Zebra cakes are very much like the more commonly seen swirled cake. In both cases, two toned batters, usually chocolate and vanilla meet, mingle, and became best friends.
The only difference between the zebra and the swirled cake, is in how the two best friends hooked up.
In swirled cakes, the two batters meet spontaneously. They interact carelessly with each other, creating a swirly effect that was haphazard and unpredictable. The resultant effect is no less pretty than the zebra cake, that is of course considering the swirler is
not me competent enough for the job.
The pattern in the zebra on the other hand, is more structured. The batters are poured alternately in specific amounts to get that orderly, systematic zebra-ish pattern. The kind of methodical operation that is not exactly in my blood. Geez, my own handwriting is barely legible.
Anyways, back to the cake,
To check for done-ness,
Ah, good ole’ skewer test. Where would we be without it?
Whistling clean, just the way i like it :)
You couldn’t imagine how excited i was to slice through this cake. This is one of the incidents where the real thing couldn’t quite compare to the spoof. I dont remember being this excited to see the authentic zebra horse on my first trip to the zoo.
Moment of truth time.
Honestly, i wasn’t very much impressed. This is definitely one of the prettiest zebras in the stable. Too much black, too little white. Too little spacing between the black and white. Plus the swirls are kinda squiggly.
Oh wells, let me claim the customary “A” for the effort at the very least.
So let’s get horsing around!
(Taken from AJ’s Cooking Secrets)
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (8 oz / 250 g) granulated sugar
1 cup (8 fl oz / 250 ml) milk, at room temperature
1 cup (8 fl oz / 250 ml) oil (corn, vegetable or canola)
2 cups (10 oz / 300 g) all-purpose flour
1/3 teaspoon vanilla powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs and sugar. Using a hand-held electric mixer or wire whisk beat until the mixture is creamy and light in color
3. Add milk and oil, and continue beating until well blended.
4. In a separate bowl, combine and mix flour, vanilla powder and baking powder. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat just until the batter is smooth and the dry ingredients are
thoroughly incorporated. (DO NOT OVERBEAT to prevent air pockets from forming in the batter.
5. Divide the mixture into 2 equal portions. Keep one portion plain. Add cocoa powder into another and mix well.
6. Lightly grease the pan with oil. If you don’t have non-stick baking pan, grease whatever pan you have then line it with parchment paper (baking paper).
7. The most important part is assembling the cake batter in a baking pan. This is what you do. Scoop 3 heaped tablespoons of plain batter (you can also use a ladle that would hold 3 tablespoons) into the middle of the baking pan. Then scoop 3 tablespoons of cocoa batter and pour it in the center on top of the plain batter. IMPORTANT! Do not stop and wait until the previous batter spreads – KEEP GOING! Do not spread the batter or tilt the pan to distribute the mixture. It will spread by itself and fill the pan gradually. Continue alternating the batters until you finish them.
8. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes. Do not open the oven door at least the first 20 minutes or the cake will shrink and will not rise. To check if the cake is ready, insert a toothpick into the center. It should come out clean when ready. Remove from the oven. Immediately run a small thin knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake, then invert the cake onto a cooking rack. Turn the cake back over and let cool. You can sprinkle the top of the cake with some powdered (confectioner’s) sugar or leave it plain.