This superb cake is well-known to the people of the Soviet era as it’s the ‘gold standard’ of home-made delights.Legion Media
Anyone born in the USSR can easily recall this delicious and truly unforgettable cake. I still reminisce about the time in my early childhood when my grandmother and I passed by the confectionery called ‘Bolshevik’. When we stopped to have a quick glance, I accidentally noticed this lovely hedgehog, with its small black eyes, chubby cheeks, an upturned nose and a back full of needles. I began to beg my granny to buy it, and she just couldn’t resist getting it for me in exchange for my promise to eat all of my lunch.
In Soviet times, this cake was called “The Forest Guest ''. At that time there were many cartoons that depicted the life and adventures of a little, but brave hedgehog with a mild disposition and kind heart: “The Hedgehog in the Fog”; “Tryam! Hello!”; and “If the stars are falling”.
My good friend, Alice, always becomes nostalgic when she gets absorbed in thoughts about having this fancy creamy cake for her childhood birthdays. At that time she was so overwhelmed with joy that she decided to become a pastry chef when she grew up. Time passed and several days ago I felt compelled to turn to her and ask for the recipe.
On the one hand, she assured me that I wouldn’t have any trouble making it by myself, but on the flip side she told me that this sweet delight has seven different recipes. Eventually, I laid my eyes on the one that is rather effortless to cook but creamy, heavy, and savory as the result.
Today, I suggest we cook it together. I know the recipe may look complicated, but stay steadfast and we’ll succeed!
1. We’ll make the shortbread crust first. Grind the cold butter together with salt, sugar, and vanilla. After that add eggs and sift through the flour and baking powder.
2. Meticulously knead the dough so that it becomes elastic but firm enough to hold its form. Wrap it in a plastic bag and put it in the refrigerator for 40 min.
3. Put the dough through a meat grinder or roll into a layer as I did; then put it on a baking sheet and bake the pastry in an oven preheated to 190 degrees for 25 min.
4. While the pastry is cooling down, fry all the nuts on a dry skillet for a couple of minutes. But don’t forget to separate the nuts from the dried fruits (raisins) if you initially bought the mix as I did.
5. Chop 2\3 of the crusty dough by hand so that the pieces are 0.5 cm or a bit bigger. The rest of the dough is made into crumbs using a blender.
6. Next step is to make the cream. Melt the rest of the butter (190 g), and combine it with a can of boiled condensed milk; then mix the mass using a mixer.
7. Now it’s time to stir the large pieces of the crusty cookies with 2\3 of the cream, which we prepared in the previous step, with the nuts and raisins.
8. Make the cake in the shape of a hedgehog as seen in the photo. On the outside, smooth the cake with the remaining part of crumbs with 1\3 of the remaining cream.
9. Next, let’s work on the decoration. We’ll use the cream for ‘hedgehog needles'. Stir the cocoa and coffee in water. Whip this mass with the heavy cream and condensed milk using a blender.
10. Put the cream into a confectionery syringe and then make the needles on the back of the ‘hedgehog’. Sprinkle the ‘face’ with cacao, make the eyes and nose with chocolate drops. Decorate the cake with mastic and add other details to your convenience and taste. Enjoy!
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