chocolate and vanilla zebra cake (eggless)


prep 40 mins        cook 55 - 65 mins       yield 8 - 12 slices



chocolate batter (dry ingredients)


150 g (1 1/2 cups) plain or all purpose flour

4 level tbsp pure dark unsweetened cocoa powder (I like Van Houten or Valrhona if cost is no issue)

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/3 tsp fine salt


2 tsp best quality chocolate extract you can afford (if you want to amp up the chocolate flavour)

3 tbsp light vegetable oil



vanilla batter (dry ingredients)


150 g (1 1/2 cups) plain or all purpose flour

4 level tbsp full cream (full fat) milk powder

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/3 tsp salt


3 tsp best quality vanilla extract you can afford 



liquid ingredients (for both batters)


200 g (1 1/3 cups) fine granulated sugar

350 ml (1 3/4 cups) buttermilk or regular milk + 1 1/2 tbsp cider vinegar or lemon juice

150 ml (3/4 cup) cooled melted butter (about 120g or 3/4 cup softened butter will give this amount melted butter)

100 g (1 cup) unsweetened smooth applesauce (Heinz or Gerber is perfect)

3 tbsp maple syrup (you can use honey but maple syrup tastes much better)


 


Grease and line with parchment paper, a straight sided 20 cm (8 in) round cake tin. Do not grease the parchment, only the tin so the parchment stays in place. Preheat oven at 160 (310 F).


Combine and whisk together in a large bowl the dry ingredients (except for chocolate extract and vegetable oil) for chocolate batter. Set aside.


In another large bowl, combine and whisk together the dry ingredients (except for vanilla extract) for vanilla batter. Set aside. 


In a large measuring jug, whisk together all the liquid ingredients until sugar and maple syrup dissolve and butter is emulsified with other ingredients. 


Pour half  of liquid into the chocolate dry mix, add chocolate extract and vegetable oil and whisk gently until smooth and well combined. Do not over mix. 

Pour remaining liquid mixture into vanilla dry mix, add the vanilla extract and whisk gently until smooth and well combined. Do not over mix.


If chocolate batter seems thicker than the vanilla batter, gently whisk in 2 - 3 tbsp milk or water until it's closer in consistency to vanilla batter.


Using two separate cups, pour about 1/3 cup (standard English teacup) or about 1 espresso cup (those tiny coffee cups called "demitasse) of one batter into the centre of the tin, trying your best to form a neat circle. Next pour the same amount of the other batter as far as possible into the centre of the first circle of batter, without waiting for the first batter to spread out. Keep doing this, contiuously, alternating between the two batters, gradually using less and less batter as you go, until both are used up and the batter in the pan looks like a target board. 


Gently transfer baking pan to oven and bake for 55 minutes before testing with a skewer. If not done, continue baking until skewer comes out almost clean from centre of cake.


Remove cake from oven and cool in tin for 10 minutes before gently turning out onto a cooling rack. When cold, slice cleanly with a very sharp straight edged knife so the beautiful stripes are not marred. Admire appreciatively, before tucking in!


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