For Words and Pictures, hosted by Meet me at Mikes

laduree

Warning:  This Parisian confectionery shop window display is generally unrelated to the foodstuffs discussed below, apart from the presence of chocolate, but it illustrates this week’s theme so well …

As a child my favorite sweet treat to make was hedgehog.  Every year before Christmas, my mother and I would make several slices, hedgehog among them, so there would always be something on hand to serve visitors over the festive season.  It seemed so special to see all the McRobertsons shortbread tins packed with slices between layers of greaseproof paper.  For for the young cook, there was the double treat of crushing the biscuits and licking the chocolatey spoon afterwards. 

This is not the recipe that we used to make.  It is so much better!  It is adapted from one found in the March 1997 issue of Australian Good Taste, and differs from the traditional recipe in that it is made from real melted chocolate and has fruit added.  I included prunes, as they are a great rich, textural contrast with the chocolate.  And I still make this every Christmas for gifts and to serve visitors, and for Easter too …

Pinry’s Favorite Hedgehog

  • 200g shortbread biscuits, broken up into smallish chunks
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • about 10 pitted prunes, chopped
  • 250g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 75g butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • cocoa powder to dust

Line a square cake tin with baking paper

Melt butter in a large saucepan (large enough to hold all ingredients – who wants to wash a mixing bowl as well?). 

Add chocolate and remove from heat and let sit for a minute or so.  (Don’t let the chocolate cook or it may seize up, rather let it gently melt in the hot butter).  Stir with a wooden spoon until chocolate is melted.  Stir in honey. 

Add biscuit chunks, walnuts, currants and prunes and combine until well coated.  Press well into cake tin and chill until firm. 

Cut into small squares and dust top with cocoa.  Store in old biscuit tins with Scottish pipers on them.

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