How to Generate (Almost) Anything

The ultimate human-AI collaboration

October 10, 2018 / by / In food

Episode 6: Human-AI Collaborated Chocolate Truffles

TL;DR? Check out the Youtube video of this project!

Human-AI collaborated chocolate truffles made with The Laboratory for Chocolate Science at MIT.

In this episode of How to Generate (Almost) Anything, we collaborated with The Laboratory for Chocolate Science at MIT (yep, it is a real thing), and made human-AI collaborated chocolate truffles! The Laboratory for Chocolate Science is founded in 2003, and since then they host tastings, truffle-making seminars, scientific demonstrations, and numerous other events at MIT –they order more than 500lbs of chocolate every year!

The closest work we could find is the experiment Google did last year where they aimed to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie (you can read here).

Similar to the Human-AI Collaborated Pizza episode, we collected hundreds of chocolate truffle recipes from various food blogs and recipe websites, and then we trained a recurrent neural network to generate new ones. Some of the recipes we ended up with were really weird (like gingersnap & meat truffle), and some of them actually looked yummy (like pumpkin & matcha truffle).

Careful readers might remember that in the pizza experiment we encountered some weird ingredients such as ‘snipped caramel cheese’ or ‘wale walnut ranch dressing’. Luckily, AI didn’t disappoint us again and came up with some weird ingredients such as pink pistachios, malted milk yogurt or white vanilla barnuts. Also, sometimes it suggested excessive amount of ingredients like 1116 bags chai tea or 1 cup of fresh rosemary!

The office of Lab for Chocolate Science at MIT.

After compiling a list of AI-generated chocolate truffle recipes, our first stop was the Lab for Chocolate Science at MIT. We went to the lab to get pounds of dark, semi-sweet, milk and white chocolates. Anna (our head chocolatier) also gave us a detailed intro to chocolate making which you can watch here.

Then, we headed back to Anna’s house for a human-AI collaborated truffle-making party! Over the course of three hours, we made four truffle recipes which you can see below. We also videotaped the whole process (via our mobile phones –so excuse us for the potato quality) which you can watch on Youtube. Also please subscribe to our channel if you want to get updates about new episodes!

Chocolate #1: Pumpkin & Matcha Truffle

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin purée
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 ounces chocolate chips
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
12 ounces dark chocolate chips
2 tablespoons Matcha Green extract

Pumpkin & Matcha truffle

Just in time for Halloween, the pumpkin & matcha truffle was definitely one of the best ones! Most of our testers agreed that matcha was the main flavour while pumpkin added a nice texture to the truffle.

You can watch how we made this truffle here and the tasting here.

Chocolate #2: Beets & Cranberry Truffle

1 1/2 ounces chocolate chunks
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/8 teaspoon beets
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
chopped pecans
cocoa powder

Beets & Cranberry Truffle

The AI suggested us to add only 1/8 teaspoon beets, but we ended up adding a whole cup of grated beets. Beets & cranberry truffle also tasted very good, but most of our testers had a hard time guessing the ingredients!

You can watch how we made this truffle here and the tasting here.

Chocolate #3: Rosemary & Peppermint Truffle

16 ounces semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup honey
Chopped peppermint
5 ounces sweet chocolate
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
8 ounces white chocolate
1 cup fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons heavy cream

Rosemary & Peppermint Truffle

None of us really saw it coming, but Rosemary & Peppermint Truffle was definitely the winner! We added 1/3 cup of fresh rosemary with a few drops of peppermint extract (since we didn’t have ‘chopped peppermint’). The taste was pretty unique (as you can imagine) –and some of us think that it can be a best-seller truffle for next Christmas!

You can watch how we made this truffle here and the tasting from here.

Chocolate #4: Gingersnap & Meat Truffle

1 box gingersnap cookies
1 package cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
8 bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
5 medjool date
3/4 cup meat
1 pinch sea salt
4 tablespoons aleppo pepper
12 fresh mint

Gingersnap & Meat Truffle

For the final truffle, we wanted to try a crazy recipe. We really wanted try ‘Orange, Chai & Coffee Liquor Truffle’ (see the recipe list at the end of this post) but unfortunately our budget was a bit tight to buy 1116 bags of chai. So instead, we decided to make ‘Gingersnap & Meat Truffle’. This recipe was calling for a lot of improvisation. Our experienced chocolatiers decided to combine ground beef, gingersnap cookies, mint and a few other ingredients and made tiny meatballs. The rest of the ingredients were added into the chocolate mix and the meatballs were covered with chocolate after being cooked. As expected, some people find the idea of combining chocolate and meat disgusting and refused to test it. But we also had some fans that really digged the truffle, particularly because the crispy meatballs resembled the taste of chocolate covered bacon.

You can watch how we made this truffle here and the tasting from here.

Public testing at the Stata Center, MIT

A day after we made the truffles, we went to the Stata Center at MIT and asked people to taste one of the truffles and guess which recipe it belongs to. All of our testers really liked the truffles (but since we didn’t want to poison anyone, we omitted the gingersnap & meat truffle), but almost noone was able to guess the ingredients correctly. You can the video of our public tasting event here.

Do you want to collaborate with the AI?

Try out some of the chocolate truffle recipes we made, or use the recipes below to make a new truffle that is dreamed-up by AI. Send us pictures and videos (and your suggestions to the recipes), and we will add them here!

Earl Grey & Hazelnut Truffle

1 moan chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Earl Grey tea bag
Zest of hazelnut
1 1/2 cups vanilla
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 pinch salt
1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Raspberry & Beer Truffle

500 grams dark chocolate
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup dark dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup beer
1/2 cup malted milk yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup freeze-dried raspberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pink Pistachios & Lime Truffle

1/2 cup heavy cream
2 lime
14 ounces chocolate salt for topping
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 ounces halfa pink pistachios
1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate seeds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup of skor pieces
1 cup almonds
1/2 teaspoon water

Lavender & Raspberry Truffle

2/3 cup coconut cream
1 1/2 tablespoons lavender buds
2 tablespoons raspberry powder
1/4 cup cashew milk
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
cocoa powder

Pistachios, Gin & cognac Truffle

1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons brown-rice syrup
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 tablespoon cognac
1 cup pistachios
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups almonds
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 ounces gin
dark chocolate

Coca-cola & Pecans truffle

2/3 cup cookies
1/3 cup coca-cola
4 ounces chocolate
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 1/2 pounds chocolate almond bark

Apricot, Raisins & Hazelnut Truffle

300 grams chocolate
400 grams whipping cream
75 grams sugar
100 grams butter
100 grams golden raisins
150 grams dried apricot
100 grams dried cranberries
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts

Cornflakes & Marshmallow Truffle

1/2 cups crushed cornflakes cereal
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup premier white morsels
1 tablespoon Irish cream liqueur
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange juice
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Rum & Cardamom Truffle

1 cup rum
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 cups chopped hazelnuts
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tablespoon Cardamom pods
2 ounces dark chocolate
1/4 cup coconut

Orange, Chai & Coffee Liquor Truffle

Dark chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
1116 bags chai tea
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup butter
125 grams salted caramels
1/2 cup grated orange margarine
1 cup coffee flavored liquor

Want more? Just send us an e-mail!

Special Thanks to Troi

Troi is the chocolatier AI that generated the truffle recipes in this episode. Similar to her namesake, she had never met a form of chocolate that she did not like.

Note: Troi’s profile picture is also dreamed-up by an AI.

Note: The tunes we used in the video is generated by our music expert AI, Halleck from Episode 1 of How to Make (Almost) Anything. Please give him some love, and use some of his tunes to create your own human-AI collaborated music!