Baking has always been understood as a precise science, but architect turned pastry chef Dinara Kasko is breaking baking boundaries with her mathematical 3D printed cakes.
The season three finale of The Great Australian Bake Off is here – and we’ve witnessed some brilliant cake-making across the season. We started with this incredible iced vovo, but then there was also fruit trifle, a volcano island mud cake, a raspberry and vanilla sponge cake, and even this Tower Bridge pudding.
There's lots of love and skill and precision in each bake, and as with every season, it's tricky to pick the clear-cut Bake Off champion. But what if we could really, truly perfect our cakes with the computer as the most important kitchen tool?
This has been the mission of self-proclaimed 'architectural pastry chef' Dinara Kasko. Based in Kharkov in Ukraine, Dinara began her career as an architectural visualiser – creating 3D renderings of buildings to be. Back then, baking was just a hobby for Dinara. However, pretty quickly, her love of baking and time spent in the kitchen with promising sugary concoctions meant both worlds converged.
She began to apply her theories of design to cake, using architectural and 3D printing software like 3ds Max, Rhinoceros, and AutoCAD to create cake designs that are more like miniature works of art than humble bakery treats.
Among Dinara's computer-generated, science fiction-style cakes is Cherries, a chocolate sponge cake spray painted in high-gloss cherry red, and filled with maraschino, cherry cremeaux, and chocolate mousse. Shaped to look like the actual fruit, it was made using a silicon mould created in 3D modelling software. The mould is then filled with ingredients and frozen. Once solid, Dinara removes the mould and decorates – though not with a standard spatula or piping bag. Her weapons of choice include a laser machine, spray gun, and building spatulas.
To create her millennial pink chocolate Ruby cake, Dinara used a graphical algorithm editor called Grasshopper. Made up of 81 individual pyramid-shaped cakes, algorithmic modelling allowed her to change the area and tilt of each pyramid.
Each cake is an experiment of sorts, testing various designs from computer programming through to finished product, but the flavour and texture are also key for Dinara. Her forms will typically dictate the bite too: cloud shapes are soft and fluffy, block shapes are dense and rich.
So, while they're made with the precision of architectural software, moulds, maths, and machines - there is still a heap of human creativity thrown into the recipe.
So does this mean that future The Great Australian Bake Off contestants will be asked to computer code their recipes? We guess we’ll leave that decision to Matt and Maggie!