Heyyy there everybody! Happy first weekend of March and I hope you’re all doing amazing?
This is going to be a much shorter blog post (partially because I really just wanted to share this with you and also because I’m super stressed with uni and didn’t know how much time I’d have to write about any topic), and as you may have guessed from the title, it has something to do with hedgehogs.
For those of you who don’t know, one of the societies I’ve joined at university is called Hedgehog Friendly Campus, which is a volunteer group centred around supporting the UK’s favourite mammal – hedgehogs!! For the last two weeks, alongside the FairTrade Fortnight, there’s been a hedgehog themed bake off to try and raise awareness and money for the British Hedgehog Preservation Society. Of course, I had to take part in this – not just because I love hedgehogs, but also because who doesn’t love adorable animal themed baking? Plus I was dying for an excuse to escape my desk and mountains of work and it fit in just perfectly with my eco-friendly wildlife challenge so win-win (win?).
Soooo the two things that I decided to bake were gingerbread biscuits (my absolute favourite and so sorry but I still will not share that recipe – it will come with me to my grave), and chocolate cupcakes filled with chocolate ganache and salted caramel buttercream.
The gingerbread biscuits were definitely fun to make because it was fun trying to decide how to decorate them. Warning – the icing is not chocolate. It is just royal icing. My boyfriend was very disappointed that it wasn’t chocolate … but the sprinkles are chocolate sprinkles make up for that surely?
Now the cupcakes were a bit more complicated, but still loads of fun. I’ve never made salted caramel buttercream before (inspired by my wonderful friend Emma who may or may not have a slight addiction to the stuff) and chocolate ganache is not something I make often either. But I must say, and Emma thank you for inspiring this flavour combination, the taste of chocolate cupcake, with chocolate ganache and salted caramel buttercream was sublime.
Now I’m not going to share a whole recipe with you all in this post, because I also just used a standard chocolate cupcake recipe for this. But, the chocolate ganache recipe is super easy- equal parts of 350g or mls of chocolate and heavy cream. Heat the cream in a pot on the stove until it bubbles (be careful with the temperature so it doesn’t curdle), then pour it over the broken up pieces of chocolate and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle in some salt, whisk it together and then leave it in the fridge until it comes together at the consistency you want.
If anyone wants the salted caramel recipe I used – here it is:
- Melt 115g of butter in a small saucepan, then add 200g of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream.
- Whisk the mixture together constantly until the sugar has dissolved; allow the mix to bubble for 2-3 minutes, whisking every 30 seconds so that the sugar doesn’t burn.
- Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl and leave it to cool for at least 30 minutes.
- Whisk in 2 cups of icing sugar and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream until it comes together into an icing. You can add more icing sugar if the consistency is too thin, or add another tablespoon of heavy cream if it’s too thick.
So there you have it! This is what I spent my week doing and while I’m trying to be healthy so I didn’t really taste any of it, my family seemed to like them. If any of you can, please do go and support the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (click here) – any small donation is truly helpful because hedgehogs are now vulnerable to extinction. Lastly, what are your favourite baked goods and have you got any favourite animal themed bakery items? Let’s chat about it in the comments section – I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! Go have something delicious now with a cup of tea!!
Lots of Love
Blondey on a Mission xxx