Baking the perfect tart with a smart AI-powered oven
The Bosch Series 8 accent line sensor oven serves up the perfect cakes, roasts, and much more. Baking has never been so easy. No more poking and probing with a skewer — its built-in artificial intelligence accurately predicts when a dish is done. That’s one reason why this smart oven is food YouTuber Sally Özcan’s constant companion in the kitchen.
Saliha “Sally” Özcan from Waghäusel in Baden, Germany, is actually a teacher. A clip on how to bake sweet braided nut bread posted on YouTube in 2012 turned her into a social media celebrity. Her YouTube channel “Sally’s World” has attracted some 1.9 million subscribers to date. Sally’s recipe for success is simple — she is creative, authentic, and clearly enjoys her show. But sometimes baking can be a bit nerve-racking even for a pro like Sally. Once a cake or tart is in the oven, she still needs enough time to make coffee and tea, whip cream, and set a beautiful table. All that is nothing to worry about now that Sally’s newfound smart assistant has made two of her wishes come true — more time for other tasks and even better results in the kitchen.
Baking with a crystal ball
The new Bosch Series 8 accent line sensor oven comes with artificial intelligence (AI) built in, providing users with an unprecedented smart cooking experience. All the user has to do is select the appropriate cooking program on the smart oven’s touchscreen or in the Home Connect app, and then slide the dish into the oven. Today Sally is baking a lemon tart, one of the food YouTuber’s signature recipes. As soon as the pastry is ready to go into the oven, she simply selects the program for tarts. Bosch’s smart appliance takes care of the rest.
“Baking with the help of AI is just as much fun – there’s just a lot less stressful multitasking involved.”
Sally’s work is done once the tart is in the oven. The built-in PerfectBake sensor plus adjusts the baking or cooking process automatically on the fly. It can even predict the future to tell Sally exactly when the tart will be ready. The days of having to repeatedly open the oven door and poke the contents with a skewer to check consistency are over. A quick glance at the Bosch Home Connect app is all it takes to get the picture. This app runs on smartphones and tablets, connecting smart household and kitchen appliances in an intelligent way. This leaves the food YouTuber a lot more time to get creative in the kitchen. So, where does the oven get its predictive powers?
Ovens that learn from one another
Every dish that goes into a hot oven gives off moisture. The longer the baking or cooking time, the more moisture evaporates from the food and the higher the humidity in the oven. This oven’s lambda probe — a type of sensor also used to build catalytic converters for cars — constantly measures oxygen levels. These levels drop as the moisture evaporating from the food displaces oxygen. The software extrapolates from these readings to tell how far along the dish is.
Sally connected her oven to the Home Connect server via Wi-Fi and the internet. She also consented to data communication, so her oven continuously streams all its anonymized sensor data — temperature, humidity, control settings, and the like — to the Home Connect appliance server, which in turn communicates with the Home Connect AI cloud. The device’s sensors take different types of readings for different types of food. The AI calculates the remaining baking time based on these readings, and the oven keeps Sally in the picture. Whenever she wants, she can check how a dish is progressing. The predictive model updates the remaining baking time every 30 seconds.
An AI algorithm has to gain experience before it can make reliable forecasts. Machine learning is a method of getting systems to learn from vast amounts of data. In this case, the algorithm learns from baking processes in its oven — and from those in the ovens of all other users. The oven gets smarter over time, and the more frequently households use these smart ovens, the more accurate their predictions for baked, roasted, braised, and broiled dishes will be.
These forecasts enable Sally to better plan her workflow in the kitchen. “Users aren’t aware of any of the oven’s learning processes,” says Hoang Richter, an AI project manager involved in smart appliance development at BSH. “The only thing they notice is that the prediction is even more accurate the next time they cook the same dish.”
“The oven continuously monitors the food’s progress and, by extension, the remaining baking time. This is important because every dish is unique.”
“It’s never been easier”
More time and flexibility in the kitchen — these are not the only benefits of Bosch’s new technology. It also gives cooking enthusiasts even more options to customize their favorite recipes. This oven can factor special requests into the equation to reliably predict when a dish will be done. That requires internet access and digital connectivity with Home Connect. An hour in, Sally’s oven gives her a heads-up. The lemon tart is ready. Its appetizing aroma puts a smile on her face. She ladles on a tasty berry topping to add an even fruitier note, and sums up her impressions: “Done to perfection! It’s never been easier to bake a cake, bread, or quiche.”
Roasting with AI
What works so impeccably for cakes and breads works just as well for meat. The PerfectRoast plus meat thermometer is to savory roasts what the PerfectBake plus is to baked goods. It measures at three spots to accurately determine the meat’s core temperature, guaranteeing results that even professionals would have trouble surpassing. The oven switches off automatically once the meat’s core temperature reaches the ideal level, leaving the cook free to prepare side dishes, salads, and the like. The baking and roasting sensors may also be used independently of all add-on digital services, if so desired.
How to prepare Sally’s “crostata al limone,” or lemon-almond tart
For the crust
400 g flour
200 g sugar
200 g butter
100 g ground almonds
Zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the lemon filling
300 ml milk
2 egg yolks
50 g sugar
35 g cornstarch
80 ml lemon juice (from approx. 1 1/2 lemons)
For the topping
Fresh mixed fruit
How to prepare:
Make the crust
Cream the butter and sugar together and add the eggs. Add the flour, ground almonds, lemon zest, and vanilla extract and knead until a homogenous dough forms. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
Make the lemon filling
Whisk together the milk, egg yolks, sugar, and starch in a pot. Grate the lemon peel and add the zest. Squeeze the lemon and add the juice. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps. Place the mixture over medium-high heat and stir constantly until it comes to a boil. Pass it through a fine-mesh strainer. Cover and let cool briefly.
Fill the tart
Knead the dough briefly. Roll it out on a floured surface to a thickness of around 4 millimeters. Line a tart pan with the dough and trim off any excess.
Pour in the lemon filling and bake the tart in a preheated oven. When baking with PerfectBake sensor plus, select the Tart setting and tap Start. The oven takes care of the rest. If you do not own a Bosch sensor oven, bake the tart at 180°C for around 35 to 40 minutes on the lower rack until the crust turns golden brown.
Take the tart out of the oven, let it cool completely, and top it off with fresh fruit to taste.