Sunday, February 8, 2009
The zebra cake is achieved through such simple means that the fascination lies not in its complexity of design but in its simplicity of method. It is truly an achievement of maximum effect through minimum means.
Add a moist deliciousness to that and you will have a cake that will awe, surprise and satisfy many. I stumbled upon the zebra cake on a lovely blog by Farida called www.azcookbook.com and since then I have made it twice with the most pleasing and gratifying results that never fails to humour and entertain me no end with its uncanny resemblance to zebras. Thank you Farida!
But this time around I had replaced milk with cream and that alone had added on an extra dose of delectable moistness. The level of sweetness I have to say was just perfect in the sense that I did not have to grapple with my conscience each time I sunk my teeth into it. Of course the cream was a terribly sneaky move but I went ahead anyway because there's no butter in this recipe. It uses vegetable oil instead.
For all you zebra lovers out there here's the recipe.....
4 large eggs
1 cup castor sugar
1 cup milk (I used cream)
1 cup vegetable oil ( Iused canola oil)
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 Tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
Grease and flour a 9 inch baking pan well. Turn the oven on to 170 C.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and keep aside. Beat eggs and sugar together with a balloon whisk or the whisk attachment of your mixer until pale and creamy. Add the oil, milk/cream and vanilla essence and beat until well mixed. Turn down the speed to low and add the sifted flour and baking powder mixture and beat until just incorporated. Do not over whisk as you do not want to work up the gluten which will toughen the cake nor do we want too much air bubbles in the final mixture.
Take out just over 2 cups of the mixture and put it in another bowl and add the sifted cocoa powder to it and mix until the cocoa is well incorporated.
Scoop 3 tablespoons of the vanilla batter into the prepared cake pan, followed immediately by 3 tablespoons of the chocolate batter right in the centre of the vanilla batter and continue alternating the batters like so until they are finished.
There is no need to wait for each blob of batter to spread, there's no need to tilt or tap the pan at all. The batter will spread itself out naturally and as you add more batter the lines will become finer.
As soon as the process is completed place the pan in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
Invert, slice and enjoy your zebra cake!