I was deliberating whether to share this or not, but sometimes something is so bad it’s too good not to share. So here we go…
I was in a spontaneous mood this afternoon, Fridays are full of possibilities with an upcoming weekend and some lovely sunshine amid the showers! So, naturally, I decided to pop my 1950s apron on and bake my family a beautiful hedgehog cake!
Why? I hear you ask. Well, firstly; because I remember eating hedgehog cake as a small child and any food that brings you back to the warm sunny childhood days is sure to make you want it! And secondly, just because it would be cool.
And perhaps the most-laughable part of this challenge I placed on myself…I was 100% committed and convinced I was totally capable of creating one.
Oh Laura. Oh Laura, Laura, Laura. How wrong were you.
I’m not sure where I even went wrong. The recipe said I needed marzipan…hmm don’t have that in. Who needs marzipan anyway? I’ll just erm skip that part….and cocktail sticks? I never keep those in, what if the dog got into them? Or my kids take them out to do acupuncture on their brothers (kids do weird and wonderful things) cocktail sticks are not really necessary – right?
I noticed the cake itself was too high maintenance. So I opted for a “Frosted Chocolate Cake” recipe instead. It required oodles and oodles of Greek Yoghurt. Hm, that’s new. I decided to go for it.
I realised I didn’t have a cake pan in the shape of a hedgehog, yet I was determined to push forward and be creative. I took two sandwich cake pans instead and filled them both. 30 minutes later I took the beautifully cooked cakes out of the oven and left them to cool.
Then I made the icing. I think this is a fundamental part of what went wrong. Really, looking at the picture I was trying to create, I should have made butter icing. It sets thicker and would hold its shape much better than frosting. I also have no idea how to measure yogurt. The recipe asked for 6 table spoons of the stuff. Do they mean level? Or heaped? I went for heaped…which got me in a “heap” of trouble.
Ha ha ha.
So my frosting wouldn’t set. The cookbook said it would. LIES. That sloppy chocolatey goo would simply not thicken or form up AT ALL.
Oh well. I decided to just go for it and see what I could manage. I had watched TWO episodes of Masterchef in the last 48hrs so my culinary confidence was soaring. (Remember those TV shows in the 90s that would always say “don’t try this at home” they really should add those disclaimers to cooking shows too)
I didn’t know what to do to make my two circular cakes look like one hedgehog. I figured if I used one to be the base, and cut the other into triangles then I could sort of figure out a way to stand them all to create a hedgehog.
I would be a terrible brain surgeon and after today. I fiddled, stacked shapes, cut away edges and managed to form a very crude shape of a hedgehog (in my opinion) I stood back and stared at it. My husband, who is the most mild-mannered person on the planet when it comes to my crazy antics, said “You know, that looks like something I’ve seen off Robot Wars”
I glared at him but couldn’t stop the grin forming and laugh at the realisation that yes, what I created looked far more likely to be sent into battle than snuggled up in a woodland grove.
I figured that it would be fine when I poured the icing on and once the flakes were in.
So I actually needed a ladle to get the icing to pour over the cake. It drenched the cake and ran all over the place. What’s more, the cake looked more like a burnt, broken syrup sponge than a peaceful, spiky creature.
I crumbled a few Cadbury flakes all over to make the hedgehog look more….um…like a hedgehog? And I pushed in the remaining at odd angles. My last ditch attempt to get this to not be a total-disaster was to take some black icing and draw two eyes and a nose.
And here we have it. Ross kept laughing and cracking jokes about the “hedgehog soup” cake, but my boys were kind to me. “It still tastes good Mummy,” Alex said sweetly “it’s not my type of yummy but it is still good” he continued.
“I’m not sure” Said Ryan, my oldest son. Yet he continued to consume his entire slice. And my five year old? Nicholas, well he didn’t see what the fuss was about, why Mummy and Dad were doubled up laughing. “It looks great, it’s yummy too!” He said.
Okay, so it looks absolutely NOTHING like the Hedgehog Cake I saw in the book. But, it made us all laugh, it tasted pretty darn awesome and only the head remains…
In the words of my husband, “Everyone ate it and enjoyed it, so that’s not a disaster.”
Thank you darling.