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, engage in a culinary challenge to determine if an AI can outperform a human in making a chocolate cake. The AI, represented by 'Charlie', provides a recipe with unconventional ingredients like red pepper, which is met with skepticism. Despite the doubts, the team follows the AI's directions, leading to a cake with a unique flavor profile, including a spicy chocolate ganache frosting with chili flakes. After baking and decorating, taste tester Jeri samples both cakes and, despite finding the AI's cake a bit dry, appreciates its moist and less sweet frosting. Ultimately, she chooses the human-made cake for its superior moistness and lack of chili heat. The video concludes with a lighthearted discussion about the potential and limitations of AI in the culinary arts.


  • 🍰 **Machine Learning Recipe**: The video compares a chocolate cake made from a machine learning algorithm's recipe against a traditional recipe by a pastry chef.
  • 👩‍🍳 **Pastry Chef's Recipe**: Ben Mims, a former pastry chef, shares his old-fashioned chocolate cake recipe, which is considered to have stood the test of time.
  • 🔍 **Unconventional Ingredients**: The machine learning algorithm suggests ingredients like red pepper, which is unconventional for a chocolate cake recipe.
  • 🍫 **Chocolate Melt**: Both recipes start by melting chocolate, with Ben using unsweetened chocolate and butter with water, while the machine learning recipe does not specify the method.
  • 🥚 **Eggs and Sugar**: The machine learning recipe calls for beating eggs and sugar until light and fluffy, a standard step in many cake recipes.
  • 🧂 **Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder**: Ben's recipe uses a significant amount of baking soda to keep the cake flat, contrasting with the typical use of baking powder for a rise.
  • 🌶️ **Spice Addition**: The machine learning recipe introduces chili flakes into the frosting, which is an unexpected twist in a dessert recipe.
  • 🥣 **Sour Cream Ingredient**: Sour cream is used in Ben's recipe to balance the acidity of the chocolate and react with the baking soda to help the cake rise.
  • 🍰 **Cake Texture**: The machine learning algorithm's cake is described as potentially having a cookie-like texture due to its heaviness.
  • 🎂 **Frosting Technique**: Both recipes create a chocolate ganache for frosting, but the machine learning recipe includes espresso powder and chili flakes for added flavor.
  • 🤖 **AI in the Kitchen**: There is skepticism about AI recipes capturing the nuances of taste and soul that come from human-created recipes.

Q & A

  • What is the main topic of the video transcript?

    -The main topic of the video transcript is a comparison between a chocolate cake made by a machine learning algorithm and a chocolate cake made by a professional pastry chef, with a taste test to determine which one is better.

  • Who are the individuals involved in making the chocolate cakes in the transcript?

    -The individuals involved in making the chocolate cakes are Jasmine, Ben Mims, and Charlie, who is an AI system.

  • What is Ben Mims' background according to the transcript?

    -Ben Mims is a former pastry chef who has developed recipes for Tasty, Food Network, and the LA Times.

  • What is the AI system Charlie's role in the video?

    -Charlie's role in the video is to provide a recipe for a chocolate cake developed by a machine learning algorithm and to assist in the baking process.

  • What is the unusual ingredient that Charlie's AI recipe calls for in the chocolate cake?

    -The unusual ingredient that Charlie's AI recipe calls for is red pepper, which is not a typical component in a chocolate cake recipe.

  • What is the difference in the approach between Ben's recipe and Charlie's AI recipe?

    -Ben's recipe is an old-fashioned chocolate cake recipe from the '70s and '80s, which starts with unsweetened chocolate and uses water for moisture. Charlie's AI recipe, on the other hand, provides a more unconventional approach with ingredients like red pepper and a different method of combining wet and dry ingredients.

  • What is the significance of using baking soda instead of baking powder in Ben's recipe?

    -In Ben's recipe, baking soda is used to keep the cake flat, as opposed to baking powder which helps things rise and get really bubbly.

  • What is the role of sour cream in the AI-generated cake recipe?

    -In the AI-generated cake recipe, sour cream is used to balance the sugar in the cake. It reacts with the baking soda to help the cake rise and also balances the acidity of the chocolate.

  • How does the process of making the frosting for the cakes differ between the two recipes?

    -The process of making the frosting differs in that Ben's recipe involves making a chocolate ganache with cream and chocolate, while Charlie's AI recipe calls for melting butter and chocolate together and then adding espresso powder and chili flakes.

  • What was the final outcome of the taste test?

    -The final outcome of the taste test was that Jeri, the taste tester, chose Ben's old-fashioned chocolate cake over the AI-generated cake by Charlie.

  • What was the general consensus on the AI-generated cake's frosting?

    -The general consensus was that the frosting on the AI-generated cake was good, with a hint of spiciness from the chili flakes, but the cake itself was a bit dry.

  • What did the participants think about the future of AI in recipe development?

    -The participants expressed skepticism about the future of AI in recipe development, suggesting that the food community values recipes developed from the heart rather than those created by algorithms.



🍰 Introduction to the Chocolate Cake Challenge

The video begins with Jasmine and Ben Mims introducing themselves and the purpose of the video. Jasmine is a sous chef looking to improve her skills, while Ben is a renowned recipe developer for Tasty, Food Network, and the LA Times, and a former pastry chef. They are going to make chocolate cakes: one using a recipe developed by a machine learning algorithm and the other by Ben's own recipe. Their friend Jeri will taste both to determine the better one. Charlie, an AI assistant, is introduced as the one providing the machine learning recipe, which starts with an unusual ingredient, red pepper, causing some confusion and humor.


