Friday, May 28, 2010

Who knew that hedgehogs were so tasty?

hedgehog 001

Ah, the Hedgehog slice... it's a childhood favourite for me. I love that fact that you get to bash a whole heap of biscuits to make biscuit crumbs and that it is no bake! I have to admit that I have had my fair share of kinda dry and tasteless hedgehog slices so here's my recipe for delicious, chocolatey and nutty goodness!

I base my Hedgehog slice recipe on the never fail one from Cookery the Australian Way Book.

Miss Mardi Hedgehog goodness: (I use a baking paper lined 27 x 18cm tray for this recipe
  • 240g of sweet biscuits crushed, I use one packet of Arrowroot biscuits, generally the Aldi brand ones.
  • 3/4 cup of well chopped walnuts.
  • 1/2 cup of caster sugar
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of good quality cocoa powder (I use cadburys)
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2 tablespoons of shredded coconut
  • 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla essence.
  • 175g of margarine (I use an olive oil based one)
How to:
  1. pop your biscuits into a plastic bag, then beat with a rolling pin to make crumbs. I like a combination of breadcrumbs and some chunkier pieces.
  2. put crushed biscuits into a bowl with the chopped walnuts and the coconut.
  3. in a small saucepan add margarine and caster sugar, heat gently until the margarine has disolved.
  4. take off heat and add the cocoa and vanilla. Stir well until shiny and well combined. During this time, the mixture is cooling. When slightly cooler, add the beaten egg and quickly combine.
  5. add the wet mixture to the biscuit mixture and combine well.
  6. press mixture into the pan with a metal spoon, press well so it is flat!
  7. place in the fridge until chilled and hard.
  8. remove from pan and cut into squares.
I keep my hedgehog in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. Trust me, it will be eaten well within 2 days!

I have often wondered why this slice is called Hedgehog? Does anyone know?!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The joys of a perfect martini...

I'm going to slightly blame my New York City friend Billy for this as I got a message from him saying "I'm drinking a Belvedere with soda and thinking of you". My mind went back to all those times that I've enjoyed Belvedere vodka in my favourite city and wouldn't you know it, I was craving a perfect dirty Belvedere martini!

Dirty martini

What is a girl to do when this happens? Well lucky for me, I could pop across the road to Baranows Lounge and get the delightfully cheeky Leigh Oliver to whip a couple up for me. I have to say that it had been awhile since I have enjoyed a dirty martini seeing the vodka gibson has been my drink of choice for awhile but that slightly salty, yet creamy from the grain vodka liquid sure hit the spot. I may have enjoyed three but I'm sure a bartender never tells? (Right Leigh!)

I don't even remember when I first started drinking martinis. I can remember some badly made martinis and I can remember when I get perfection in a glass. I believe that everyone enjoys their martinis differently. Some people prefer really dirty, others heavy on the vermouth. So for me, here is what I call a perfect martini.

  1. It must be made with Belvedere vodka... the grain based alcohol gives a slightly creamy nature to the drink.
  2. light on the vermouth. I often at home pour it into the glass, run it around so it coats, tip it out and then ice the glass.
  3. lightly dirty. I like around 2 bar spoons of brine from the olives. Just remember that they can't be any oil in that brine! You don't want an oil slick on your martini.
  4. I always have 3 olives in my martini, it's part superstition and part aesthetics. The olives can't be too big (like giant Greek olives) they must be green olives too. My favourites are a Turkish olive stuffes with an almond. The flavour and brine added to the dirty martini gives a slightly nutty effect which I go crazy about!
  5. Glassware. It's a martini as it's in a martini glass... the glass must feel good in your hand, have an appropriate thickness to the glass but not too thick and it must be classic looking.
Gosh, all this talk of martinis is making me thirsty! I think I'll be heading back to the bar about now! (Leigh, you can start getting one ready... I'm heading over! )

You may also find this delicious!

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