Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Blinded Chocolate Fudge Cake Taste Test - To find the best chocolate fudge cake in Singapore

Vicky's, Awfully Chocolate, Lana

Aim
To find the best chocolate fudge cake in Singapore

Materials
3 chocolate fudge cakes - from Lana (800g), Vicky's (1kg) and Awfully chocolate (6inch, approximately   1.2 kg) were selected for this test as they are well established bakeries specializing in chocolate fudge cake.

Methods
Pardon the chilli stain 
The taste test was conducted at 830am on Monday, 6th Jan 2014, in the department pantry. A total of 30 testers from the same company and department,with an age range of  23-50s were included in this study. The cakes were removed from their boxes, and labelled as 1, 2, and 3. The testers were allowed to slice and eat as much cake as they wanted.  They were allowed to sample the cakes many times as they wanted during the study. After the test, they voted for the cake they liked best by writing their names into the respective columns. Implied consent was obtained and no tester was coerced into participating in the study. The end point was when any one of the cakes was completely consumed.

Results
Vicky's came out as the top favourite, gaining 12 out of 30 votes. Testers who picked this cake generally liked the moist cakes texture. It was the sweetest cake, and there was a slight alcoholic taste to it (?rum) and a mild bitter aftertaste. This cake was the cake which was consumed the quickest.

Lana's came in second, with 11 votes. Most testers found the texture drier.

The 7 testers who like Awfully Chocolate's cake enjoyed the stronger chocolate taste and a milder sweetness.

One tester declined to choose his/her favorite cake, commenting that they were all not very good. The principle investigator thinks that he/she may just not be a desserts or a chocolate fudge cake-loving person, or have really high cake standards. The tester was not included in the final result tally.

Comments and Analysis
This was not a fully blinded taste test - and some of the testers who were foodies recognized the font and shapes of the cake easily. There was much speculation and discussion over the origins of each cake, however the testers who recognized the cakes were told not to share the answers until the test was over.

For a cake with similar dimensions to Lana's, Vicky's was about 200g heavier. Perhaps this is due to the higher moisture content of the cake. Cost wise, a 800g Lana's cake is priced similarly to a 1kg Vicky's cake. The Awfully Chocolate cake cost the most.

The cakes from Lana and Vicky's were 1 day older than the Awfully chocolate cake as the taste test was conducted on Monday, and Lana's and Vicky's were both closed on Sunday. (According to Vicky's, the cakes are good for 4 days after purchase, and although they suggested storing the cake in an airtight Tupperware, there was no such Tupperware to be found, with the limited resources available).

Greats pains were taken to ensure that the cakes remained moist. The cake boxes were cling wrapped tightly and stored in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge to minimise exposure to air.

The unblinded investigator felt that the Awfully Chocolate cake was the best in terms of chocolaty-ness, texture and sweetness - and was surprised to find that so many people liked Vicky's. The unblinded investigator who obtained all the cakes found that Awfully Chocolate's cakes were the most readily available, and had the best service, both on the phone and in-store (Star Vista outlet).

Lana's cake was the hardest to obtain, with multiple phone calls (over a span of 2 days) being unanswered. The unblinded investigator experienced their notorious, less than friendly (bordering on curt) service, both on the phone and in-store.

Vicky's service was average, but to ensure that you obtain a cake, you would have to call in advance. Also, Vicky's does not do any customised writing on the cake if you do not pre-order the cake.

Conclusion
The unblinded investigator strongly suggests that people who are looking to buy a chocolate fudge cake from any of the 3 bakeries go toVicky's, since it was the most popular cake and has average service. Cost wise, it was very similar to Lana's.  

Improvements
As pointed out by the department's big boss, this was not a double blinded test. Hence, the test was not gold standard. In future, testers should be completely blinded by having the cakes in similar shape and size - which will mean having to pre order the cake from Awfully chocolate as the default off the shelf cake is round. Also, by not having any cream wordings on each cake will ensure that the testers did not recognize where each came came from, particularly for Lana's distinct cream wordings and decorations.

As recommended by some of the testers, other worthy contestants for future Blinded Chocolate Fudge Cake Taste Tests include Matts chocolate cake as well as Jane's Cake station.

Declaration and conflict of interest
The financial aspect was shared amongst 4 investigators, and none of the cakes were sponsored. None of the testers or investigators had any financial gain from this study - they only had caloric gain. 3 of the 4 investigators were blinded and were also testers. The unblinded investigator did not participate in the study.

The investigators were not held liable for any hyperglycemia that occurred post-test or for the post prandial stupor that occurred after. Also, having too much chocolate cake will have a negative impact on overall health and should only be done for special occasions. No cake was wasted during this study.

The investigators  would also like to thank the department for their participation in the study, and hope that the testers enjoyed the experience.

4 comments:

ice said...

LOL.

mt said...

omg mll i love this!

mt said...

omg mll i love this!

Anonymous said...

Hilarious! you have a future in writing academic study articles. Must make you present at journal clubs more often