A scan of some cakes

ACE (Archaeological Confectionery Experience)

Archaeologists love cake! And what better way to show this appreciation of any and all baked goods by creating 3D models of our favourites?

The University of Liverpool’s Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology is more simply known as ACE, but now its claim to that title has a rival.

The Archaeological Confectionery Experience project is a weekly experiment to perfect methods of combining products from Gallus gallus, Bos taurus, and Triticum aestivum using multiple stages including centrifugal and shear forces, and timed heat exposure.

From such tasty treats as Tortuga rum cakes to chouquettes filled with orange blossom cream, many of these experiments can initially be catastrophic failures, requiring immediate consumption and multiple reattempts.

Scan of a cinnamon bun

We are careful to record most of our attempts and these are available for inspection here. Experimental procedures available upon request. 

While this may seem a bit of a frivolous, perhaps silly, use of photogrammetry, the techniques developed when creating models of baked goods have helped hone the skills of the team. Reflective icing, contrasting and complex surface properties, spectral highlights from glistening ganache, all present their own set of photogrammetry problems that provide valuable insights into our model building process.

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