I had a birthday recently. And no, I don’t share the date on social media because I believe that’s a first step to identity theft. My daughter brought a delicious coffee and walnut cake but I wanted to try to reproduce a childhood favourite and merge it with a Portuguese favourite. My mother called her version Hedgehog Cake, and the Portuguese sell theirs as Chocolate Salami. I consulted various recipes and ended up tweaking till I got this which was both easy and superb.
Really easy to make.
Condensed milk. I used a ‘normal’ small tin which is about 375g. Make sure it’s condensed, not evaporated – they’re using similar tins.
Butter. I used half a block of salted butter. About 110 g or slightly more. (A normal block is 250g)
Chocolate. I used 2 bars of dark chocolate – about 100g each.
Biscuits. I used half a packet of Marie biscuits. Any plain biscuits would do, including digestive.
Mini marshmallows. A large handful.
Sultanas. A large handful.
Put the biscuits in a polythene bag and crush with a rolling pin (or a heavy bottle) – you don’t want small crumbs but check for big bits that haven’t broken up properly. Add the marshmallows and sultanas and shake the bag to mix.
Prepare a container. I used a loaf tin but a deep foil tray or a deep plastic box would do – it’s not going in the oven. Line it with foil. This is important. It’s not to protect the container, it’s to help get the cake out when it’s set. So it needs to line the base and long sides and hang over the top.
Do all this first so that everything’s ready when the melt mixure is done.
Put the condensed milk, the butter (cut into cubes) and the chocolate (broken into pieces) in a pan, preferably non-stick. Use a low to medium heat and stir constantly but slowly while everything is melting. It doesn’t take long.
Once it’s just a gooey brown mix, add the contents of the poly bag and stir again.
Pour into the foil lined container, using a spatula or spoon to get it all, smooth the top, and put in the fridge. At least overnight and preferably about 18 hours. My mother’s was quicker but she used a shallow tray.
Turn out onto a flat board using the foil to help. I used a small chopping board but the lid of a plastic box would also work. Keep covered in the fridge. Slice as needed. It sets even better as it keeps and will slice easily with a sharp knife.
My mother covered hers with a layer of melted chocolate which I think is OTT but it’s up to you and your tastebuds. The Portuguese use a sausage shape and coat it in gold or silver wrap which you peel off each slice as served.