Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Zebra Cake


I baked this Zebra Cake last Saturday, a day before the water rationing began in my neighborhood. Before leaving for work, I laid out my arsenal of baking tools on the dining table. The flour, sugar and cacao powder were all weighed and kept in containers. I also lined my baking pan in advance so that when I got home I could immediately spring into action. How's that for efficiency?

Did not get clean cuts as I did not chill the cake before slicing.

All I needed to do when I got home was to separate the eggs and melt the cream cheese. I think this is what I will do from now on when I work weekends. I was quite eager to re-attempt this cake because as you know, my first Zebra Cake did not turn out too well. 

In spite of securing with double layer of heavy duty foil, water seeped into the pan :(

I have not replaced my 8" springform pan yet and therefore had to take the risk of using a pan with a loose removable bottom. I had used this pan earlier to bake Cotton Soft Japanese Cheesecake and though the cake turned out a lot better than my previous attempts, the bottom of the cake was wet. This time, I made sure I wrapped the pan with two layers of heavy duty aluminum foil right up to the rim of the pan. And to secure the foil, I tied a piece of twine around it (very kiasu).

Poor layering. Inconsistent and messy looking.

Preparation of the batter was not too difficult and this time I managed to get almost equal amounts of the plain and chocolate batter. However, I did not do the layering that well. It was uneven. In fact my layering in my first attempt was a lot better.

My first attempt. The layering was a lot more consistent

When the cake got into the oven, it was fingers crossed that it would turn out better this time. The cake did not seem to rise and I think the removable pan dislodged itself due to the heat from the waterbath. I was hopeful that water would not seep into the pan. When I took the cake out of the oven, I almost fainted. So much water spilled out when I tilted the cake pan! Arrgh!!!


There wasn't much I could do except to flip the cake and then sit it on a plate lined with a thick layer of kitchen towels. It was really disappointing to have a cake with a soggy bottom. Other than that, the cake looked alright. The top was smooth and dry and there was minimal shrinkage.


I managed to salvage the cake and though the bottom may be on the soggy side but the rest of the cake was far from inedible. I should have chilled the cake before slicing to get clean cuts. But I did not want to wait. Another reason was because I was running to and from the TV while slicing the cake because Law and Order was on. LOL! As you can see, it was not well sliced. 


Some parts of the top got stuck to the plate when I flipped it, hence the pockmarked look.

This is a cake with incredibly soft and melt in your mouth texture and it is insanely delicious. I can eat half the cake in one sitting but of course I didn't. 


I consider this bake a near success and I hope to perfect it in the next attempt. Check out my previous slice below :

Flat and dense.

Major improvement huh? By the way, the next morning at Aeon, I got myself a brand new 8" springform pan. I really can't wait to bake my next cake!










Zebra Cake
Recipe source : Adapted from Cook With No Books

Ingredients : 


50g butter
250g cream cheese
120ml milk

140g fine granulated sugar
30g superfine flour (or ordinary cake flour)
20g cornflour
2 tablespoons cacoa powder mixed with 2 to 2.5 tablespoons hot water to form a runny paste
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

6 egg whites
6 egg yolks

Method :
1. Melt cream cheese, butter and milk over a double boiler.
2. Cool the mixture and fold in egg yolks, flour, cornflour and mix well. Strain mixture to remove lumps.
3. Add cream of tartar to the egg whites and whisk until foamy.  Gradually add sugar and continue to whisk until stiff peaks.
4. Take 1/3 of the egg white mixture and fold into the strained egg yolk mixture to lighten it.
5. Then add the egg yolk mixture into the egg white mixture and mix well. 
6. Divide batter into 2 equal portions.
7. Into one portion, add the cacoa paste and fold ro mix evenly.
8. Using two ladles, ladle the batter into the pan, alternating between the two batters until all the batter is used up.
6. Bake the cake in a water bath for 1 hour and 20 minutes at 140C.
7. When the cake is done, leave it in the oven for 15 minutes and thereafter leave the door ajar for 20 minutes.
8. Remove the cake from the oven and cool for 30 minutes before removing it from the pan and peeling off the baking paper.


