Blow trumpet some more lah! Hah! Blow trumpet some more......Padan muka! After tooting my own horn here, today I have to eat humble pie. What you see is a failed Zebra Cheesecake :(
I first saw this cake at Cook With No Books and was very impressed by the look of the cake. I knew this cake is essentially a Cotton Soft Japanese Cheesecake, a cake which I failed at many times. So was the zebra striping going to change my luck? Hah! Hah! Fat hopes! This is actually my second attempt. In my first attempt, my cake turned out looking like this :
|The Frankenstein Monster of all Japanese Cheesecakes.|
Pathetic, right? It was a nice tall cake in the oven with a nice domed top. I used a 9" pan and the batter rose really high but the cake suffered major shrinkage upon cooling even though I cooled it in the oven. Let's take a look at the interior :
|F9 big failure in baking exam if I ever sat for one.|
But mind you, in spite of the super ugly appearance (if there was a contest for ugliest Cotton Soft Japanese Cheesecake, PH wins hands down) the cake tasted fabbbbulous! The texture was cottony soft, melt in your mouth with the chocolaty flavor making it even more delicious. As soon as the cake cooled, I whacked 2 big slices. Yah, yah, I am supposed to be on low carb diet but I simply couldn't resist.
|Second cake looks much better but so flat and short.|
For my second attempt, I thought that using a 10" pan might be better so that my batter won't rise too high. But guess what? The batter just sat in the pan and simply refused to rise. Every 20 minutes I ran to the oven and the cake stayed defiantly flat. After 40 minutes I knew there was no hope. I will have to contend with a very short flat cake.
|The stripes look alright.|
You see, I had a major "kesilapan teknik" (technical error) when I beat the egg whites. It has been some time since I beat egg whites and I did not want to overbeat because they would become dry and foamy. I did not realize that I still hadn't achieved stiff peaks until I mixed the batter. The stiff egg whites which should feel dense and bouncy, were very soft. Too late! I had no choice but to proceed.
I had some problems folding the cocoa powder into the batter. There were tiny lumps and I guess in future I should mix the cocoa powder with water to form a paste first. Anyhow, layering the two batters was quite enjoyable. I used two Chinese soup spoons to do the job.
|My layering not bad lah, hor?|
I was actually thinking of baking this cake for the Bake Along event, but just as well I couldn't make it. It wouldn't do to put a failed cake in an event. Or else I will get a memo from the organizers that would sound something like this : "Dear Madam Phong Hong, while we commend your irrepressible enthusiasm to be a part of our Bake Along, we regret that we have to advise you to withdraw your bakes as they you have yet to achieve our overall expected standards." In other words, "Eh, sister, please lah get a life!" Wahahaha! But the Baking Court of Appeal (if there ever was one) would beg to differ. After all, once in a while we do need some comic relief. So come, come, lets humor Madam Phong Hong :)
|Cotton Soft Japanese Cheesecake. Go ahead and laugh. Bake Along reject.|
Anyway, it was Janine's gorgeous Zebra Cheesecake which she sourced from Cook With No Books that motivated me to re-attempt this zebra cheesecake. So here it is, my little zebra cheesecake. Not perfect like the other two cakes but not that ugly either and very edible though the texture is dense and spongy.