Bake against the machine: Maltesers partners Google Cloud to create AI cakes

Computer-generated recipe tested against dessert by Bake Off’s Peter Sawkins.

Maltesers: AI cake has a Marmite-infused buttercream frosting
Maltesers: AI cake has a Marmite-infused buttercream frosting

Maltesers has partnered Google Cloud to create a Maltesers cake using artificial intelligence.

The Mars Wrigley UK brand called upon The Great British Bake Off winner Peter Sawkins to create a recipe to challenge the AI creation, to see "who can invent the most innovative and imaginative cake".

Google Cloud engineers created a machine-learning model to combine hundreds of existing recipes with insights from Google Search Trends. Developer Sara Robinson used a combination of chopped and whole Maltesers in the model's AI-optimised cake and cookie recipes to create a new dessert.

The recipe for Maltesers AI Cakes (4d6172730a) which in binary-coded values is hexadecimal for Mars, features both a cake and a cookie. The treat is topped with a Marmite-infused buttercream frosting, after Google Search Trends revealed that one of the top searched questions recently regarding "sweet and salty" was "Is Marmite sweet or savoury?".

Sawkins went the nostalgic route, giving a soy sauce twist to an old recipe passed down from his mother. His Maltesers Entremets have a liquid caramel centre, incorporate malted milk powder, rich mousse and have a crunchy base.

Keen bakers are encouraged to try baking the recipes at home over the Easter weekend and can take a short quiz when they visit to receive an additional recipe suggestion. Participants also have a chance of winning a KitchenAid Stand mixer and Maltesers bundle.

The campaign will be shared on social media using the hashtag #BakeAgainstTheMachine.

Robinson, senior developer advocate at Google Cloud, said: "AI is a powerful tool and I love thinking about fun, new applications for it. In this case, maybe it will even inspire other amateur bakers out there to build their own creations.

"I set out to build a model using Google Cloud AI that could provide the basis for a new recipe featuring Maltesers. Baking is an art as well as a science: it requires finding a delicate balance of ingredients, sprinkled with a bit of magic. AI is the foundation, and human creativity combined with technology made this project shine."

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