54 comments:

  1. Thumbs up on efficiency for sure! Very nice and soft cake you've got there

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Victoria! There's a lot of room for improvement.

      Delete
  2. Great improvement! The zebra patterns are neat. Can't wait to see your next Zebra cheesecake attempt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Vivian! I think so too. I will try this cake again.

      Delete
  3. Hye, saya suka baca blog awak, baru-baru ni saya ada buat blog harap awk boleh singgah dan follow blog saya. awksweetgitu.blogspot.com :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Taufiq! Betul ke awak suka? Saya dah singgah kejap tadi. Awak ni lucu boleh buat pembaca ketawa :D

      Delete
  4. Look nice and cottony-soft cake.Must be tasty ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Esther! It is cottony soft but I didn't taste any :( But from past experience, this is my best nom-nom cake :D

      Delete
  5. I made a very similiar zebra cake as my second cake ever! Thank you for reminding me this recipe, I hope to do it soon again
    why you are having water rationing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ola, I look forwards to seeing yoru zebra cake! We are having water rationing because the level of water at the dams are very low due to the dry and hot weather. We are hoping for rains at the catchment area so that the water reserves can be replenished. Hopefully very soon!

      Delete
  6. Good attempt! Your cheesecake looks perfect to me :)
    Maybe next time you can use a heavy aluminium foil, is better than the normal one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Ann! Yes, I will make sure to put a thicker layer of the heavy duty aluminum foil.

      Delete
  7. The stripes look so pretty this time and the cake is tall too. Major improvement indeed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I am happy with my progress. I am so motivated to bake another cake but this water rationing situation is very disruptive!

      Delete
  8. wow, so MANY photos of that zebra cake!! and you are making me hungry and drooling.. i love cakes, basically any types of cakes!! but hey, thought you cannot have carbo?? kekeke..

    BTW, what is the difference between zebra cake and marble cake?? they look similar to me..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi SK! Yes, no carbo for me, that is why I didn't eat the cake :( All given away. The difference between zebra cake and marble cake is the patterns. As you can see, the zebra one has stripes whereas the marbled ones have random patterns. But both taste good!

      Delete
  9. Very good attempt and the stripes look good to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Cheah! I will try to improve on the layering next time.

      Delete
  10. Looks so soft and delicious, beautiful zebra pattern too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! The cake is very soft and moist. Took a lot of self-control to resist eating!

      Delete
  11. Phong Hong your cake looks yum yum l think l should be able to eat half of it at one go .You are so gajen get everything all ready before you start to bake your cake.Cannot think about putting on weight just eat and enjoy life or else life is not worth it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EE, you were the one who taught me about putting everything on the table, remember? But most of the time I hentam-hentam. Sometimes can't find the ingredient hah...hah...

      Delete
  12. I think your cheese cake is pretty indeed! I have not eat cheese for quite a long time...miss cheese

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jozelyn! It is time you baked a cheesecake!

      Delete
  13. Gawd, it really looks like a zebra in your first photo.. Err, I know this sounds silly, but, is there anyway to make this cake black & white, instead of brown & yellow? Anyone uses black coloring for baking?

    Canggih name for a marble chocolate cheese cake, but I like the name zebra cake.. Really attracted my attention wor..

    Wait, I'm confused at the poor layering picture and the first attempt picture.. You mean you did twice? First time the layering was messy, you threw everything away and made another batter? Or?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Louiz! Actually I have never seen a black cake hah..hah...but I think can be done. These days, people use charcoal powder in breads and also cakes. So a black and white stripes cake quite possible. But some people in my house pantang lah.....

      OK, my first attempt was done some time ago. So that photo was a recycled photo. Hee..hee...cannot throw away because cream cheese is expensive. But it turned out all right. As long as can eat, no problems :)

      Delete
  14. Hi Phong Hong,

    I'm happy to see that your zebra cake is very nicely striped and fluffy!!! Is this because you are baking it with your lucky baking pan?

    Getting very ready for baking and spring off into action... You sounded like Jamie Oliver!

