A couple of weeks ago I got to spend a Saturday afternoon with my 10 year old son and a group of his friends baking. They were creaming, sifting and folding to raise funds for a sponsor child and his family. A letter was written and photos taken to send to him so he would know just how much he was cared for and how much fun the kids had had.
I had been tasked with choosing recipes and gathering ingredients for this group of enthusiastic bakers aged 5 to 15. I have to say I was a little uncertain about what to expect, how would they all go with measuring, weighing and following recipes and what would the results be. I needn’t have worried though. I was so impressed by them all. We had cupcakes by the dozens and slices galore, including LOTS of hedgehog.
Hedgehog is such a simple recipe and it’s been years since I have made or eaten it. The recipe used by the kids came straight off the box of cocoa and was a simple melt and mix method with no baking required. I have since been mulling over a few ways I could vary the hedgehog, because…well just because that’s what I like to do. And since it’s Christmas time that’s the direction I decided to take it.
Hedgehog is a slice based on crushed biscuits set in a chocolate filling. Some recipes use cocoa and condensed milk, other use chocolate and butter. I was aiming for an indulgent slice that can be cut into small portions, so I decided to use dark chocolate. If dark chocolate is not your favourite you could substitute half or all of it for milk chocolate. Instead of butter I wanted to try a dairy free spread. The resulting slice was a little softer than one made with butter but I was happy with the flavour; you decide whether you want to use butter or a dairy free spread. I didn’t add any sugar to the chocolate and used some golden syrup instead. To add a little Christmas to my slice I threw in some chopped dried cranberries (but not too many so that is still low FODMAP) and flaked almonds (pistachios would look great but they are high in some FODMAPs). And to make it pretty I finished is off with a drizzle of white chocolate; simple but effective.
Christmas Chocolate Square Hedgehog Recipe
makes 25 squares
I used gluten free biscuits called “Tea Biscuits” which are nice and crisp. I think this sort of biscuit would work better than a softer cookie-style biscuit.
Christmas Chocolate Square Hedgehog Ingredients
- 200g gluten/wheat free plain sweet biscuits
- 45g dried cranberries, chopped
- 55g flaked almonds
- 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
- 150g dark chocolate
- 75g butter or dairy free spread
- ¼ cup (80g) golden syrup
- 1 egg, beaten
- 100g dark chocolate
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 30g white chocolate melts (optional)
Line a 20cm square tine with baking paper.
Christmas Chocolate Square Hedgehog Recipe Steps
- Place biscuits into a plastic bag and with a rolling pin, leaving large chunks of biscuits.
- Combine in a bowl with the cranberries, almonds and coconut.
- Gently melt the chocolate, butter and golden syrup together in a small saucepan over low heat until smooth. Remove from the heat and cool for 3 minutes.
- Add the egg and mix until smooth and glossy.
- Add the chocolate mixture to the biscuit mixture and combine well. Tip into the prepared tin and spread with the back of a fork until even. Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- To make the icing melt the dark chocolate and vegetable oil together in a heatproof bowl sitting above a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water. Spread evenly over the chilled slice. Chill for 10 minutes.
- Place white chocolate melts in a small zip lock bag a microwave on medium for 30 seconds. Give the bag a little squish with your fingers and heat another 30 seconds until melted and smooth.
- Snip the corner off the bag and drizzle diagonally across the slice. Allow to set then cut the slice with a hot knife into 25 squares.
- Store in the fridge.