Introducing We Should Cocoa November: The Bread challenge. And a recipe for Chocolate, Cardamom and Walnut Krantz

Chocolate Cardamom and Walnut Krantz Chocolate, Cardamom and Walnut Krantz

Perhaps you were intrigued by the 8-stranded plaited loaf on the recent Great British Bake-off series. If like me, you are less dextrous than you would like, why not try this two stranded plait. It is a Krantz. A Krantz you ask? Yes this Israeli recipe is from the most wonderful cookbook I have read in years. The new book by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, Jerusalem.

Ever since I bought this book I have been cooking from it, plotting each recipe and trying my own variations. You may have seen I made the roasted butternut last month. Well here is dessert. A sweet loaf that I defy you to resist. A slow rising yeasted sweet dough is left to rise overnight. In the morning, you roll it out, spread it with deliciousness (aka chocolate spread, nuts and other good stuff), roll it up, split it and plait it. It is not fast but it really is not that hard. I am not a baking goddess. Simple things suit me but this recipe worked a dream. I am learning that bread and yeast need patience and leaving alone. Something that my Gemini personality finds hard to do. Start this bread one Saturday night and you will be enjoying a wonderful breakfast come Sunday morning.

The idea of chocolate in bread made me think it would be a great idea to get even more such recipes. You know I like chocolate right? Well thanks to the wonderful Choclette and Chele who started off the We Should Cocoa challenge, I am hosting this month’s challenge. So I am challenging you to come up with breads or yeasted sweet dough bakes that incorporate chocolate.

You can find the instructions on the We Should Cocoa Challenge here over at Chocolate Log Blog.

Email your entries to You can also leave a comment below with your recipe linked if you wish.

Don’t forget to link to Chele’s and Choclette’s blogs and to this post please!

Now let me give you my adaptation of the Ottolenghi recipe. I’ve essentially used the same dough recipe but changed the filling a little as well as adding some flavours to the syrup glaze.

Chocolate, Cardamom, Walnut Krantz Cake (Recipe adapted from Jerusalem, Ottolenghi)

Makes 1 loaf cake

Level of difficulty: Moderate



250g plain flour

50g caster sugar

7g dried yeast

2 medium eggs

60 ml water

Pinch of salt

75g butter

Vegetable oil to grease bowl

Chocolate filling

25g Icing sugar

15g cocoa powder

65g Dark Chocolate

60g melted butter

50g walnuts

Half a teaspoon ground cardamom seeds


130g Caster sugar

80ml water

half teaspoon vanilla essence

half teaspoon lemon essence (optional)



Put the flour, sugar and yeast in a bowl of a stand mixer. Mix it thoroughly using your hands to ensure the yeast is distributed through the mixture.

Using the dough hook, start the mixer at low speed and add the eggs and water. Mix for 3 minutes until the dough forms a ball. Add salt and then the butter a little at a time. Mix for 10 minutes at medium speed until you have a smooth, elastic dough that leaves the sides of the bowl.

Put the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film and place in refridgerator overnight.

The next morning:

Grease a loaf tin.

Make the filling – combine the icing sugar, cocoa, cardamom, melted butter and melted chocolate to form a paste.

Roll the dough into a rectangle (38 by 28 cm)

Trim the edges then spread the chocolate onto the dough leaving an edge of 2cm all round.


Scatter the chopped walnuts over the chocolate

Brush water along one of the long edges and then roll the dough starting at the other way, sealing the roll at the edge that has been moistened with water.








Place the roll with the seam down, trim the edges by 2 cm and then cut the roll into two halves











Place the halves side by side, cut side up and then make a plait by lifting the right half over the left one, and continuing to the end, making a twisted rope effect.

lift into the loaf tin and leave to rise for an hour

Preheat oven to 190DegC (170Deg C for fan ovens)

Bake for 30 minutes until a knife inserted into the krantz comes out clean

Whilst it is baking, heat the sugar, water, vanilla and lemon essence in a saucepan, removing it from the heat when the sugar is melted and the syrup comes to a boil. Allow to cool.

When the krantz comes out of the oven, pour the syrup over the cake and then allow it to cool in the tin, removing only once it is warm and has absorbed all the syrup.



Categories: Cakes and Bakes, Chocolate, header, Sweet

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37 Comments on “Introducing We Should Cocoa November: The Bread challenge. And a recipe for Chocolate, Cardamom and Walnut Krantz”

  1. November 2, 2012 at 12:57 AM #

    Wow … sooo rich! Like a big old sticky bun in loaf form! How could one top that?

  2. November 2, 2012 at 6:44 AM #

    Mmm, I really shouldn’t be reading this at 6.30 am as my tum rumbles. You are cruel;D Love anything Ottolenghi (as does most anyone who knows of him) and, although not a chocolate person, a recipe like this does appeal. I was shuddering when you mentioned spreading the dough with a chocolate spread because usually these days that means Nutella, which I am allergic to, but of course it is a homemade filling, featuring a fave spice of mine, cardamom. So yay! Not sure if I will come up with something suitable for this month but I will enjoy reading others’ efforts. Btw, I beg to differ: you are a baking goddess. Caught you on the GBBO one year on show and you were fab. I was pointing at the telly going “I know her! She’s lovely!”

