It was 10.55am on a Sunday morning. It was raining heavily and our laundry enjoying it's third day of rinsing on the line. My friend Lulu, her husband and her girls Audrey and Evie were on their way and I was still sitting in my pyjamas and bathrobe doing work.
"They'll be here in 5 minutes" Mr NQN warned me.
I surveyed my look in the mirror and said, hopefully, "I think I look okay like this"
Mr NQN gave me a look. "Well, if you say so..." He then added quietly "I wouldn't have thought you'd think that though" before clearing his throat.
"I'll distract them with these cupcakes!" I offered.
The day before I had baked some cupcakes for their visit. They looked merely fine and knowing of the girl's predilection for animals, I thought I might look for something cute but easy to do. I had some chocolate bars in the pantry stashed for decorating emergencies (I know, silly to think that there would ever be such a thing but there you go!). I had never really considered hedgehogs much until I saw a video of Teddy Bear the porcupine eating corn. I know that porcupines are different from hedgehogs which are different from echidnas and that watching a porcupine eating corn really shows that I should have just gotten my bottom into gear and gotten dressed and invested my time more wisely.
I quickly pulled out a Flake bar and chopped it up seeing if it could simulate hedgehog or porcupine quills. I popped in two eyes from a supply of ready made eyes from my repository and asked Mr NQN what he thought. Thankfully he recognised them straight away as did the girls who covered their pink cheeks and mouths with chocolate. And who thankfully didn't comment about Auntie Lorraine wearing pyjamas!
So tell me Dear Reader, have you ever worn your pyjamas out or in front of guests or committed any fashion crimes? And do you waste time on the internet watching random videos and are you a procrastinator?
Chocolate Hedgehog Cupcakes
For chocolate mud cupcakes
165g/6ozs. butter (doesnt matter if its at room temp or not in this recipe)
120g/4ozs. dark eating chocolate broken up into pieces
1 1/3 cups light brown sugar
1 cup water
1 cup plain flour
1/4 cup cornflour or cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
Chocolate sour cream frosting
40g unsalted butter
85g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
150g icing sugar
1/2 tablespoon golden syrup
65 ml sour cream
2 Flake bars, chopped into 2cm/1 inch pieces and crumbled up
Edible eyes (you can buy these or you can make them out of white and chocolate fondant)
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 150c fan forced or 170c non fan forced.
Step 2 - Place butter, chocolate, sugar, the water in small saucepan over low heat until melted and combined. Cool for 15 minutes.
Step 3 - Using a whisk, add flour, cocoa and then egg (at this stage it will look like liquidey dark chocolate ganache). Spoon into patty tins. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool in tin.
Step 4 - To make the frosting, melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler or in a microwave. In a food processor, whizz the icing sugar to get rid of any lumps and then add the sour cream, melted chocolate and butter and golden syrup.
Step 5 - Spread over the cupcake generously (you will need it a thickish coating to allow the chocolate to sit up. Refrigerate to make the icing a bit firmer.
Step 6 - Stick the Flake pieces upright in the icing leaving some room for the eyes at the front.