    Zoe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Zoe! As they say, experience is the best teacher. This is a result of the many, many, cottonsoft Japanese Cheesecake that I had thrown into the bins earlier hah...hah....I learnt a lot from my mistakes one of which was my reluctance to use a waterbath. Now I know that for this type of cake, a waterbath is mandatory! Oh, I so love watching Jamie Oliver in action :D

      Delete
  15. Girl, have your tv switch off please, hahaha, just joking! I wouldn't mind of the wet bottom & would beg you to share this cake with me. There is no shrinkage to me from the pictures & well done, you have done a great job! Eh, the diet is over now meh, hahaha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jessie, you are right lah. When baking must concentrate fully and not be distracted by the TV hah...hah...I would love to share this cake with you but with the wet bottom it will be a bit soggy. Next time, OK? My diet not over yet (so torture!) and believe it or not, I did not eat even one bite of the cake LOL!

      Delete
  16. Hi Phong Hong, your zebra cake look good, very nice and neat layering. Keep up the good job and efficiency. :)) This cake is great to go with coffee.

    Have a nice day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Amelia! I am trying to be more efficient so that I can get more cakes baked hah...hah.....

      Delete
  17. Phong Hong, mind sharing a piece? I usually get the basics done before leaving the house so that when I come home, I go straight to complete the baking or cooking. Otherwise, I may end up doing nothing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kimmy! Sure I will share a slice or two with you! But this cake has a soggy bottom so you better wait for the next one. You are very efficient and organised and that's they way to do it!

      Delete
  18. Wow, Im impressed with your zebra print for this cake. Looks so perfextly done. Im sure the cakes taste is as good too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mel! Yes, I am pretty sure the cake tastes very good although I didn't taste it :)

      Delete
  19. That looks perfect - the zebra prints. Well done. Hmmmm...how are you coping with the water rationing? Keep everything, wash every two days? I know the shops are resorting to disposables, no water to wash.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Arthur! The water rationing is bearable in the sense that we get water every two days instead of no water at all. So I have to come up with strategies to cope with the situation like making my meals very simple. I use paper plates and even disposable plastic gloves LOL!

      Delete
  20. Hi Phong Hong,
    Your zebra cake looks perfect to me. I can imagine how you must feel with the soggy bottom! Now that you have got yourself a new pan, I'm sure you are just itching to use it! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Joyce! Oh yes, I can't wait to bake this cake again with the new pan. Hopefully no more wet bottoms!

      Delete
  21. Oh my goodness what a dramatic slice of cake! I might try my hand at this for a zoo-themed birthday party in the future! The kids would love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Monica! Yes, I think the kids would be fascinated by the stripes. I'll keep an eye on your space for the cake :)

      Delete
  22. Hurray! I think with your new pan it will be a perfect bake for u the next time :D

    ReplyDelete
  23. Practice makes perfect LOL...ahem ahem..tak habis makan baling here :p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heh...heh....suma pun mou chor! All gone, habuk pun tarak :D

      Delete
  24. Hi Phong Hong, To me, this zebra cake of yours is perfect! You know, I don't know how to bake cakes, shhh.. (so shy) and you are so much much better than me!! The cake does look moist and sort of melt in the mouth. I like the zebra stripes. You did it perfectly nice. Well, you give me the inspiration to take my first step to bake a cake soon. Now you know why you can't find any baking in my blog, hahahha...Thanks for sharing, Phong Hong and cheers :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ivy, thank you for your compliments! You can bake a cake too, it is a matter of taking that first step. That was how I started. I can't remember how many cakes were thrown into the rubbish bin along the way hah...hah....but that's the way to learn. I will looking out for your first cake :)

      Delete
  25. I think this looks fabulous! And I have definitely done that same thing with Law and Order :p
    I was looking for a recipe to put in my "Z" section of my recipe collection, I should give this one a try :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cathleen! Looks like we are among the die hard Law & Order fans! I would love to see your Zebra Cake soon :)

      Delete
  26. It honestly looks perfect to me! I can see that its melt in the mouth!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thanks for ur recipe, i have tried and it is worth..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so glad to hear that, Naila!

      Delete