Harvard Students Invent Product that Lets You Bake a Cake in 60 Seconds. Spray Can Included.
So last week it was Tetris-shaped hash browns from MIT, and this week it’s a couple of Harvard students trying to reinvent the way we bake deserts. Or at least that’s the buzz. Boston.com and WBZ TV report that two Harvard students, John McAllum and Brooke Nowakowski, are in the process of patenting the results of a project for a Harvard cooking class that would allow consumer to bake cakes in around 60 seconds.
Yes, 60 seconds.
The prospective product is called Spray Cake, and it works by expelling cake batter out of a canister that operates like a whipped cream dispenser. An accelerant is added to the canister which essentially releases tiny air bubbles into the liquid cake batter. This step makes baking soda and baking powder unnecessary, so that when heat is applied to batter expelled into a baking dish or cake tin, the batter sets to become cake in less than a minute.
Spray Cake’s potential for revolutionizing home baking seems endless. Real-time choice of personalized bakery deserts. Home-baked cupcake for one. Kids projects. No more last minute scrambles to find where one can buy a birthday cake after work or on a Sunday.
But perhaps Spray Cake’s most disruptive effect on the status quo may be the fact that it offers the possibility of enabling nearly everyone to become a baker. And that might have some far-reaching implications on a very big consumer market – and beyond.
Certainly sounds like some cool science to us, and we love food science at Chew on That. Heck, we even like saying the word accelerant. But since we don’t yet know all the ingredients of this confection, we hope the inventors have avoided some of the ickier stabilizers or emulsifiers that are found in sub-prime whipped crèmes and cheeses. Ideally, the inventors have also elected to take a low-carbon footprint route and will work around the use of carbon dioxide in the commercial version that eventually hits store shelves.
And as far as the taste and texture of the finished product? Not yet sure. The proof of the pudding, as they say, is always in the eating.