Chocolate Cinnamon Krantz Cake

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Krantz. What is that? No idea. But I do know it is beautiful – swirls of chocolate and bread and sneaky pecans. Maybe that is all that I need to know. What combination of bread, chocolate and cinnamon would I say no to? Honestly. I just need to have some of that in my mouth. I need some of that urgently.

So this why we’re now here – to appreciate the Krantz cake I’ve just made.

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When I asked aloud in the office the other day, “Does anyone know what Krantz is?”

“German sausage!” someone shouted.

….Okay.

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Well, I might not know much about this cake that I’ve just pulled out from my oven but I sure as hell know it is not a meatloaf!

So, moving along…

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The original recipe asked for zest of a lemon. I don’t know… chocolate may go with a lot of things but I really don’t think lemon and chocolate should be friends. It’s almost like the acidity from the lemon will break the chocolate down to nothingness. Perhaps I have an over active imagination? I’m wondering if that should be a statement or a question. But never mind, we’re digressing from the real deal.

I did my research and it appears many shares my view about lemon and chocolate not being a good combination – so as they’ve advised, replace it with either cinnamon or vanilla essence. Tough choice in my opinion – can I go half and half?

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So the pressure is on once the rolling of the dough starts, getting it trimmed, leaving 2cm margin, spreading the filling, rolling the dough into a log, more trimming, and then dividing the log into two even halves. Let’s braid this, baby! I was so sure I was going to mess it up and it’ll look like a messy ball of… chocolate and something else. It’ll still be good, don’t get me wrong. I mean chocolate, bread and cinnamon… that combination can never ever be wrong. But I like pretty food. I am what they say “eat with my eyes”.

Anyway, I hope you like what you see – chocolate, cinnamon and pecan in between bread layers, beautifully plaited into an awesome looking cake.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, this slice of Krantz cake is begging to be devoured.

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Chocolate Cinnamon Krantz Cake

Recipe adapted from Seven Spoons

Makes 1 loaf

Dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 teaspoons fast-rising active dry yeast
  • grated zest of 1 small lemon (I replaced this with 1 tsp of cinnamon)
  • 1 extra-large free-range eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 75 g unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 3/4-inch / 2cm cubes
  • oil, for greasing

Chocolate Filling

  • scant 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tbsp/15 g best-quality cocoa powder
  • 65 g good-quality dark chocolate, melted
  • 1/4 cup / 60 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup / 50 g pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoons granulated sugar

Sugar Syrup

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar

Method

For the dough, place the flour, sugar, yeast and lemon zest (or cinnamon if substituting) in a mixer bowl. Mix on low speed for 1 minutes using a mixer fitted with dough hook. Add the egg and water and continue mixing on low speed for a few seconds. Increase the speed to medium and allow to mix for a further 3 minutes, or until the dough comes together. Add the salt and gradually add the butter, a few cubes at a time, mixing until it is incorporated into the dough. Continue mixing for about 10 minutes on medium speed, until dough is smooth, elastic and shiny.

Place dough in a large oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for at least half a day, preferably overnight.

Grease a 9 x 4 inches loaf pan with some oil and line the bottom with parchment paper.

To make the filling, start by mixing together the icing sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate and butter until a spreadable paste is achieved. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 15 x 11 inches rectangle. Trim the sides to make them even, position the long side of the dough closest to you. Using an offset spatula, spread the chocolate filling over the dough, leaving 3/4 inch border all around. Sprinkle the pecans on top of the chocolate, then sprinkle over the granulated sugar.

Brush a little bit of water along the border of the long end farthest away from you. Roll up the dough, starting from the long side closest to you and ending at the other long end – like you would with a cinnamon roll. Press to seal the end. Use a sharp serrated knife to cut 3/4 inch off each end of the roll. Cut the roll in half lengthways. With the cut side up, gently press together one end of each half and weave the two together. Gently press together the other ends so the dough is sealed. Carefully transfer to the loaf pan. Cover pan with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. The cake will rise only by a little – but keep calm and keep going.

Place dough in a large oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for at least half a day, preferably overnight.

Grease a 9 x 4 inches loaf pan with some oil and line the bottom with parchment paper.

To make the filling, start by mixing together the icing sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate and butter until a spreadable paste is achieved. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 15 x 11 inches rectangle. Trim the sides to make them even, position the long side of the dough closest to you. Using an offset spatula, spread the chocolate filling over the dough, leaving 3/4 inch border all around. Sprinkle the pecans on top of the chocolate, then sprinkle over the granulated sugar.

Preheat oven to 190°C, while the dough is rising. Place the pan in the middle of the oven and bake fore about 30 minutes, until a skewer/ thin blade inserted in the center comes out clean.

While the cake is in the oven, prepare the syrup. Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil. Once the sugar dissolves, remove from heat and leave to cool. As soon as the cake is removed from the oven, brush the syrup all over. It is important to use all of the syrup. Leave the cake to cool in the pan until just warm before removing from pan.

Allow to cool completely before serving.

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