This Holographic Recipe Lets You Learn to Cook in Four Dimensions

You've never seen a banoffee pie recipe like this, kids.
Screengrab via Sketchfab

Banoffee pie is a British dessert classic made of—you guessed it—bananas and toffee. It was created and popularized by an English restaurant called The Hungry Monk in the 70s, but has now gotten a serious 21st-century reboot from creative technologist and dessert-lover Romain Rouffet.

Rouffet has created a step-by-step recipe that appears to float in the air and can be manipulated by users and observed from any angle, which he accomplished by 3-D scanning his colleague Mikael's assembly of Banoffee on a cutting board through various stages of preparation. "He was the cook, I was the photographer," Rouffet wrote on Sketchfab, where he uploaded the recipe. "I hope this will make your mouth water and maybe you will scan your own Banoffee. Happy cooking!"


Next to the manipulable rendering is a list of ingredients and instructions, making this 3-D model a kind of recipe cue card from the future that can be watched in fullscreen or with VR glasses for full effect. The recipe can also be sped up and slowed down, depending on how stoned you might be when experimenting with this trippy approach to cooking.

"When you participate in this type of challenge, you can choose something very complicated or something delicious," Rouffet told MUNCHIES. "Finally, the idea came to scan an easy recipe, but with the constraint of scanning each step of the process—it's just a one-night project of two office coworkers so we wanted to keep it simple."

As to why the British dessert pie was selected for the experiment, Rouffet said that it was a matter of practicality. "This recipe was chosen because it is of reasonable size and we thought that everyone was able to make it," he explained, though he also added that the banoffee turned out to be a more finicky subject than expected. "It wasn't that easy because the cake tended to soften a little bit. We had to move fast to scan everything."

The implications of this approach are pretty exciting for home cooks; instead of relying on clunky videos or unwieldy cookbooks, you could get much more of a feel for your food by seeing what it should look like from every conceivable point in space and time. No Smell-O-Vision yet, but the future really might be in four dimensional media.


We've already seen kitschy sushi conveyer belt VR or even using VR to change the taste of cookies, but few augmented realities are as practical for the home cook as the one envisioned by Rouffet.

Who would have thought that silly old Banoffee could be such a futuristic food? And this may not be the last holographic 4D recipe we see from Rouffet, "If people are interested, we'll probably do more."

Correction: A previous version of this article mistakenly referred to Romain Rouffet as Romain Rouffert in several instances. We apologize for this error.

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