I’m a week late with this post (a busy schedule was the reason). This cake was my son’s present to his daddy on the Father’s day. About a year ago Tim brought a book from his kindergarten. He had just started reading on his own and was excited about every new book. This one was lovely. It was called “The Hedgehog bakes a cake” by Maryann Macdonald.
The Hedgehog decided to bake a cake. His friends showed up, everyone with very “useful” tip how to make it better. It’s not difficult to predict what followed next. Yes, with all the “help” of the “experts” the cake turned rather terrible and the kitchen – messy. But not ready to give up (the first moral to be learned) the Hedgehog started all aver again, this time – on its own. This time he followed the recipe precisely and measured the ingredients carefully (another great tip for kids to remember). And, of course, the cake baked beautifully. The Hedgehog threw a tea party and all his friends were invited. Everyone enjoyed a slice of cake believing that the baking success was entirely depended on their participation. The kind and loyal Hedgehog let them think so…(the best part of the story, I think). If you are still here I’m about to conclude. Tim loved the story. But he was absolutely delighted to find the recipe of the cake the Hedgehog generously shared on the last page of the book. Sure, Tim wanted to bake it right away. And he did, with some of my help. I resisted an urge to change the recipe a bit here and there, and we made it as is. It turned out to be delicious. May be the secret is in the little child’s light touch… Tim copied the recipe and the cake became his very own specialty. He really mastered it over the time, the cake doesn’t have an egg-shell crunch anymore.
I found it to be a great project to do with children. The book is definitely worth to read and the recipe is just the right complexity for a little kid. If you have a child of a certain age I encourage you to find and read this story. There is probably a good chance your local library has it available. Below is the typed Hedgehog’s recipe if someone decides to give it a try.
Makes one, 8-inch round cake, about 8 servings
- ½ cup (4 oz, 1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature + 1 tbsp, melted – for buttering a pan
- ¾ cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1¼ cups self-rising flour (to substitute sift together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tbsp baking powder, and ½ tsp salt, then measure the required amount)
Center an oven rack and preheat it to 350F. Brush the inside of an 8-inch round pan with melted butter and dust with flour. Cut a circle from parchment paper and fit it into the bottom of the pan. Set the pan aside.
Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until well combined and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one. Add the vanilla extract. Mix in the flour just until no more flour visible. Put the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it with a spoon. Ask your mother (or father) to put the pan in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean (ask your parent to perform this test).
Cool the cake on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Then, wearing oven mittens, turn the cake out of the pan. Enjoy it warm with milk and fresh berries (if available).