Cakes are the perfect way to celebrate many occasions, from birthdays to weddings, and there are any number of ways to customize a cake to make sure that it is the perfect fit. One option is to print an edible photo to decorate the cake with. Another is to sculpt a cake into an edible model, a theme that many cake-decorating shows are based around. And, of course, you can always simply write your message in simple icing.
Disney is thinking a little bigger than these cake-decorating ideas, looking for new ways to make a cake amazing. The company recently filed a patent for designs on augmented reality cakes. Augmented reality refers to something that has been visually altered with computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video or graphics. The patent describes technology, such as small projectors, that could be applied to cakes to make them look different using computer generated images projected onto the surface of the cake. In the simplest form, this could translate to a slideshow of pictures that play across the top of the cake. In its most complex form, this could result in a 3D cake with 3D images mapped over the whole surface, complete with moving or interactive items that bring the scene to life.
In other words, this type of technology would allow a cake to look and feel like an attraction at Disneyland – on a much smaller scale. This, of course, isn’t practical for everyday use because you probably wouldn’t be able to use it at home. But Disney hosts an incredible number of special occasions – like birthdays and weddings – throughout the year and this would definitely bring all of that Disney magic into every cake. With the patent application, these cakes might not be ready for primetime next year, but I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing a cake that comes to life like this – although I might feel bad about cutting into it!
Snow White is a classic children’s story and the original Disney movie is a favorite across generations. I have a feeling that the new Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs Cakelet Pan from Nordic Ware is likely to become a favorite with many people, too. The pan is one of the most detailed cakelet pans that I’ve seen, with the whole body of each of Disney’s seven dwarves and Snow White reflected in a magic mirror. The pan is heavy duty cast aluminum with a nonstick finish inside, for easy release of the cakelets. Each cakelet cavity holds up to 5 ounces of batter, which makes the finished cakes slightly larger than your standard cupcake.
To get the maximum amount of detail in your cakes with this pan, you’re going to want to grease and flour your pans before adding your batter. A denser cake batter, such as a pound cake, is going to give you more definition than an airy sponge cake will, and tapping the cake pan on the counter after filling it will help knock out any air bubble before baking.
The cakes will not necessarily need to be decorated to get the full effect of the Disney designs, but they can be frosted to give them a little bit of color and increase the “wow” factor of these Snow White characters. They’ll definitely impress at a birthday party over a batch of plain cupcakes!
I used to love watching Disney cartoons as a kid and Donald Duck’s were always my favorite. Things always went awry for Donald, no matter what activity he was participating in. One of my favorite Donald cartoons (perhaps a predictor for things to come) involved cooking. It’s a 1941 cartoon called Chef Donald.
Donald is sitting at home putting together his book of recipe clippings when his favorite radio program comes on the air: The Mother Mallard Recipe program. Old Mother Mallard reads out a recipe for her Delicious Golden Brown Waffles and Donald, eager to cook some up for himself, assembles the ingredients as she reads them out. Unfortunately, he ends up substituting rubber cement for the required baking powder and the waffles turn out… less-than-perfect, to put it mildly.
The thing that really appealed to me in the cartoon was how thick and delicious the batter looked while Donald mixed it up. Since the whole recipe was read out in the cartoon, I decided to give it a try and see how it really turned out.
It was a fun project! My batter was not as thick as the cartoon batter – but then again, it didn’t have any rubber cement in it either. It was still pleasantly thick and the waffles did cook up well. The batter is very simple, with few ingredients and a mild flavor. Since it doesn’t have much fat in it, the waffles don’t stay as crispy as long as their higher-fat counterparts, but still taste delicious with syrup and fresh fruit. Since the waffles themselves aren’t sweet, they could also be used for savory applications.
I’ve included the original version of the recipe and my slightly tweaked (i.e. no rubber cement) version below.