Pudding à la Catastrophe

by Shumaila

I am sure if you have been around the food blogging word, the Zebra cake is something you would have come across and ooh’ed and aah’ed over. (And at the same time thought, why could I have not thought of such a thing!)

A unique take on the marble effect, I got introduced to this cake via this site. And I just had to make it.

And I did.

And it turned out really well. I served it when I had coffee for my friends at my place, and everyone was impressed by how the cake looked and tasted. V too loved the cake, but by the time he got to eat it in the evening, only a piece of it was left. So, I made it again (because it really is that simple to make). Once again it came out wonderful. But I did not blog about the cake, because I was not too happy with the pictures. I knew I would make it again and that’s when I would share it with you all.

Fast forward a few months.

I thought of making the zebra cake on Wednesday so that I could send it with V for his Thursday office meeting (and get a chance to take better photographs as well).

Since I have been trying to finish the huge bag of whole wheat pastry flour in my kitchen, I thought to make the cake slightly healthier. I swapped the all purpose flour for whole wheat pastry flour and since there was only low fat milk in the refrigerator, that’s the milk I used. I do not think these changes would have affected the turnout if I had been careful while adding the dry ingredients to the wet, but I was not. I did not sift the flour, nor did I gradually add it to the wet ingredients, resulting in lumps in the batter. And there was no escape from that. I tried stirring, but was afraid that I might stir too much resulting in a tough bread like cake. So I let it be.

And well, the cake had no zebra effect. I don’t know what I could call the cake now. It obviously was not a zebra cake. It did not look like a chocolate cake either, because you could see some white spots. It definitely did not look like a vanilla cake. And I was definitely not sending this to V’s office. The cake did not taste too bad, but it lacked in sweetness.

Now, the other day I made a biscuit pudding dessert for V and myself, something that the cook at my parents’ house would make quite often. He would dip digestive biscuits in coffee flavored milk/water and layer it with some whipped cream and chocolate sauce. I decided to try the technique for this cake, replacing the biscuits with cake slices and O.M.G it tasted sooo good.

V, who is not a sweets person, loved it as well. And even though he is generally diplomatic about everything, I knew he truly relished this pudding because for the first time since I know him he had less of his meal, so that he could keep some space for the dessert. Believe me, for V, that is huge!

Another testament that he really liked it came when he requested I put the pudding for his breakfast the next day. (Of course, I too had some for my breakfast!)

Seriously, this pudding is the perfect way to use up that not so perfect cake you baked. Its the answer to your problems when you have a cake that is not too sweet, or has come out too dry, OR, when it just breaks into crumbs the moment you cut into it.

This dessert is the answer to your prayers when there is lost baked cause. And the best part- it comes together in minutes.

The only negative side- I could not send it to V’s office because its too messy to eat with your hands. It needs a plate and a fork. Yup, its fancy!

So what’s with the name. Well, something this good had to be given a special name. I could not name it cake disaster pudding and do this creation justice. It had to be named something fancy and what’s more fancy than french. Hence the title (but do pardon my french!)

There is no recipe as such for this, since I did not measure anything. But I am sharing the method as clearly as I can. Although I hope you never have a cake disaster, but if you do- do try this!



  • 1 cake disaster
  • 1 1/2 cups pastry cream (or whipped cream or some mascarpone cheese whipped with some sugar)
  • 1 cup thick chocolate sauce ( use the recipe for a ganache but add a little more liquid than you usually do-  the ganache like sauce should be thick enough to set in the refrigerator)


  1. In a dish, you plan to serve your cake, put a layer (1 inch thick) of cake slices.
  2. In a cup of hot water, add some espresso powder and mix it well. Use this espresso water to brush the cake and make it moist.
  3. Add a layer of cream. I used some pastry cream that I had, and since it wasn’t enough I whipped some mascarpone cheese with icing sugar and added that as well. With the mascarpone cheese and the espresso soaked cake, this dessert reminded me of a tiramisu. The cook in our house used to whip up some cream with sugar and used that. It works as well.
  4. Top with another layer of cake. Brush it with some espresso water till its moist.
  5. For the final touch, top the layered cake with some chocolate sauce. Boil about 1 cup cream. Add the hot cream to 1/2 cup chopped chocolate.