This is my youngest's birthday cake, he loves hedgehogs of all types, in the past we have made hedgehog cakes, cupcakes, piñatas, jack-o-lanterns, and even a pinewood derby car. I had planned to make a cake decorated with strawberries and cream, but he was home sick today and I didn't get a chance to go shopping for fresh fruit.
For the cake base, I used a Finnish recipe from Parhaat Leivonaiset. The ingredients were:
1 cup sugar (2 1/2 dl)
2 teaspoons vanilla sugar or vanilla
1/2 cup flour (1.25 dl)
1/2 cup potato or corn starch (1.25 dl)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Preheat the oven to 300 F (150 C).
First, I whipped the eggs and sugar until frothy with my stand mixer, they looked like this:
In another bowl, I mixed the dry ingredients. I bought vanilla sugar this weekend at Ikea, so I mixed it with the dry ingredients. If you use liquid vanilla, mix it with the eggs.
Carefully fold the dry mixture into the egg mixture.
To make a hedgehog shape, I greased and floured a large oven-safe Pyrex mixing bowl and filled it with the batter.
I baked the cake on the bottom rack of the oven for about 50 minutes.
The recipe I used baked the cake in two cake pans, at 350 F (175 C) for 30 minutes. I lowered the temperature and lengthened the time so that I could get the cake done in the middle. We've had a lot of practice baking in this bowl to make Barbie cakes for my daughter!
The middle sank in a bit right at the end of baking, but not enough to hurt.
To get the cake out, I ran a knife around the edge and inverted it on a rack.
After it cooled a bit, I sliced it in two layers in order to put in a bit of strawberry jelly (hedgehog blood?). I drizzled the juice from a can of pineapple on both halves first to moisten the cake.
It was easy to push the bottom layer into a hedgehog head shape as I put the cake back together.
Melted chocolate was a good hedgehog-looking coating for the cake.
We had a huge bag of thin pretzels, it didn't take long to put in the spikes while the chocolate was still warm. The plate got a bit messy from the melted chocolate, so I added a border of marzipan candy fruit. The eyes are sugar babies (caramel candy) and the nose is half of a Dajm toffee candy.
Next time I need to coat a cake with chocolate, I think I will try to keep the cake on a rack and let the extra chocolate drip off before putting it on the serving platter. But wouldn't all this fruit make a great snack for Hedgie?