This Swedish Kladdkaka is one of the most popular and ubiquitous cakes in Sweden. In Swedish, it means "chocolate cake" but this cake has one distinct quality - its incredibly gooey and sticky texture. The key to achieving this glorious stickiness is the brief baking time. Apart from that it may just be one of the easiest cakes that you'll make as it is really just a matter of mixing everything in a bowl together. The texture is something between a cake and a brownie with a lovely gooey centre and a slightly crackly crust. It is also called a chocolate mud cake although Australian and American mud cakes then to be heavier and denser than this.
One advantage to this cake is also one of its possible disadvantages. There is no actual chocolate in this cake, just cocoa, so it is perfect for those days where you don't have chocolate in the pantry (admittedly the last time this happened was in 2013 and we call the "the dark week of 2013" ;). Perhaps next time I would add chocolate into this although that might make it less of a Kladdkaka and more of an adaption of it. I'm not entirely sure how tied to this cake Swedes are. I also added cardamom in it because I can't leave well enough alone and because it is a popular Scandinavian spice to bake with.
This cake was a special order birthday cake for my trainer Nina. This year she made me pomeranian cupcakes which looked fabulous and tasted pretty good. The cupcakes were made of parsley which was just a bit strange but not unpleasant. She in turn asked for a cake "covered in leaves". "Real leaves or fake ones?" I asked. "I don't mind," she shrugged. I'm still not sure why the leaves and when I asked her she said "I don't know, I just wanted leaves". So I googled leaf cakes and this one came up...
It took me a while to get my idea for this cake together. She loves chocolate but won't eat a lot of things so it had to be at the least gluten free and use coconut oil if possible. I ended up choosing to make a Kladdkaka because it could be adaptable to her needs. I couldn't do the low sugar thing but I figured that it was at least missing a blanket of icing.
I've always wanted to make chocolate leaves as they're such an easy way to decorate a cake. You simply paint the back of fresh or fake leaves with chocolate and allow them to set and then peel the leaves back to reveal a perfectly veined leaf rendered in chocolate. These proved to be the easiest thing ever. My first Kladdkaka was a bit of a disastrous pancake. I was given a recipe that a friend printed off the internet and was supposed to be great but it just wasn't. My second one was perfect but I actually dropped it taking it out of the springform tin! Feeling slightly cake cursed I felt relief that at least the leaf flowers worked (albeit they're a bit of a strange shade of green!).
So tell me Dear Reader, do you always have chocolate in your house? And if you could ask someone to make you any sort of cake, what would it be? Have you ever tried Kladdkaka?
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Sticky Swedish Chocolate Cake (Kladdkaka)
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 14 minutes
- 1.5 cups plain all purpose flour (you can also use chestnut flour if you want to make this gluten free)
- 50g/1.7ozs. cocoa powder
- 1.5 cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon finely ground cardamom
- 170g/6ozs. butter, melted (I used coconut oil)
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
To make leaves on Top
- 100g/3.5ozs. white chocolate
- Green food colouring (must be fat soluble, powder is best. Unfortunately most colouring gels and liquid won't work and will cause chocolate to seize)
- Edible leaves (rose leaves are good) or artificial ones with realistic veins
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line a 20c,/8inch springform tin on the base and sides. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl. Whisk them together with the brown sugar, baking powder and cardamom.
Step 2 - Whisk the melted butter and eggs together. Make a well in the dry ingredients and stir in the butter mixture in two lots making sure to get the flour at the bottom of the bowl. Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 14 minutes. The top should be set but the centre should be wobbly. Cool on the benchtop and then place in the fridge.
Crack revealing the gooey centre that appeared after I dropped it!
Step 3 - Melt white chocolate over a double boiler. I've found that microwaves don't tend to work on white chocolate as well as it is so heat sensitive. Add the colouring and stir. Using a teaspoon ladle some chocolate onto the back of the leaves. Make sure there isn't any chocolate on the other side as that will make the leaf more difficult to lift. Set hard in the fridge and then gently peel back the leaf. Place on top of cake.