krantz chocolate cake
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Krantz is a bit of a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. No idea what its name means and no, it’s not the same as Kranz – creamy ‘crown’ cake. I found my recipe in ‘Baking with Passion’ by Dan Lepard and Richard Whittington but all they say is that it’s a ‘festive German cake’.
Another puzzle is the dough – made with cream cheese of all things. I’ve since compared it to Ottolenghi’s Krantz from his ‘Jerusalem’ book, but that is different dough, probably easier to make and rise. Interesting. Might have to write to Dan Lepard.
The other difference between Ottolenghi’s and Lepard Krantz is the filling (there you have it – different dough, different filling and they call it the same cake). The one below is CRUMBLY – no way can you beautify it by slashing alongside so that the filling is nicely exposed. Ottolenghi’s uses melted chocolate so the gooey filling will let you cut the log and twist it into a wreath.
All in all it’s a lovely cake; it just won’t get me onto any food porn sites, especially the pictures of its making, see within the recipe below… And it’s easy to guess I’ll probably try Ottolenghi next Krantz time.
So it’s a recipe with hindsight. The original is below, with my comments on how it should have been made in italics.
krantz chocolate cakeServings: 1 loaf cakeTime: 3-4 hours plus overnight fermentation
- 12g fresh or 1tsp fast action yeast
- 500g strong white flour
- 1 tbsp warm water
- 150g cream cheese
- 150g soured cream
- 150g caster sugar
- 150g butter, melted
- 4 egg yolks
- a pinch of salt
- For the filling:
- 100g caster sugar
- 100g walnuts
- 100g dark good quality chocolate, chopped
- For the glaze:
- 50g caster sugar
- 50ml water
First make the starter: mix the yeast with the water and add 1 tbsp of the flour. Cover and leave in a warm place for an hour.When the starter has bubbled and risen, beat the cream cheese with the egg yolks, soured cream, melted butter and sugar using an electric mixer. Add the starter, the flour and salt and knead or beat with the mixer for about 5-6 minutes until the dough comes together, it will be rather sticky. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight. Note: it won’t rise at all. You’ll be disappointed and thinking ‘it won’t work’. I’d say leave it out at ambient temperature.
The next day bring the dough to room temperature before you start working on it. Prepare the filling: whizz the sugar and the walnuts in a food processor to a fine crumb. Mix with the chopped chocolate. Note: you might want to melt the chocolate, so it makes for a gelly, gooey filling. It will then be easier to slash the dough log, twist it and make it pretty – probably.
Roll out the dough to a rectangle about 4mm thick. Spread with the filling and roll it up tightly from a long side. Cut in half, then slice each half lengthways, exposing the filling. Twist each two pieces loosely keeping the cut side up, like a two-strand plait. Drop each piece in a buttered loaf tin, cover and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 ½ - 2 hours. Note: you won’t be able to do a nice plait with the filling spilling out and the layers coming apart. Leaving it as a log is the thing to do, if you want the crumbly filling. It also takes forever to rise.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Bake the cakes for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 160C/320F/gas 3 and bake for a further 25-30 minutes. Dissolve the sugar in the water and bring to the boil. Brush the cakes with the syrup while still hot, and then let them cool down in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out on a rack.