Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Slice of scorpion sponge? Meet the baker sprinkling cakes with ground insects

iStock_79587919_LARGE.jpg

A fly in your soup, a wasp after your jam - ground scorpions in your sponge cake? Though it sounds like the kind of kitchen blunder that’d warrant a strongly worded letter, the latter is in fact the new business venture of one Scottish bakery.

Edinburgh-based Cyril Barthelm, of Patisserie Maxime, has unveiled his brand new project to much curiosity—and a good deal of squirming, no doubt—vowing to help change our feelings about snacking on insects.

His approach? To grind them finely and sprinkle into cake mix.

Experimenting with scorpions, crickets, mealworms and tarantulas, Barthelm has been whipping up Bake Off worthy sponge cakes and tasty looking chocolate brownies, all enriched with his ground insect flour.

But why, you ask? Is the squidgy goodness of a chocolate brownie not even sacred, you cry?

Well according to the baker, he’s pushing the envelope all in the name of nutritional value, and ethical food consumption.


Read more: Coffee in a cone is here to brighten up your mornings


“I've been reading and watching documentaries about how meat supplies and quality are falling all over the world and that eating insects might be a way forward,” he tells BBC.

“For example the volume of water needed to feed animals is far higher than for insects. However, there is still the perception in the western world that eating insects is not very appealing so I thought if I ground them up into flour first before making cakes then they could be perceived as nice to eat.”

Naturally, mealworm flour baked into a fluffy iced cupcake is likely to carry far more appeal than the raw ingredients. But as all savvy bakers may attest, ingredient swapping is rarely easy—the same goes for insect flour, it seems.

“It has been challenging to turn the flour into cakes as it is much finer than wheat flour,” notes Barthelm. “But by blending the two I have managed to create many different types of cakes.

“It is a matter of education. In the west we are brought up to see insects as disgusting but that's not true. Insects are very nutritious.”


Read more: Why leftovers are blazing a trail to a new foodie trend


According to the baker’s research, his creations may well indeed be far more nutritious than anything you’d see knocked up on GBBO.

Insects such as termites, for example, are said to contain considerably more protein per kilogram compared with beef. Caterpillars meanwhile, may contain 20g more protein per portion than salmon, 30g more than pork, and 263g more than tofu.

But if you’ve managed to shake off your fears of eating creepy crawlies, there may still be one catch—insect flour, according to Barthelm, is proving to cost 100 times more to produce than the plain variety.

So while an innovative idea, bug cakes may not be flying into a bakery near you, just yet.

 

Related

Oriole-i-xsqmQpk-X2.jpg

Nine of the world’s best cocktail bars are in London

ramen1.PNG

The internet has deemed ice-cream ramen the Next Big Thing

iStock_63126281_LARGE.jpg

Veggie? Here are the best places to visit for a foodie break in Europe

Comments

Latest...

The world's first hot air balloon bar is coming to the UK

Get ready for some sky-high drinking

by Sarah Biddlecombe
24 May 2017

All the best ways to indulge your love of gin around the UK

Safaris, festivals, teas and tours to get your juniper on

by Amy Swales
24 May 2017

How to chill a bottle of white wine in less than 3 minutes

Because who has time to wait for wine?

by Kayleigh Dray
22 May 2017

This is how you decide what to eat for lunch

Salad or sandwich?

by Sarah Biddlecombe
22 May 2017

This is an avocado filled with coffee because the avolatte is upon us

That's a latte. Inside an avocado, yes.

by Amy Swales
22 May 2017

Pink pineapples could soon be brightening up your breakfast

The candy-coloured food train rumbles on

by Amy Swales
19 May 2017

The goth latte is here to redefine black coffee for 2017

Morticia Addams would 100% approve

by Kayleigh Dray
19 May 2017

Stop what you're doing and revel in the art of Freddo hot chocolate

The iconic bar is now available in powder form

by Anna Brech
19 May 2017

Are you ready for the London Tequila Festival?

Limes and salt, one two three...

by Anna Brech
18 May 2017

Coffee ice could solve all of your diluted caffeine issues

The answer to your frappuccino prayers

by Amy Swales
17 May 2017