I’m still riding my coffee kick. It usually goes through peaks and troughs and these days I’m perched high atop a peak. One result of that was these awesome Espresso Shortbread Cookies that I told you guys about last week. Four batches of them in one week in fact! That’s a lotta cookies even for me. The idea was to use the extra cookies for something else. This is that something else. I call these No Bake Mocha Hedgehog Slices for grown ups! (and yes, it can be easily adapted for a kid-friendly version too!). 🙂
So what the hell is a hedgehog slice you ask? Honestly I’m not sure how that name came about. These are very popular in Australia but I swear no spiny mammals were harmed in the making of these. In fact, hedgehogs are not even found in Australia, so your guess is as good as mine with regard to the origin of that name. What it is though, is a super-easy to make, no-bake, rich and delicious, brownie-like treat that has a fudgy chocolate and cookie (or biscuit as they are called in Australia) base and a very chocolatey top half.
When I was a student, I didn’t have an oven where I lived. So these were my favourite chocolate treat to eat. The first time I made it, I used a box mix. I didn’t know what it was but they were on sale. And I was a student and I liked chocolate. So naturally, I came home with three boxes. These were a life saver when exams were around the corner and I was pulling all-nighters. A batch of these in the fridge always came in handy and always satisfied my chocolate/brownie cravings. For kids, you can easily omit the alcohol and even use regular shortbread cookies (or Scotch Fingers) or graham crackers instead of my Espresso cookies, and they will still be insanely yummy! And like I said, no oven required. If you have a microwave and a refrigerator (and the ingredients of course), you’re good to go!
Typically, hedgehog slices call for eggs. But since you don’t really heat the egg mix enough, technically you’re going to have raw eggs in it. Personally, this is not a deal breaker for me. I have licked many a cake batter bowl since I was a little kid, to start caring about eating raw eggs now. But I know some prefer not to eat them and for some they are not advised. So this recipe has NO raw eggs. Instead I use fruit preserves.
- 8.5 oz/ 240g Espresso Shortbread Cookies (or any other kind of shortbread cookie, digestive cookie, or graham crackers)
- 3.5 oz / 100g unsalted butter
- 5 oz/ 145g bittersweet chocolate
- 2 oz / 57 g icing sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1.7 oz/ 50g Jelly / Jam / Preserves (I used raspberry, but you can use any kind you like)
- 1.5 fl oz/ 45ml Kahlua (substitute with coffee or milk for kids or if you like it non-alcoholic)
- 7 oz/ 200g bitter sweet chocolate (or semi sweet if you like it less bitter)
- 1.4 oz/ 40g unsalted butter
- 1 tsp instant coffee granules
- 2 tbsp Kahlua (or milk or water)
- Place the cookies in a large sealable plastic bag and crush the cookies using a rolling pin or you hands. Make sure the cookies have a good mix of smaller/slightly chunkier un-crushed pieces, and crushed pieces.
- Grease and line a loaf pan (9 inch x 5 inch) with parchment paper.
- In a heat proof bowl, place the butter and chocolate and in 30 sec bursts, melt the chocolate in the microwave until you get a nice smooth mix.
- Stir in the salt, icing sugar, cocoa powder, jelly / jam and Kahlua until well combined.
- Let it cool to room temperature.
- Add the semi-crushed, chunkier cookie pieces to the chocolate-butter mix and stir well to combine.
- Pour this mix into the loaf pan and using a spoon spread it evenly in the pan, pressing the mix down using the spoon (or your hands). Store this in the fridge for about an hour or until the base has completely set.
- When it is done, start making the chocolate topping.
- Melt the chocolate, instant coffee and butter in the microwave (in a heat proof bowl) in 30 second bursts. Be careful not to overheat the mix, as the mix will separate and you might end up with an oily film on top. To prevent this, heat the ingredients carefully mixing well every 30 seconds, and stop when there are a few lumps still left in the chocolate. Stir until you get a smooth, glossy mix.
- Stir in the Kahlua, and pour this over the set base.
- Refrigerate for another 30 minutes until this layer has set as well.
- When ready, remove the slice from the pan, and cut into pieces. Store in an air tight box in the fridge.
These hedgehog slices look and taste beautifully decadent and that’s what I LOVE about them. They are like fudgy brownies, but better! The rich, fudgy chocolate has a lovely boozy and caffeine punch. The cookie base makes them delightfully crunchy and the cookie pieces are also mixed in with chocolate where you also get a strong hint of berry from the jelly/jam. They are easy, no-bake, and even kids can join in when you make them (minus the alcohol of course). You can use your favourite cookies for the base and serve them as a genuinely fancy dessert for guests who don’t always give you much heads up before they turn up at your door step. And maybe with a side of creme fraiche or berry compote, you will even be approaching “sophisticated” territory! 🙂 We didn’t have guests over though. Good thing too, because that would mean we would have had to share these! We did make it fancy though – we enjoyed these with a fantastic cocktail (that you will hear more about next week 🙂 ), while watching “Archer” episodes!
If only that girl – hunched over a text book, squeezing out a 3000 word essay from whatever consciousness that was remaining at 2 in the morning, six years ago – knew how much she would be enjoying these one day! I had almost forgotten how much I loved eating these. While I will never say no to a regular hedgehog slice, there’s always something thrilling about giving a treat like this, an adult make-over!
Have you had Hedgehog slices before? If you live in Australia or have been there, you most certainly would know about ’em!
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