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sugar-icing-msg - 1/16/02


Period sugar icings.


NOTE: See also the files: Sugar-Icing-art, sugar-msg, Sgr-a-Cnftns-art, marzipan-msg, Digby-Cakes-art, cookies-msg, cak-soteltes-msg, pastries-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given  by the individual authors.


Please respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear  at this time. If information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



From: "Elise Fleming" <alysk at ix.netcom.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2001 06:22:54 -0500

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Cake Icing


> We have briefly mentioned period icings before. I get the feeling

> that these were much thinner than the fluffy, often rather thick

> icings that I'm used to seeing these days. When did these thicker

> icings come into use? Or was this a Victorian thing? I imagine these

> questions on icings are highly affected by the price and availability

> of sugar.

> Stefan li Rous


And Johnnae llyn Lewis  responded:

>I was already working on some icing references, so

>I will also research buttercream and royal icing and

>post when I get it all done. It was a busy week.


To which I will comment... All I have seen to date (mostly English

sources) is a coating of sugar and rosewater to "ice" the item,

usually a marchpane.  Within period, what we might call a cake

didn't appear to have much for a "topping".  When one gets into the

1650s, "cakes" begin to have an icing similar to the sugar and

rosewater.  Johnnae will probably have more time to double-check

this than I will (!), but cakes didn't resemble our cakes, being

(often) filled with fruit.  Perhaps there was not so much need to

coat it with sugar.  I do recall that there is a period song that

refers to a bridal cake being topped with plums.


Alys Katharine



Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 14:12:01 -0500

From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

To: "sca-cooks at ansteorra.org" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] SUGAR ICING/16th C.


I have as promised been at work on early sources for

sugar icing. I last quoted the following on 8 October


         A BOOK OF COOKRYE by A. W. which was published

by Edward Allde in 1591

  contains the following recipe for a sugar-icing...>

On page 29 at the end of a recipe for "a good Marchpaine":>

" Or ever that you bake it you must cast on it fine Sugar

and Rosewater that will make it look like Ice."


After citing the above reference,

I began to look for recipes in 17th century material.

Last night while looking in box of archival copies,

I came across this reference which would push the date

back to 1573 in English.


It's from The Treasurie of Commodious Conceits and Hidden

Secrets by John Partridge.Imprinted at London for Richarde

Jones. 1573. STC# 19426. This is the earliest of Partridge's

works and predates The Widowes Treasure of the 1580's.


Prior to the conclusion of Patridge's long recipe for

"To make a Marchpane. Cap.ix" he states:

"it may not bake but only be hard and through dryed, and

ye may while it is moyft ftick it full of Comfets of

fundrye coolers, in a comely order ye mufte moyft it

ouer with Rofe water and Suger together, make it fmoothe:

and to fet it in the Ouen or other inftrumet,".

He concludes:

"The greateft Secret that is the makynge of this cleare, is

with a little fyne flowre of Ryfe, Rofewater and Suger beaten

together & layd thin ouer the marchpane ere it go to dryinge:

this will make it fhine lyke Ice, as Ladyes reporte."


Patridge's "this will make it shine lyke Ice"

does not use Ice as a verb of course, but it may well

be the earliest use of Ice as a descriptive term for the

sugar and rosewater (here with rice flour) mixture used as

a coating for a cake. It certainly predates the 1605 Bacon

quotation given by OED for the meaning "A congelation or

crystalline appearance resembling ice." Or 1602 for

garnishing a cake. OED lists "icing" or encrusting a cake

back to 1769 and Mrs. Raffald. None of the other secondary

works that I have checked cite either this recipe or

this work by Partridge as sources on icing.


I will post the 17th century material later this week.

   [NOTE - See Sugar-Icing-art - editor]


Johnnae llyn Lewis  Johnna Holloway


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org