You, a pro cake eater, don’t need instructions on how to cut a piece of cake. It’s, well, a piece of cake, right?
Wrong. Put the knife down — the wedge slice you’re about to cut is going to ruin a perfectly good dessert! That’s according to Alex Bellos, author of The Grapes of Math: How Life Reflects Numbers and Numbers Reflect Life, who is featured in a new video that promotes a scientific method of cake-cutting. Its aim is to prevent leftover cake from getting “dry and horrible,” he says.
(Wait. What’s leftover cake?)
Discovered by a British math whiz and published in Nature magazine in 1906, this untraditional method is “the mathematically perfect way of cutting a round cake,” the author says gleefully. “It’s breaking all the rules of cake etiquette!”
In the video, Bellos first makes a vertical slice through the center of the cake from one side to the other (“the prime steak of that cake, the T-bone cut,” he jokes), then makes a parallel slice. After plating it (it’s a large piece!), he pushes the sides of the remaining cake together and secures it with a rubber band so none of the interior cake is left exposed.
“The following day all the flesh, the sponge, is going to be nice and soft,” explains Bellos. To cut another piece, this time he slices horizontally from one side to the other and again uses the push-together/rubber-band method to hold the cake together.
Want to have your cake and keep it moist, too? Watch the video below: