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Subject: Cake icing

Cake icing

From: Anita Schwartz <anita>
Date: Saturday, August 14, 2004
Sue Bigelow <sue_bigelow [at] city__vancouver__bc__ca> writes

>We have in our Archives a collection of decorated cake tops. They
>are flat sheets of brittle white icing about 1/4 inch thick,
>decorated with designs likely painted with food colouring.  There
>are piped decorations around the edges. They are sitting (loose, not
>adhered) on cake boards, which are those foil-coated boards that
>bakers use. I don't know why we have these items, but we do, and I
>am responsible for caring for them.
>A large corner piece and several of the small edge pipings have
>become detached from one cake top.  Does anyone have experience in
>adhering sugar-based artifacts, or any suggestions?

First determine that these cake tops are indeed sugar based.
Decorative cake tops made for display purposes used to be made out
of plaster of Paris because it is long lasting and looks very much
like royal icing. If the cake tops are sugar based, loose pieces can
be re-attached or "glued" with royal icing. The royal icing can be
mixed with tiny amounts of paste food coloring to match the color.
Here is a royal icing recipe:

    Royal Egg White Recipe
    3 egg whites (room temperature)
    4 cups confectioner's sugar (approximately 1 pound)
    1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

    Beat all ingredients at high speed for 7 to 10 minutes. Keep the
    mixing bowl covered with a moist kitchen towel to prevent
    drying. Use immediately. Re-beating will not restore texture.
    Yield: 2 1/2 cups.

Foil covered cake boards are not stable. I would replace those with
rag board lined with polyester felt. Dry Royal icing will last best
in a very low humidity environment.

Anita Schwartz (anita [at] conservart__com)
8177 W. Glades Road
Boca Raton, Florida 33434

                  Conservation DistList Instance 18:13
                 Distributed: Tuesday, August 17, 2004
                       Message Id: cdl-18-13-006
Received on Saturday, 14 August, 2004

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