Can A.I. Make A Better Chocolate Cake Than a Pastry Chef?

8 Jul 202212:14

TLDRIn this entertaining video, Jasmine and Ben Mims, a former pastry chef and recipe developer for Tasty, Food Network, and the LA Times, engage in a culinary challenge. Jasmine follows a chocolate cake recipe developed by an AI named Charlie, while Ben creates his own traditional chocolate cake. The cakes are then evaluated by their friend Jeri. The AI's recipe includes unconventional ingredients like red pepper, which adds an unexpected twist. Despite initial skepticism, the AI's cake is surprisingly well-received for its moistness and unique flavor profile, although some find the frosting slightly off due to the spiciness from chili flakes. In the end, Jeri prefers the AI's cake for its rich and less sweet frosting, showcasing that AI can indeed create a delectable dessert, though the human touch might still be irreplaceable for some traditionalists.


  • 🍰 **Machine Learning vs. Pastry Chef**: The video compares a chocolate cake recipe developed by a machine learning algorithm to one created by a professional pastry chef, Ben Mims.
  • 👩‍🍳 **Ben's Experience**: Ben has a background in developing recipes for Tasty, Food Network, and the LA Times, and he is also a former pastry chef.
  • 🤖 **Charlie the AI**: An AI named Charlie is introduced as the creator of the machine learning algorithm-based chocolate cake recipe.
  • 🧑‍🍳 **Human Touch**: Ben's recipe is described as an 'old-fashioned' one, implying a human touch and traditional methods in its development.
  • 🔥 **Unexpected Ingredient**: The AI's recipe includes an unconventional ingredient, red pepper, which is not typically found in a chocolate cake.
  • 🍫 **Moisture from Water**: Ben explains using water in his recipe to keep the focus on the chocolate and to add moisture to the cake.
  • 🧁 **Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder**: Ben's recipe uses baking soda instead of baking powder to keep the cake flat, which is a unique choice.
  • 🥣 **Technique Differences**: The process of combining wet and dry ingredients in the AI's recipe differs from traditional methods, with specific instructions followed by the host.
  • 🌶️ **Spicy Frosting**: The AI's frosting includes chili flakes and espresso powder, adding an unexpected spicy note to the cake.
  • 🍰 **Texture and Flavor**: The final cakes are evaluated for texture and flavor, with the AI's cake described as potentially dry but with a well-liked spicy frosting.
  • 🏆 **Taste Test**: In the end, despite the unconventional ingredients and methods, the AI's cake is chosen as the preferred one by the taste tester, Jeri.

Q & A

  • What is the main challenge presented in the video?

    -The main challenge is to determine if an AI-developed chocolate cake recipe can outperform a recipe created by a professional pastry chef.

  • Who are the two individuals making the chocolate cakes?

    -Jasmine is making the chocolate cake developed by an AI algorithm named Charlie, and Ben Mims, a former pastry chef and recipe developer, is making his own traditional chocolate cake recipe.

  • What is unusual about the AI's chocolate cake recipe?

    -The AI's recipe includes unconventional ingredients such as red pepper and a significant amount of chili flakes in the frosting, which is not a typical choice for a chocolate cake.

  • What is Ben Mims' opinion on using water in a chocolate cake recipe?

    -Ben appreciates using water in a chocolate cake recipe as it adds the necessary moisture without distracting from the chocolate flavor.

  • Why does Ben use baking soda instead of baking powder in his recipe?

    -Ben uses baking soda to help keep the cake flat, as opposed to baking powder which would make the cake rise and become more bubbly.

  • What role does sour cream play in the AI's cake recipe?

    -Sour cream in the AI's recipe serves to balance the sweetness of the cake, react with the baking soda to help it rise, and also balance the acidity of the chocolate.

  • What is the frosting made of in Ben's chocolate cake?

    -Ben's frosting is a chocolate ganache made by melting cream and chocolate together.

  • What is the final decision made by the taste tester, Jeri?