  3. November 2, 2012 at 6:54 AM #

    What a doof! I was getting my gorgeous friends confused! Sorry for the GBBO mistake! I just saw a gorgeous bake and thought Nazima. LOL! Retract the sentence please I feel so silly YOu are a baking goddess, so keep that though ;D

    • November 4, 2012 at 1:36 PM #

      Lol thanks Kellie I think you were thinking of Urvashi. But lovely comments so thanks v much 🙂

  4. November 2, 2012 at 8:37 AM #

    excellent, excellent idea for the challenge this month… so excited to take part xx

    • November 4, 2012 at 1:36 PM #

      That’s wonderful am sure you will make something stunning 🙂

  5. November 2, 2012 at 8:54 AM #

    Now that is one fantastic looking loaf Nazima. It’s interesting to see that a simple plait can have such spectacular results. The cardamom and nuts are a lovely addition, but it’s all that chocolate oozing out that makes it seem so appealing. You’ve set a high bar for us all to follow – eek!

  6. laura_howtocook
    November 2, 2012 at 8:56 AM #

    What a beautiful loaf and something I would love to enjoy as a breakfast with lots of coffee. This sounds like a challenge I am ready for!

    • November 4, 2012 at 1:35 PM #

      Oh yes Laura definitely a good one with coffee or tea . Even the toddler ate it for breakfast!

  7. Jacqueline @How to be a Gourmand
    November 2, 2012 at 9:03 AM #

    Gosh that looks absolutely divine Nazima. I bet it goes down really well with coffee on a Sunday morning. Isn’t Ottolenghi fabulous – I was so happy to catch his programme Jerusalem on a Plate recently on a flight. It was drool inducing as is your delicious Krantz 🙂

    • November 4, 2012 at 1:44 PM #

      Thanks Jacqueline. I need to watch the programme am sure it must be great

  8. November 2, 2012 at 11:05 AM #

    That loaf looks delicious and perfect for a weekend breakfast. I’ve made some chocolate bread in the past and it was OK but this month I’m going to work on the recipe and try and create something amazing for the challenge!

    • November 4, 2012 at 1:35 PM #

      Sounds great Jen and we will try to enter your French challenge this month too

  9. November 2, 2012 at 5:07 PM #

    Ooh! The stars have aligned as I have a bread making course at the weekend! Will flex any new techniques/tips that I learn for this 😀

    • November 4, 2012 at 1:34 PM #

      Wonderful Hannah am really looking forward to see what you make

  10. November 2, 2012 at 7:40 PM #

    Wow that sounds good and it looks amazing! I’mg going to try and give this challenge a go, bread and chocolate, sounds good!

    • November 4, 2012 at 1:34 PM #

      Yes one cannot go wrong. Am hoping lots of people share their creations!

  11. November 3, 2012 at 2:08 AM #

    I love that cardamom is in this recipe. It looks fantastic!

  12. November 3, 2012 at 8:14 PM #

    As you know, I had the pleasure of sitting next to Ottlolenghi and Sami at a pop up kitchen at Abergavenny recently, and we discussed their latest book, Jerusalem, at length! A lovely challenge, and I will see what I can do! Karen

    • November 4, 2012 at 1:32 PM #

      I know Karen you are ever so lucky, and sounded like they are so nice. Do hope you manage something. I shall be trying a celebration bake for your tea time treats x

  13. November 3, 2012 at 11:01 PM #

    Bread and chocolate is a great challenge: who does not like chocolate and bread (I’m addicted to panino alla nutella, I do not buy nutella because I can’t resist…). I like your bread:the dark chocolate and cardamom filling sounds very interesting.

    • November 4, 2012 at 1:31 PM #

      Ahhh nutella Rita. Now that is a favourite in our house too.

  14. November 4, 2012 at 9:57 AM #

    I’ve never heard of Krantz before but it looks fantastic! I’ve been meaning to check out the latest Ottolenghi recipe book…but if this is the kind of recipes included then I better get on to it! 🙂

  15. pebble Soup
    November 6, 2012 at 3:13 PM #

    Can I really, really enter by just posting my link here, wow, wonderful so here it is;postID=4468460657414378908

  16. November 7, 2012 at 10:39 PM #

    mouthwatering! This is a really yummy cake. it looks like if it came out of a very good bakery!

  17. November 8, 2012 at 5:17 AM #

    This looks so good, I simply love good chocolate filling in bread!

  18. November 18, 2012 at 10:08 AM #

    That looks fabulous, and I’m really impressed that you made your own chocolate spread for the filling. Yum, I’m loving the whole chocolate loaf thing!

  19. November 19, 2012 at 9:28 AM #

    This looks like a slice of heaven, all that gooey chocolate and the syrup glaze…delicious


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