned 5 always pointed at the hedgehog cake in the supermarket as the one he wanted for his birthday. I figured that it couldn't be too hard to make our own, I never like buying shop bought cakes. Although the majority are tasty, I feel it's such a waste when we can do just as good at home. I did have trouble finding a hedgehog cake 'how-to' though, looked online, looked in the cake books in the library. My Mum spotted one in the end in one of her old cake books Decorative Cakes from the Tesco Cookery Collection, first published 1985! Oldies are the goodies hey.
175g caster sugar
175g soft margarine (or unsalted butter is fine)
100g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
Blend 2 tblsp cocoa with 2bls boiling water
So to start, heat the oven to 160degrees C, 325F. I have a fan oven and I cooked it on 150degrees F, just know your oven. Grease and base line a 1.2 litre (or 2 pint) pudding bowl. I didn't have a clue how I was supposed to line a pudding bowl without having a millions of creases in the paper but my attempt is below, not sure this is correct but it worked.
For your cake mixture, put everything in a bowl (how easy can you get?!) and beat with a wooden spoon for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy. An electric mixer would work wonders here too.
Reserve 1 tablespoon of the cake mixture and bake the remainder in your greased 1.2 litre (2 pint) pudding basin in the oven for 1 hour, until risen and firm to the touch. Your remainder mixture can go in a cupcake case in the same oven for 15 minutes or until firm to the touch.
When your main cake is ready, loosen the sides of the cake with a small round bladed knife and turn out on to a wire rack to cool. Leave your cupcake to cool completely too.
Whilst cakes are cooling, you could make the butter icing and prepare the topping, ingredients are as follows:
2tbls boiling water
100g unsalted butter, softened
225g icing sugar, sifted
3 chocolate flake bars
2 brown smarties
1 red smartie (or whatever colours you like)
To make the chocolate icing:
Blend the cocoa and boiling water to a smooth paste. Allow to cool. Place in a bowl with the butter and icing sugar and beat to mix, then beat well with a wooden spoon for about 2 minutes.
Once your cake is cool, cut the large cake in half vertically and then with the fairy cake you have cooked separately, cut a small vertical slice from one side of the fairy cake. See above.
With the 2 halves of the large cake, turn the cut sides down on a board/plate so that the two bases meet, to form a hedgehog shape. Place the large piece of the fairy cake cut side down with the top of the fairy cake against one end of the large cake. The smaller piece of fairy cake goes cut side down at the other end to form the tail (see below).
Before you start icing the whole cake, first cut the 2 large cake halves in half horizontally and sandwich them together with a layer of icing (about one third of the icing mix). You can just about see the icing oozing out of the cake in below pic.
You're now ready to ice all over. Spread the remaining butter icing over the cake to cover, shaping one end to a point as best you can to form a snout. Roughly crumble the flake bars and arrange in rows. I found the flake bars didn't really want to break up into very even spike-like pieces so don't worry too much if this happens, just crumble up best you can and it will still look fine once you place them out evenly. Leave the area around the snout uncovered. Press the smarties on to the face for the eyes and nose. Leave to set. And that's it! See top pic for finished cake! Give it a go.