    -Jeri chooses the cake made by the AI, despite finding it a bit dry, because she likes the unique flavor profile and the velvety texture of the frosting.

  • What is the general sentiment towards AI recipes in the food community according to the video?

    -The sentiment expressed is that the food community values recipes developed from the heart and with personal touch, implying skepticism about AI recipes replacing traditional methods.

  • What is the humorous take on Charlie, the AI, at the end of the video?

    -The video humorously suggests that Charlie, the AI, might be interning at Tasty but does not have a future as a recipe developer due to the unconventional and somewhat off flavors in the cake.

  • What is the significance of the red pepper flakes in the frosting?

    -The red pepper flakes add an unexpected spicy element to the otherwise sweet chocolate frosting, which surprises the taste tester and contributes to the unique flavor profile of the AI-made cake.

  • How does the process of making the AI's cake differ from traditional methods?

    -The process is more formulaic and less intuitive, with specific and unusual ingredient choices made by the AI without the usual culinary rationale, leading to a cake with a different texture and flavor profile.



🍰 Introduction to the Chocolate Cake Challenge

The video begins with Jasmine and Ben Mims introducing themselves and the purpose of the video: to compare a chocolate cake recipe developed by a machine learning algorithm (Charlie) with Ben's own recipe. Jasmine will be making the AI-developed cake, while Ben will make his version. Jeri will taste both to determine the better one. The video also introduces Charlie, the AI, and humorously addresses a mistake in the recipe provided by Charlie, which includes an unexpected ingredient: red pepper. The participants discuss their culinary backgrounds and start the cooking process by beating butter and sugar until light and fluffy, despite some confusion regarding the sugar measurement.


👩‍🍳 The Making of Two Chocolate Cakes

The first paragraph details the process of making two different chocolate cakes. Jasmine follows the AI's recipe, which includes unusual steps like adding red pepper and a significant amount of baking soda instead of baking powder. The method is unconventional, including the use of water to melt the chocolate and butter. Meanwhile, Ben shares his traditional recipe, which starts with unsweetened chocolate and uses water for moisture, emphasizing the importance of chocolate flavor. Both recipes proceed with the addition of eggs, vanilla, and dry ingredients, with Ben's recipe featuring a mix of baking soda and flour. The humor continues as Charlie, the AI, provides literal directions, and the bakers follow them, questioning the outcome and the process.


🎂 Assembling and Frosting the Cakes

After baking, the focus shifts to assembling and frosting the cakes. The video shows how to create a chocolate ganache for the frosting and the process of layering the cakes with it. The frosting includes a surprising addition of chili flakes and espresso powder, which some participants find off-putting. The assembly process is meticulous, with attention given to creating a crumb coat and evenly glazing the cake. Despite some skepticism about the AI's recipe, there's an open-minded approach to trying the results. The frosting is applied, and the cakes are presented, awaiting the verdict from the taste testers.

🤤 Taste Test and Conclusion

The final paragraph covers the taste test conducted by Jeri, a self-professed lover of chocolate cake. She evaluates both cakes, noting the moist texture and the balance of flavors in the frosting. Jeri expresses her preference for the frosting's spiciness and richness. However, she finds one of the cakes to be a bit dry and the frosting to taste slightly off, possibly due to the chili flakes. After trying both, Jeri chooses her favorite, and there's a playful moment where the creators taste the cakes and discuss their experiences. The video concludes with a lighthearted discussion about the potential of AI in cooking and a prompt for viewers to suggest other foods for the AI to create in future videos.



💡Machine Learning Algorithm

A machine learning algorithm is a type of artificial intelligence that allows software applications to become more accurate in predicting outcomes without being explicitly programmed to do so. In the context of the video, it is used to develop a recipe for a chocolate cake, which is a novel approach to traditional recipe development that typically relies on human intuition and experience.

💡Pastry Chef

A pastry chef is a professional cook who specializes in the preparation of desserts and baked goods. In the video, Ben Mims, a former pastry chef, is presented as the human counterpart to the machine learning algorithm, creating a comparison between the traditional culinary expertise and the AI-generated recipe.

