Before you start wondering, no hedgehogs were harmed!
For my birthday I always make myself a special cake, and since hedgehogs have been on my mind a lot recently it seemed only logical to finally try out my hemisphere cake pan this time round…
Cute! It was a lot simpler than I had thought – and it tasted pretty good too!
Hedgehog Birthday Cake
For the cake:
- one 15cm/6 inch hemisphere tin and one 20cm/8 inch sandwich cake tin, greased and floured
- 225g (2 sticks) softened butter
- 225g (1 cup) sugar
- 4 eggs
- 215g (1 3/4 cups) SR flour
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 2-3 tbsps milk
Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F. Cream the butter and sugar together with a mixer until pale and fluffy. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Gently fold in the sieved flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Add the milk if necessary to achieve a “dropping consistency”, i.e. the mixture drops slowly off a spoon. Divide between the two cake tins and bake until firm to touch: the sandwich tin will take about 20-25 minutes and the hemisphere tin will take longer, between 35 and 45 minutes. Leave to cool completely on a rack.
For the buttercream/decoration:
- 125g softened butter
- 125g icing sugar
- 75g milk chocolate, melted
- 2 chocolate drops for the eyes
- 1 glace cherry for the nose
- jam for the filling (I used strawberry)
Beat together the butter and sugar. Reserve enough to cover the nose of the hedgehog. Dip the glace cherry in your melted chocolate and put to one side. Now beat the remaining melted chocolate into the rest of the buttercream. (Make sure the chocolate is cooled but not cold when you mix it in).
Forming the cake: Place the hemisphere on top of the sponge base layer, but at the back edge and not in the centre. Cut the base around the edge of the hemisphere at the sides but leave some at the front to form the nose… I think it will be clear what I mean when you have it in front of you. Put some jam between the base and the hemisphere to stick it together. Spread some white buttercream you reserved over the front and form a nose shape, building it up a little. Use a knife dipped in warm water to help smooth it. Then coat the hemisphere with the chocolate buttercream and use a flat knife to create the “spike” effect. Add the eyes and nose. Voila!
This moist sponge cake stays lovely and fresh for several days – just store in an airtight container. It serves a crowd too!