This peanut butter version of the German Kalter Hund (no-bake chocolate biscuit cake) is perfect for Oktoberfest. The peanut butter is more subtle than you’d expect but oh so delicious.
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It’s Oktoberfest in Munich! For the year 2022 it began on Saturday, September 17 and ends on Monday, October 3. Last weekend, on the 17th, our neighbor who brews his own beer threw an Oktoberfest party and I naturally had to make a dessert to bring that fit the theme.
Kalter Hund is a German no-bake chocolate biscuit cake. The name “Kalter Hund” literally translates to “cold dog” in German, but the name itself has been theorized to have passed into German through the Slovakian word hyntow (box-shaped trolley), which may reference the rectangular pans in which the dessert is often made.
This dessert is also known as a cold snout, cellar cake, and hedgehog slice. No matter the name, it is an uncooked square-shaped chocolate dessert, similar to fudge but with alternating lighter and darker areas, with the darker areas being chocolate and the lighter the biscuits. Interestingly the concept behind this dish was derived from chocolate salami.
I also read that nuts may sometimes be added, so I decided to swap out some of the butter for peanut butter and share it on this fine #PBchocSat! Besides, Ohio has the second most Americans with Germany ancestry (first is Pennsylvania), so it’s basically a double homage (and not-so-secretly I love that the name of it may have actually come from Slovakia, where half of my Dad’s side is from).
This dessert was stupidly easy to put together. Just melt the chocolate in hot cream, followed by the butter and peanut butter, then layer the butter biscuit cookies alternating with the chocolate mixture until you run out. Pop it in the fridge and let it set overnight (at least least 3 hours) before slicing and devouring the delicious loaf of chocolate (maybe after enjoying some currywurst sliders??).
By the way, since this is a retro German dessert the original recipe used grams and milliliters. I kept them since that’s technically the measurements I used (get yourself a multi-unit measuring cup and a kitchen scale), but I did also convert for those that need the US Imperial system of measurement.
- 200 grams/7 oz./scant cup semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 200 grams/7 oz./scant cup dark chocolate, chopped
- 200 grams/7 oz./scant cup milk chocolate, chopped
- 75 grams/1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 75 grams/1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- 275 mL/1 cup heavy cream
- 300 grams/15.75 oz. (1-1/2 pkg) butter biscuit cookies (Leibniz brand recommended)
- In a medium saucepan, add cream and bring to a simmer*. Immediately add the chocolate, cover, and remove from heat. Stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted. Add the butter and peanut butter and stir until smooth.
- Line a 9x5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap (leaving an overhang for easy removal later). Lay 6 cookies across the bottom of the lined pan. Evenly pour 1/2 cup of the chocolate mixture over the top of the cookies, spreading to the edges with a small offset spatula.
- Add another layer of cookies and repeat layering the chocolate and cookies until only 1/2 cup of the chocolate mixture remains. Pour the remaining chocolate over the top, smooth, and crumble any extra cookies on top. Place in the fridge to set for at least 3 hours, but overnight preferred.
- To remove, use the overhanging parchment paper or plastic wrap to lift the cake out. Cut into 3/4-inch thick slices (12 slices). Serve immediately or place back in the fridge until ready to serve.
*Alternatively, you could microwave in a microwave-safe bowl.