Home made cakes always had been alluring for me though I had had not much of it in my childhood. May be because I was born in a land where baking cakes at home was not that popular. People turned towards shops which sold cakes rather than bake them at home. And rarely did the homes have a fellow called 'oven' where you could bake a cake like the Europeans did. Still there were traditional ovens where cakes were made in a deep pan with firewood at the bottom of pan and coconut husk embers on top. Traditional cakes like the 'Kalthappam' used to be prepared in it.
Later when time went by, slowly the cooking cultures, thought to be immiscible, began to marry... and people started baking English cakes in the traditional ovens... Later electric oven came, a thing which had a weired look like a UFO and we children were warned not to approach it while in switched on condition. Thank God, it was not a hulk like the old computers or it would have scared our vits out.. Still, when the aroma of the cake being baked in it hit our nostrils, we used to get an urge to go and examine what's going on .. but the 'danger' 'inapproachable' orders held us back on second thoughts. I don't have an idea, where the 'UFO' is now, but it still imparts a faint and distinctive flavour to my baking thoughts... a flavour which leans more towards a nostalgia.
Those cakes were not much like those bought from the shops but yet we children loved it nevertheless and took it to our play hub where we would act at being some child detectives eating the home made cake in a secret place like the 'secret seven'.
I have a feeling that if I where born in a western country I would have been the 'cake lady of the neighbourhood' because the love for baking is in my blood... though I didn't have much chances earlier. That was why I started experimenting with those recipes, as soon as I could keep a hand on the oven I call my own.
While looking for cake recipes, the looks of the cakes were as seducive as their ambeance for me. So, beautiful cakes had a way with me always. When I say, I collected this recipes of the Zebra cake after it caught me off guard by its enticing looks, it is not an over statement. This cake is a real stunner in looks. But don't think the looks deceived me ... It had an inner beauty too... was as yummy as it looked... I got it originally from Farida Azerbaijani's blog... By the way it's an awesome blog! I came across it when I was simply blog hopping.. If you are interested, have a look at it. But I made slight changes in the recipe to suit my taste. Here is the recipe...
(Well, this cake was specially made for the 'official' launching of Kitchenboffin in my hubby's office. His buddies have been bugging him to bring something for them, ever since they saw my recipes on the blog :) )
Things you need:
2 cups plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
3 tbsp cocoa powder
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 1/4 cup castor sugar
1 cup vegetable oil ( canola or corn oil or sunflower oil)
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup milk at room temperature
1 pinch salt
Grease and line a 9 inch deep round cake pan. Preheat the ovento 160 degree C, ten minutes before baking.
Combine sugar and eggs and beat with a hand whisk or electric whisk until it becomes thick and fluffy, and pale yellow in colour.
Add in milk and oil and beat for 30 seconds until thoroughly combined. Add in vanilla essence and beat again.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder and mix well.
Add this flour mixture to the wet mixture and beat just until combined and no dry flour is visible. Take care to add the flour little by little to avoid lumps being formed.
Divide the batter into half . In one half add sifted cocoa powder and mix well. Leave the other half plain.
Now pour 3 tbsp of plain flour batter in the center of the pan. When it starts spreading out, pour 3 tbsp of cocoa batter in its center. Pour the two batters alternately until all is used up.
Place the pan in the center of the oven and bake till done. Examine the cake by inserting a bamboo skewer in the center. If it comes out clean, it's done.For me it took almost 45 minutes. Take care not to open the door of the oven for the first 20 minutes or the cake will not rise properly.
Take it out and allow to cool on a wire rack. Mean while detach the sides of the cake from the baking tray with a knife. Transfer it to the serving plate. Cut and serve.