Acetic Acid - Defined and Usage in Recipes

Acetic Acid—The foundation of all vinegars; used by confectioners when making icing from whites of eggs, to facilitate the beating.

Pastry cooks and confectioners use it in small quantities to whiten and stiffen cake icing, and to prevent granulation in boiling sugar. It is vinegar concentrated and refined and costs but little.

Substitutes for it are lemon juice, cream tartar, tartaric acid and citric acid. Acetic, boracic and salicylic acids are all employed as dressings to preserve raw meats from spoiling when exported to great distances.

Usage in Recipes


Put two whites of eggs in a bowl and put in as much icing sugar as they will absorb to produce a soft paste, add one- half a teaspoonful of prepared gum tragacanthin and three drops of acetic acid and then work the icing with a spoon; when it is withdrawn if the point of icing left behind stands out erect the icing is perfect.

The sugar employed in the making of this icing must be sifted through a fine sieve, and when the icing is made it must be kept covered with a damp cloth to prevent its drying, for it takes but a very minute lump of icing to stop the flow in the small pipes, which would then have to be removed and cleaned, thus causing great inconvenience.


  • 1/2 lb. of granulated sugar.
  • 3 whites of eggs,
  • 1 oz. of grated chocolate.
  • 2 drops of acetic acid.

A teaspoonful of vanilla extract. Proceed as directed in recipes for cream meringue, and when it is finished mix in the grated chocolate thoroughly. Drop portions with a sack and tube on greased baking pans and bake at a very moderate heat. This meringue is of the choicest kind; they rise nearly hollow and can be slipped easily from the pan when cold.

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