Hedgehog Cake

Guaranteed to delight children with friendly appearance, Hedgehog Cake is an ideal tea-party centrepiece.

8-

8 oz. plus

2 teaspoons unsalted butter

6 oz. sugar

4 large eggs

8 oz. self-raising flour, sifted

1 tablespoon strong coffee

3 oz. unsalted butter

12 oz. icing sugar , sifted

1 teaspoon strong coffee teaspoon vanilla essence

3 tablespoons double cream

2 oz. dark cooking chocolate, melted

6 oz. blanched almonds, split lengthwise and cut into strips

2 coffee beans

1 large raisin

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375 °F (Gas Mark 5, 190°C).

Using the 2 teaspoons of butter, grease two 7-inch sandwich cake tins and set them aside.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream the remaining butter and the sugar together with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a tablespoon of flour with each egg. Fold in the remaining flour. Stir in the coffee and combine the mixture thoroughly.

Pour half of the mixture into each of the prepared cake tins, and smooth the surfaces with a flat-bladed knife.

Place the tins in the centre of the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centres of the cakes comes out clean.

Remove the cakes from the oven and turn them out on to a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, make the icing. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and cream it with the back of a wooden spoon. When it is smooth, gradually add half of the sugar and the coffee. Cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla essence, the cream and the chocolate, then beat in the remaining sugar.

Spread one-third of the icing thickly on top of one of the cakes, then sandwich the cakes together. With a sharp knife, carefully shape the top of the cake to make a dome shape, by trimming the edges. Use the trimmings to make a ‘snout’ and secure this to the cake with a little of the icing. Spread the remaining icing over the top and sides of the cake. Insert the slivered almonds into the icing to resemble the ‘spines’ of the hedgehog. Use the coffee beans for the eyes and the raisin for the nose.

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