A Swedish Kladdkaka Recipe

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Kladdkaka translates from Swedish into English as ‘sticky cake’. The name refers to a chocolate cake that uses relatively little flour in relation to its quantities of sugar, butter and egg. Owing to this, to the mixing of the ingredients, and to the cooking time, the result is something with a sticky centre. It is a popular cake made often in Sweden and eaten just as regularly as it is made. Like semlor, buns with a whipped cream and marzipan or almond filling, which are eaten on Fettisdagen (‘Fat Tuesday’, i.e. Shrove Tuesday, which serves as Pancake Day in the UK and elsewhere); and lussekatter, saffron buns eaten on Luciadagen, St. Lucia’s Day, December 13; there is a day too devoted to the kladdkaka, which falls on 7 November.

Ingredients

  • 100g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1.5 dl plain flour
  • 3 dl sugar
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar

Notes pertaining to these ingredients

I usually use castor sugar, but you can use a light brown sugar if you prefer or if you just want to experiment in your baking or in your life. Vanilla sugar is common in Sweden, in Scandinavia taken as a whole, and in central Europe as far as I’m aware, but can sometimes be hard to find in England: you may forget the vanilla sugar, or use vanilla essence or the seeds from a vanilla pod. Add more cocoa if you want a richer cake. In fact you are free to add a variety of things depending upon your inclination: chopped hazelnuts, chocolate, orange zest, I have added all these to the basic recipe with reasonably satisfying results; though of course the more you deviate from the basic recipe, the less right you have to proclaim, ‘I have made an authentic Swedish kladdkaka!’.

Method

  • Heat your oven to 200C, or else, shall we say, 180C if your oven is with fan.
  • Mix lightly in a clean bowl the two eggs with all of the sugar.
  • Melt the entirety of the butter, and add, mixing, to the already mixed sugar and egg.
  • Blend in the dried ingredients: the cocoa, flour, salt and vanilla sugar (or alternative).
  • Put the runny, gooey mixture into a tin, tray or dish: something which is capable of baking the kladdkaka. I tend to use a square stoneware dish, 23cm in each direction.
  • Bake in the oven for around 10 minutes.

The cake should not quite be firm or springy to the touch by the time you take it from the oven; instead, it should remain sticky if penetrated with a knife or skewer. It may take fifteen minutes rather than ten, depending upon unforeseeable circumstances. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream, icing sugar, berries, whatever makes you mentally comfortable, but physically salivate.

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