No Bake Hedgehog – the slice you know you need

With the new year within sight, is there any point in pretending that NOW is the time you want to lose those love handles via starvation methods? 

Santa is jolly, right. We all agree that ‘jolly’ is a euphemism for fat, right? Santa is fat at Christmas, and everyone loves Santa. Everyone loves you, too. Even your jingly jiggly bits. It’s been another weird year. Relax, indulge and let the January resolutions do the hard lifting later.

In the holiday season, the words ‘no bake slice’ are what dreams are made of. A yummy treat that is easy to make, requires only a way to melt chocolate and a fridge and will bring all the ho, ho, ho’s to the yard this Christmas- cough. 

Hedgehog.

If you’ve never eaten Hedgehog slice, you need to have a little chat with the people who raised you.This is an anytime sweet that asked “I found this stuff in the cupboard, what can I make?” and a voice answered “’chocolatey-chuck-it-all-together- slice’ sounds bad, let’s call it ‘Hedgehog’. The name of a woodland creature. Why not?                    

Hedgehog has two layers, one ‘the body’ and one ‘the topping’.

Here are the ingredients

Body

1 packet of sweet biscuits- Graham Crackers, Marie, Digestives, Milk Arrowroot- anything plain and sweet will do.

100 grams of butter- salted or unsalted

150 grams of chopped dark or milk chocolate (your choice)

1 tin of full fat sweetened condensed milk

½ cup of desiccated coconut

½ cup of chopped nuts- sliced almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios are all good- but if nut allergies are an issue, leave them out

2 tablespoons of cocoa powder

Topping

250 grams chocolate (white, milk or dark- your choice)

 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (optional, but it keeps the chocolate soft enough to slice without cracking)

Creating your Hedgehog

  1. Firstly, line and grease a slice tin or any container that will allow for a 5cm or 1 inch ‘body’ of about 18cm x 25cm.
  2. Next, crush your biscuits. You can do this by placing them in a Ziplock bag and smacking them with a rolling pin or anything heavy, or in a food processor. You don’t want them to be crumbs. Little chunks of biscuit is best.
  3. Next, microwave- or carefully melt in a double boiler if you prefer- your butter, your condensed milk and your 150 grams of chocolate together in a bowl. Check it and stir it every 30 seconds. You want it to combine, but not to boil up and over the bowl. It should be liquidy. It will be hot, be careful.
  4. Carefully place the bowl on a flat surface and add the nuts, the desiccated coconut, the biscuits and the extra cocoa powder. Mix them all together until they are fully combined, like a thick paste or dough.
  5. Place that ‘paste’ into your lined container and press it down so that it is evenly spread and the surface is flat. If you have parchment paper, you can place that on top and used a glass on top of it as a kind of ‘press’. This will save your hands from getting too warm.
  6. Pop this in the fridge for 10 minutes while you clean up and prepare the topping.
  7. Finally, simply melt the 250 grams of chocolate with the coconut oil in the microwave, or again with a double boiler if you want, and remove the slice from the fridge, pour the chocolate on top, spread it out, pop it back in the fridge and when the chocolate topping is ready, your hedgehog is done.

You can add things, if you like. Dried cranberries and pistachios make it look ‘more Christmassy’, hundreds-and-thousands make it look more colourful and less serious, any seeds- sunflower, chia, flax, pumpkin- makes it seem a little ‘healthier’, and fancy edible glitter or themed sprinkles adapt this recipe to any occasion. No matter how you decide to decorate this crowd favourite, be prepared to find yourself with an empty plate in no time. Cute and crunchy like its namesake, no one ever only eats one slice of Hedgehog.

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