Time for another cake! announced the cuckoo bird...well, not really, since I love to bake as often as I can, I thought of trying out this cake which my friend Rinku highly recommended. Since there was a pot luck party at the Women's Day celebration for all mommies at my son's playschool, I decided it would be good to try it out once before the actual day. There are no lengthy stories in this post :-) I will come straight to the point and allow you to enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed making this cake. The only problem with the way my cake turned out was that the surface browned a bit cuz i have such a teeny tiny OTG (Oven Toaster Grill) in which the heating elements on the top can be a bit too harsh if you don't cover the cake with parchment paper (which I ran out of during the second time I tried it). During the first try I was too lazy to click the pictures cuz my family of three just wolfed it down to the last crumb on a lazy Wednesday two weeks ago. I intend to try it again sometime this week, cuz this cake is simply delicious! So, better pictures will follow. I simply had to post it now on request.
It's an anytime cake & keeps well in an airtight container for upto 3 days without refrigeration. My hubby dubby who loves simple cakes initially thought I was whipping up a chocolate cake (which he doesn't like to eat beyond a bite) when he saw me preparing the batter. But when I started to make the design he was convinced that this was going to be a marble cake with a twist :-) Its a breakfast, post lunch & tea time cake and a visual treat especially for little darlings like my son who cant have enough of the 'Zebra Cake' - he has a pillow in the same design :-)
Largely Adapted From: A Z Cookbook (do check out this link for the step by step method)
- 300gms flour (maida)
- 300gms sugar
- 250 ml oil (preferably odourless)
- 130 ml warm milk
- 1tsp vanilla essence
- 1/2 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp dark cocoa powder (I used Dutch processed Hintz cocoa powder)
- 4 eggs
1. Prepare a 9 inch round cake tin by greasing & dusting it with flour. You can also line it with parchment/butter paper.
2. In a large bowl beat the eggs & sugar till well incorporated (I always powder the granulated sugar in a dry grinder after measuring it).
3. Add the oil to the eggs & sugar mixture & mix till it is well incorporated. The original recipe required the milk (250ml) also to be added along with the oil - which actually makes the batter very runny & it is suggested to add extra flour which then makes the cake less sweet - so I add the milk after the flour has been incorporated and just about 130 ml is enough to achieve the right consistency which should neither be runny nor too thick. A runny batter will take slightly longer time to cook in the centre (fails the skewer test) hence the changes in the proportion of milk.
4. Sift the flour & baking powder and set aside - these are your dry ingredients
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture in three parts - alternating between flour & milk. Add the milk upto the point till you get a creamy (but not runny) consistency. You can add more than 130ml of milk if required.
6. Divide this batter into two equal parts. I weighed the batter on a weighing scale & I divided it equally into 550gms each.
7. To one portion add the cocoa powder & mix well until incorporated. Leave the other as it is. So you get two different colours. See note below
8. Now you will need to measure 3 tbsps of batter each of (brown & white batter) and drop them into the baking dish. To make things easier & faster (as you need to work quickly), use a ladle which can exactly contain 3tbsp of batter. 3tbsp of batter per colour ensures your zebra stripes turn out just right in thickness. Ideally use separate spoons for the two batters as you want to avoid mixing of colours (I used an icecream scoop & another ladle - both measuring 3 tbsp)
9. Preheat oven to 180 degrees (I preheat my OTG to 8 minutes)
10. Scoop out a ladleful (of 3tbsp) of white batter & drop it in the centre of the dish. Quickly take the brown batter & place it in the centre of the white batter. Do not shake the tin - the batters will move by themselves. Alternate between with the two batters till everything is used up. You will get a beautiful design in a circular form.
10. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or till the skewer comes out clean.
12. Remove from the oven & allow the cake to cool in the tin for about 10minutes. Invert it onto a wire rack & cool off completely.
13. Cut into pieces & serve - it is simply a delight to look at the beautiful design before munching it down to the last crumb!
Note: I have seen some cute & creative Zebra cakes with brown & pink stripes...so you can add a few drops of food colouring to the plain portion of batter. But it's totally upto you.