Gingerbread Hedgehog

While I would never say a person could have too much gingerbread in the house, I would offer this recipe as a seasonal variation of an old favourite, and a way to gift gingerbread a little differently (and more decadently).
Most Australians would be familiar with chocolate hedgehog or hedgehog slice from childhood birthday parties and schools fetes. The recipe I have used here is actually called simply ‘chocolate slice’ and is from Merle Parish’s book.
While I have followed the recipe to the letter, I have made 2 small changes. Firstly, I have substituted the arrowroot biscuits (plain shortbread) with my home-made gingerbread and secondly, I have removed the walnuts, mostly because I didn’t feel they would compliment the gingerbread flavour.
The result is a chocolatey-gingerbread slice, with a texture somewhat like a brownie. I am gifting these to colleagues at work; they slice and wrap well as attractive home-made gifts.


Ingredients:

Slice

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 125g butter
  • 75g brown sugar
  • 100g golden syrup
  • 250g arrowroot biscuits / gingerbread biscuits, roughly crushed
  • 50g walnuts, crushed (for a little more crunch, if you wish.)

Icing

  • 200g milk or dark chocolate
  • 60g butter

Place all ingredients except the biscuits and nuts in a small saucepan and place over medium heat.

Bring to the boil, stirring as the sugar dissolves. Boil for a minute and then remove from heat and allow to cool.
While the mixture cools, line a 20cm pan with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang at either side.

Stir the biscuits and nuts into the mixture and mix thoroughly. Then pour into the pan and press firmly into the pan. Place in the fridge for at least an hour, until set.

When the slice has set, melt the chocolate in the microwave or over the stove and then remove from heat and stir in the cold butter briskly, until it has melted and a smooth, glossy icing has formed. Set aside for a moment to cool before pouring over the slice and smoothing the surface.

Replace in the fridge for at least another 2 hours to set, or preferably overnight.

When all has set, remove the slice in one piece from the pan using the overhanging baking paper. Slice into pieces as desired (makes 12 large or 16 medium pieces) and serve with coffee or wrap to gift.

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