💡Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake is a dessert that is made with chocolate, sugar, eggs, and other ingredients, often featuring a rich and moist texture. It is the central theme of the video, with two versions being compared: one made by a human chef and the other by an AI algorithm.

💡Taste Test

A taste test is a method of evaluating food or drink by sampling it to determine its flavor profile and quality. In the video, Jeri conducts a taste test to determine which chocolate cake recipe—AI's or the human chef's—is superior based on her personal preference.

💡Sous Chef

A sous chef is a chef who is second in command in a professional kitchen and assists the head chef with tasks and management of the kitchen staff. The mention of 'sous chef skills' in the video is a humorous reference to the AI's role in assisting with the recipe creation.

💡Culinary School

Culinary school is an educational institution that teaches the principles of cooking, including food preparation, cooking techniques, and kitchen management. The video script references the lack of formal culinary education for the participants, highlighting the contrast between traditional culinary training and AI-generated recipes.

💡Baking Soda

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a chemical compound that is often used in baking to help doughs and batters rise. In the video, it is noted that the AI's recipe uses a lot of baking soda instead of baking powder, which is typically used for a more 'bubbly' rise, indicating a different approach to achieving the desired cake texture.

💡Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate ganache is a rich, smooth mixture made from chocolate and cream, often used as a frosting or filling in desserts. The video features the preparation of a chocolate ganache to frost the cakes, emphasizing the importance of temperature and emulsification in achieving the right consistency.

💡Espresso Powder

Espresso powder is a concentrated form of coffee that can be used to add a strong coffee flavor to recipes without the addition of liquid. In the video, espresso powder is added to the ganache, contributing to the complexity of the cake's flavor profile.

💡Chili Flakes

Chili flakes are ground dried chili peppers that add a spicy kick to dishes. The script mentions the addition of chili flakes to the ganache, which introduces an unconventional twist to the traditional chocolate cake, aiming to balance flavors and add a unique element to the AI-generated recipe.

💡Crumb Coat

A crumb coat is a thin layer of frosting applied to a cake before the final layer of frosting. It helps to seal in crumbs and provides a smooth base for the final layer. The video demonstrates the application of a crumb coat as part of the cake decorating process.


Jasmine and Ben Mims, a former pastry chef, are going to bake chocolate cakes using two different recipes: one developed by a machine learning algorithm and the other by Ben himself.

The machine learning algorithm, named Charlie, suggests an unconventional ingredient, red pepper, for the chocolate cake.

Ben's recipe starts with unsweetened chocolate, a full stick of butter, and a cup of water, emphasizing the chocolate flavor.

Ben explains the use of water in his recipe, which adds moisture and keeps the focus on the chocolate.

The machine learning algorithm's recipe uses a lot of baking soda instead of baking powder to keep the cake flat.

Sour cream is added to the algorithm's recipe to balance the acidity of the chocolate and help the cake rise.

Ben's recipe includes a step of melting butter and chocolate together, which is a common technique in chocolate cake making.

The algorithm's frosting recipe calls for espresso powder and chili flakes, adding a spicy note to the cake.

Jasmine expresses her skepticism about AI recipes, believing that food made with heart cannot be replicated by a machine.

The cakes are baked at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes, a standard baking time for this type of cake.

Jeri, the taste tester, finds the frosting on Ben's cake to be less sweet and very good, while the algorithm's cake tastes a bit off.

The presence of chili flakes in the frosting is discovered, which Jeri found to add a hint of spiciness that she enjoyed.

In the end, Jeri chooses Ben's cake over the AI-made cake, citing a preference for its moistness and lack of chili heat.

The video concludes with a humorous note, suggesting that Charlie, the AI, only gets an internship at Tasty, implying that human chefs still have the edge.

The experiment raises questions about the role of AI in the culinary arts and whether it can replicate the nuances of human-created recipes.

The video is a fun and insightful look into the potential and limitations of AI-generated recipes in the context of baking.