Crouching Tiger Hidden Zebra Cake
Yesterday, Padraig got his AS level results and we were all really proud of how he did. It seems to be a tradition now that whenever any of us get results, one of the other siblings bakes a cake, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to try something new. Having just watched the first episode of ‘The Great British Bake Off’, I was quite tempted to try a cake with a hidden design but didn’t want anything that would take too long or was too fiddly as I was in a bit of a rush to make it. I remembered another programme I’d seen that I can’t actually remember the name of, but the presenter made a ‘crouching tiger hidden dragon cake’, which involves a stripy cake design – perfect! I also wanted to try piping pink-tinted white roses like on The Great British Bake Off as well, but didn’t think Patch would appreciate them on his cake, so I’ve stored that idea away for another day.
First of all, I made a generic cake mixture (the recipe can be found here, but I used 6 ounces of flour and no cocoa powder).
I then split the mixture in half (well, it was supposed to be in half but it was quite hard to judge so one bowl had more in than the other – oops!).
I added cocoa powder to the mixture in one of the bowls – I don’t think it was a specific amount, probably about three teaspoons. Enough to make it a nice chocolatey colour anyway. To the other mixture I added a few drops of vanilla essence.
Both of the mixtures were then stirred, giving me a chocolate cake mixture and a vanilla cake mixture:
After that, it was just a case of placing a spoonful of one mix on top of a spoonful of the other, creating a kind of bullseye effect.
I did this in two cake tins, at which point they were MEANT to seep to the edges. I think the person on the telly used a liquid cake mix that used oil instead of margarine though, so hers was a bit runnier.
After a bit of a think, I decided just tilting the tins would be the best way to spread out the cake mixture without disturbing the pattern.
Then they went into the oven at 200 degrees C for about 25 minutes until they sprung back up when poked gently in the middle.
While they were cooling, a made butter icing and put a few spoonfuls aside before adding cocoa powder to the rest.
I put the chocolate icing in the middle and on the top of the cake – don’t worry about losing the pretty pattern on the top, it’s the design inside when you cut into it that’s the best part!
After that, I put the white icing into an icing piper and piped a (rather wobbly) spiral on the top of the cake before using a long wooden thingy, kind of like an enlarged cocktail stick, to draw it out in lines.
The addition of a star on the top and the cake was complete.
Padraig was really pleased with it and once he cut into it, the surprise was revealed! (Although he had actually seen the cakes before they were iced so I think he guessed what they were going to be like).
I’m really pleased with how it turned out and I’ll definitely make it again. Next time I think I’ll use smaller splodges of mixture – it’ll take longer, but will hopefully make the design more intricate. If you have a go at this recipe, I’d really love to see how they turn out – take a picture of it and send it to my email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or copy a link to a blog post about it in my comment section. The great thing is they will all be completely individual depending on how you dollop the mixture in.
If you want to impress your friends, this really is a great cake to make as it’s so simple to do but looks amazing! Plus, it just looks like an ordinary cake until you cut into it. Oh, and it tastes great too!