Saturday, November 7, 2020

Using a FLIR thermal camera to improve the taste uniformity of a tea-infused cake

Making a layer cake is a serious task. There are... layers... of complexity to it. Make a mistake, miss a step, and the whole thing can turn into a disaster. 

Making a cake in which each layer is infused with a flavored liquid (in this experiment: tea) is even more challenging. The texture and the color of the layers can make it virtually impossible to tell if the entire area of the layer was indeed uniformly infused with the liquid.

Here's a picture of a dry layer:

Here's a shot of a layer that's already wet:

Or is it? Can you tell? Me neither. Thankfully, we have thermal cameras!

Thanks to the difference in temperature (and heat capacity, and thermal conductance) of the liquid, one can easily employ a thermal camera to find the spots that are still fluffy and dry, and those that have already been blessed by that sweet, sweet tea flavor.

Here's a dry layer again under thermal camera, with the warm tea mug caught in top left corner:

And here's the wet one with a few dark areas indicating the dry spots I missed:

Now just sprinkle some more tea over the dark spots, and we're done!

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