👩‍🍳 The Making of Two Chocolate Cakes

The first part of the video details the process of making two different chocolate cakes. Jasmine follows the AI-generated recipe from Charlie, which includes unconventional steps and ingredients, such as red pepper and a significant amount of baking soda instead of baking powder. Ben, on the other hand, prepares his cake using a traditional recipe that emphasizes the use of unsweetened chocolate, butter, and water, aiming to create a moist and rich cake. The humor continues as they follow the AI's instructions precisely, leading to a discussion about the role of robots in the kitchen and whether they can replace the human touch in cooking.


🎂 Assembling and Frosting the Cakes

After baking, the cakes are prepared for frosting. The video shows the process of making a chocolate ganache for the cake developed by the AI, which intriguingly includes butter, chocolate, espresso powder, and chili flakes. While the participants express their doubts about the addition of chili flakes, they follow the recipe to the letter. The cakes are assembled with the ganache acting as a glue, and the final layer of ganache is smoothed over the top and sides of the cake to create a crumb coat before the final layer of frosting is applied.

🤤 Taste Testing and Conclusion

The final part of the video involves taste testing the cakes with Jeri, who is a self-professed lover of chocolate cake. She evaluates both cakes, noting the moist texture and the balance of flavors in the frosting of the AI-developed cake, although she finds the frosting a bit spicy due to the chili flakes. The traditional cake is described as less sweet and more moist, but the frosting on the AI cake is favored for its velvety texture. In the end, despite some reservations about the AI's recipe, the group maintains a positive and playful attitude towards the experiment, and they thank the viewers for watching.



💡Machine Learning Algorithm

A machine learning algorithm is a type of artificial intelligence that allows systems to learn from data without being explicitly programmed. In the context of the video, it is used to develop a chocolate cake recipe, demonstrating how AI can be applied to creative tasks traditionally done by humans.

💡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 AI in a competition to see who can make a better chocolate cake.

💡Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake is a dessert made from cake batter that typically includes cocoa powder or melted chocolate. It is a central theme in the video, as the AI and the human pastry chef both create their versions of this classic dessert to determine which is superior.

💡Sous Chef

A sous chef is a chef who is second in command in a professional kitchen and assists the head chef with preparations and managing kitchen operations. In the video, the term is humorously used to describe the AI's role in assisting with the cooking process.

💡Culinary School

Culinary school is an educational institution that teaches the principles of cooking, including food preparation, cooking techniques, and sanitation. The video script mentions that neither the human participant nor the AI attended culinary school, highlighting the contrast between traditional culinary training and AI-based recipe creation.

💡Baking Soda

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a chemical compound used in baking to cause dough to rise. It is a key ingredient in the AI's chocolate cake recipe and is discussed in the context of how it affects the texture of the finished product.

💡Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate ganache is a rich, creamy mixture made from chocolate and cream, often used as a frosting or filling in desserts. In the video, the process of making a chocolate ganache to frost the cakes is detailed, emphasizing the importance of this element in the final presentation of the cake.

💡Espresso Powder

Espresso powder is a concentrated form of coffee that can be used to add a strong coffee flavor to recipes. In the video, it is used as an ingredient in the AI's unique frosting, contributing to the complexity of flavors in the final cake.

💡Chili Flakes

Chili flakes are ground dried chili peppers that add heat and flavor to dishes. The inclusion of chili flakes in the AI's frosting is a surprising choice that introduces an element of spice to the otherwise sweet chocolate cake, demonstrating the AI's experimental approach to recipe development.

💡Crumb Coat

A crumb coat is a thin layer of frosting applied to a cake before the final layer of frosting, designed to seal in crumbs and create a smooth surface. The video describes the process of applying a crumb coat to the chocolate cake, which is a crucial step for a professional-looking finish.

💡Taste Testers

Taste testers are individuals who sample food to evaluate its flavor and quality. In the video, Jeri serves as a taste tester to determine which chocolate cake, made by the AI or the human pastry chef, is more appealing to human palates.


Jasmine and Ben Mims are pitting a machine learning algorithm's chocolate cake recipe against a traditional pastry chef's recipe.

Ben Mims, a former pastry chef, shares his old-fashioned chocolate cake recipe from the '70s and '80s.

The machine learning algorithm, Charlie, suggests an unconventional ingredient, red pepper, in the cake recipe.

Ben emphasizes the importance of moisture in a chocolate cake, using water to achieve this in his recipe.

The use of baking soda instead of baking powder in the machine learning algorithm's recipe is highlighted as a key difference.

Sour cream is introduced as an ingredient in the machine learning recipe, adding a tangy balance to the cake.

Jasmine follows the machine learning algorithm's instructions verbatim, despite her instincts to deviate.

The machine learning algorithm's frosting recipe includes chili flakes and espresso powder, adding an unexpected spicy kick.

Jeri, the taste tester, finds the frosting on the machine learning cake to be less sweet and more to her liking.

Ben's cake is described as more moist and less sweet by Jeri, with a rich and decadent texture.

The presence of chili flakes in the frosting is discovered to be the source of a spicy aftertaste.

Despite the dryness, Jeri ultimately chooses the machine learning algorithm's cake due to its unique flavor profile.

The experiment shows that while AI can create technically sound recipes, they may lack the emotional and sensory nuances of human-created recipes.

Jasmine and Ben discuss the future of AI in recipe creation and its potential to innovate culinary experiences.

The video concludes with a humorous note, suggesting that while Charlie the AI has potential, it may not be ready for a full-time role on Tasty.