Taste and the Function of Form

How important is how your food looks? In recent years, a variety of new studies have cropped up studying the relationship of how food is manifested and how we experience it. While the majority of how we taste is directly connected to our sense of smell, what we see on our plates may have more impact that you think.

There are some functional ways in which form affects flavour. New technologies at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University have confirmed that the shape of a wine glass directly affects the flavours experienced through manipulating the distribution of flavour-enhancing ethanol vapours. (Newton, Scientific American) In 2012, a consumer uproar arose over changes in the Cadbury formula. Cadbury, however, changed its shape from square block to rounded pieces, but did not change the recipe. Based on prior sensory tests by the Nestle Research Centre, the round shape encouraged faster melting, affecting release of flavour compound and the ensuing perception. (Scott-Thomas)

But further research seems to indicate that the mental perception of shape alone may be enough to sway our palettes. Studies are being done indicating everything from color to sounds actually changes the way something tastes to the individual. (This article giving some breakdown on a slew of new research being delved into.) For us as bakers, hoping to perhaps innovate in our field, even adapting traditional recipes, this could be a crucial tool.


Choco- Brownie Cheesecake

This is one of the most requested dessert that I made. (by my family, relatives, friends and coworkers). and I also love cheesecake is one of the favorite desserts. What I like about this recipe is that it is not too sweet.

Since I have a collection of cookbooks I sometimes like to look for something to bake, and so I stumbled upon this recipe. These brownies are a wonderful combination of a fruity cheesecake on a chocolate base. They are very rich but quite delicious served as a special dessert or as mini sweet bites for a party.

And here is the recipe:

For the brownie base:

  • 200g dark/bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 150g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 60g fine rice flour
  • 40g ground almond

For the cheesecake topping

  • 300g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tbsp of vanilla extract
  • 125g mixed fresh/ frozen berries
  1. BASE, put the chocolate and butter in a double boiler. stir until both are melted and the mixture is smooth. let it cool slightly.
  2. beat the egg and sugar together in a separate bowl. Fold in the rice flour and ground almonds. then gently fold it all together. pour the mixture into a prepared cupcake cups for about 2/4 full.
  3. CHEESECAKE TOPPING, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. then add the egg and vanilla.
  4. pour the cheesecake mixture over the brownie base. lightly push the berries into the cheesecake.
  5. Bake @ 170C (325F) for about 20-30 minutes. then let it cool down for about 2 hours to let it set.


I hope you guys could try this recipe… ENJOY! =D