Recipe by Andrea Brewer
250g (8oz) castor sugar
150g (5oz) ground almonds
1 tablespoon rice flour
2 egg whites
25 whole or blanched almonds
Baking parchment paper
Tube of chocolate/chocolate flavoured icing (available online eg. choco-writers)
1. If you don’t have blanched almonds, soak whole almonds in warm water for half an hour, and they should easily come out of their skins. Then, dry them in a paper towel or clean tea towel and halve them.
2. Cut each almond half into thin shards.
3. Mix the sugar, almonds and rice flour together in a bowl and set aside.
4. Beat egg whites lightly, add the dry ingredients and beat to a smooth firm consistency.
5. Leave to stand for 5 minutes, then roll into small balls about 3-4cm diameter.
6. Take each ball, and pinch one end into a long hedgehog nose and place on the parchment on a baking tray, flattening it a little. The macaroons will increase in size and lose their shape a bit during baking, so be sure to make the nose quite pronounced.
7. Carefully stick the almond shards into the body of the hoglets, starting from the back, angling them backwards a little. Leave enough of the nose clear for the eyes.
8. Bake in a preheated moderate oven, 180⁰c (350⁰F), Gas Mark 4, for 20 minutes.
9. Cool on a baking rack. When cool, melt chocolate icing by placing tube in jug of hot water for few minutes, then draw eyes and a nose on each hoglet.