After years of hosting birthday parties, you’ve finally mastered cake cutting. You can cut and remove evenly-sized triangular slices with nary a crumb out of place. And you don’t even need to cheat.
The traditional way of cutting triangular slices out of cake is fine if you plan on finishing the entire cake in one sitting. But if you anticipate leftovers, there’s a better way — a scientific way — to cutting a round cake that will prevent dry slices and maximize “the amount of gastronomic pleasure,” according to British author Alex Bellos.
Bellos, also known as Numberphile, demonstrates in this video how to cut slabs out of the middle of a round cake, a technique devised by British scientist Francis Galton to keep cake moist up to three days. Galton described his method of “Cutting a Round Cake on Scientific Principles” in Nature magazine over a hundred years ago.
I’m now excited to
make buy a round cake for Levi’s third birthday next month so I can try Galton’s cake cutting technique. Obviously, one of my criteria for selecting a location for Levi’s party is whether we can serve cake.
I’d love to have his birthday party where we take weekly music classes, but the owner doesn’t allowed food inside the studio. (Not that I blame her.) As an alternative, she suggested I hand out cupcakes to Levi’s friends as they leave, but that’s not gonna fly. To a toddler, birthdays aren’t about growing a year older or even celebrating with friends. They’re about singing “Happy Birthday,” blowing out candles, and cutting a cake.
Plus, sneaking bites of leftover cupcakes just isn’t as satisfying as shoveling forkfuls of birthday cake into your mouth when nobody’s looking.