With Easter just two weeks away my thoughts are turning to chocolate. It’s a wet, rainy Sunday and I am craving something sweet, rich and decadent but am feeling way too lethargic to whip up a storm in the kitchen, let alone deal with any cleaning up of the aftermath. Enter this rather sophisticated variation on a well loved childhood classic – Chocolate Hedgehog Slice. A simple but delicious no bake confection of crushed biscuits and melted chocolate. Lunchbox staple. Afternoon tea treat. Stalwart of many a school fete cake stall. Recreated with a twist.
This version builds on a very basic old school recipe, throwing in some interesting add-ins. A dash of coffee flavoured Kahlua to complement the deep, dark chocolate. Freshly toasted pistachios and hazelnuts, my personal favourite. A small long forgotten container of turkish delight, squirrelled away from the devouring hoardes in the depths of my pantry. I vaguely remember sequestering this particular stash from a huge box purchased at Christmas time, and figure it really does deserve to be used before Easter descends upon us. Has it really been three months? How quickly time has flown this year.
I can think of any number of delicious add-ins that can be freely swapped and changed in this very easy and extremely forgiving recipe. There’s no rhyme or reason to what you can use. Just personal preference and perhaps the available contents of your pantry. Amaretti, sour cherries, shredded coconut, any combination of dried fruits and nuts would work well. Perhaps even crushed meringue for a gluten free alternative. Having assembled the rubble of choice, all that is required is a little melting of the chocolate, butter and golden syrup over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave. You choose. The method doesn’t really matter. There is a little gentle stirring to combine the rubble and chocolate into a sweet and unctuous mess. Then comes the hard part. Patience as you wait for the mixture to set in the refrigerator. To be totally honest, in a perfect world, I would prefer to start this recipe the evening before, leaving it to work its magic overnight. There is something enormously satisfying to waking up the next morning to a perfect slab of chocolate deliciousness just waiting to be devoured.
No Bake Dark Chocolate Hedgehog Slice With Hazelnut, Pistachio and Turkish Delight.
200 g Scotch Finger biscuits or similar
3/4 cup pistachios, roasted
3/4 cup hazelnuts, roasted and skinned
3/4 cup Turkish delight
150 g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 tablespoon Kahlua (optional)
220g good-quality dark chocolate
cocoa powder, to dust
GREASE a loaf sized mould. For the record I used a 6cm-deep, 30cm x 8cm baking tin. Line the base and sides with baking paper, extending paper 5cm over edge at the long side for easy removal of the slice.
BREAK the biscuits into small pieces directly into a large bowl. Slice the squares of turkish delight into eighths. Add to the bowl along with the hazelnuts and pistachios. Stir to combine.
PLACE the butter, chocolate, golden syrup and Kahlua into a heatproof bowl over a pan of just-simmering water, making sure it’s not touching the base of the bowl. Leave it slowly to melt, stirring once or twice, take off the heat and leave to cool slightly. (Alternatively microwave the chocolate, butter and golden syrup until melted, stirring in the Kahlua when the mixture has cooled.)
POUR the chocolate mixture over the biscuits, nuts and turkish delight. Stir well to combine and spoon carefully into the prepared tin pressing down gently to compress. I like to also bang the tin against the kitchen bench to remove any air pockets.
COVER with a layer of baking paper and glad wrap. Refrigerate overnight or until set. Stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing into thick chunks.
SERVE dusted with cocoa.