Do you favour a light, open-textured, easily-cut chocolate cake? One that is three tiers of ganache-filled indulgence? Well, you may as well just come back next week as this cake is none of these. If however the chocolate cake of your dreams is slightly ugly, cracked on top and is really rather unruly then, well, pull up a stool, I may just make your dreams come true.
I should mention at this point so as to keep you here for the recipe that kladdkaka is ridiculously easy to make. Not that Swedes need that as an advantage when making a cake, mind you. Any country that produces such beautiful yeasted buns as my favourite – and yet to master – cardamom bun are not exactly slackers when it comes to baking nous.
But easy is always a winner for me when it comes to baking. Especially anything that doesn’t need pretty swirls of icing, or stamping out little hearts in fondant. So, even although I am an infrequent baker of sweet things, I was very excited when, leafing through a recent copy of Waitrose magazine, I spied a come-hither image of this very cake. I read the text, realised I had the ingredients, and basically ignored the piles of ironing and the floor that needed washing so that I could make it. I have never done that before. Never. Of course it wasn’t just an excuse to delay tackling household disorder. Oh, no.
Reading further about this cake I repeatedly came across the words molten, creamy, crackly, sticky, addictive, OMG, gooey, delicious, fudgey, brownie, perfect and, um, ugly. I would agree with all of these. And I should just add “must-make.” And by must-make I mean, step over the washing and wade through the dust bunnies to make it. Ignore the phone too for timing is everything to get the perfect ratio of crackly, chocolate wafer-like crust exterior to gooey molten lava cake interior. This is what you get when you cross a brownie with a cake – chocolate nirvana, and household chaos. Thank you Sweden.
Why not get the kids to make this for (US) Mother’s Day? Or practise getting the crackle crust-melty inside just right and debut it publicly on Father’s Day? Yeah, go on and do some private practising. I did. 🙂 And btw, you can make it three-tier and lace it with ganache, but I can’t be held responsible…
Kladdkaka – Swedish Chocolate Cake
This is my version of the most popular cake in Sweden. Somewhere between a brownie and a proper cake, unleavened kladdkaka is delightfully squidgy when done as it ‘should’, but even if its interior is less than fudgy it will still be fantastic. But it is worth keeping an eye on it to achieve the proper texture of crispy exterior and gooey interior because it is quite possibly the best chocolate cake if done with this in mind. I give some slightly pedantic instructions below to help you get the perfect result. You are wanting a crackly crust and a molten interior. Sounds good, huh?
So, do save room after dinner for this one. This is supposed to serve 8, but if you can make that happen rather than gobble it between four people then you are a better person than I! Serve with berries and softly whipped cream. 100g unsalted butter, plus extra for the pan.
2 tbsp liquer of choice – e.g. Frangelica, Kirsch, Glotonia Pedro Ximenez Los Pecadillos (what I use – divine!) – optional but decrease the flour to 150g if not using
2 medium eggs
150g golden caster sugar or sucanat
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla paste
160g chestnut flour, light spelt flour or unbleached plain flour/AP flour OR gluten-free baking flour mix (I use chestnut flour – naturally gluten-free and uber yummy!)
¼ tsp fine salt
2. Melt butter; add liquer if using, then set aside.
3. Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer or with electric beaters for 4-5 minutes.
4. Sift over the flour, salt and cocoa powder and fold in lightly – no beating! Now pour in the butter and fold again until just mixed to a smooth batter.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared oven and bake in the lower part of the oven for 18-22 minutes, depending on your oven and perhaps the type of flour you’ve used. The perfect kladdkaka is one that cracks slightly when pressed. If it dents immediately it needs another minute or two. The cake will not rise as such but will puff up and crack charmingly as it cools. Cracks are good in this cake!
6. Allow it too cool a bit before cutting and eating while warm. Because I was taking the two that are shown to work I needed to cool them completely to cut them. But kladdkaka is best warm. If eating it the next day (such restraint!) do rewarm the cake on low in a microwave. You can freeze it too: defrost it in the fridge and then pop it into the oven until just warmed. Serve with softly whipped cream (a touch of vanilla is nice in the cream) and maybe some berries. I also like it with a flurry of bitter cocoa.
Oh! May 10th update: Just made kladdkaka muffins as a belated birthday treat for my daughter and her flatmates. I added 2 tbsp of dark chocolate-peanut butter spread instead of the booze, used Doves gluten-free flour mix, and cooked these petite babies for 10 minutes only.