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LACE PIECES ('Points')

Because lace pieces are so delicate and fragile and prone to breakage, always use fresh, well-beaten icing or it will be weak. NEVER beat on high speed. It really should be beat by hand. Icing beat on high speed with the electric mixer will contain air holes and cause breakage. Always make more pieces than you need. And always do this work last so cake will be handled less once it's done.
These are either made with hard-drying royal icing, color-flo (which dries harder). For lace pieces, I make royal icing that dries very hard.
Like with almost any other decorating technique, there are many variables and each person has their own preferences. Then, different styles of lace pieces fit different types of cakes. Patterns are included that will help you to understand lace pieces better.

Is a lace point pattern
Is a lace point pattern

*Patterns Below
Use this hard-drying royal icing recipe:

Place the egg white in a bowl and add sifted confectioners' sugar until desired consistency.
Beat with a fork only. Not electric mixer. This takes awhile, but it is worth it so you don't have the breakage.

If you use color-flo rather that regular royal icing, your lace pieces will dry harder and you will have a lot less breakage. (Color-flo IS essentially royal icing. But it just dries much harder).

PROCEDURE: Prepare color-flo in a thin to medium consistency.
Don't make it too thin - (not like when you have it to flow), but not stiff either. Since you are using tips with very small openings, the icing will be more workable if not stiff.

   Have a tray that won't bend. I make good cheap trays using cake cardboards. A cake cardboard covered with plastic wrap is perfect. Drape plastic wrap over the top of the cardboard, stretch smooth and tight, then use masking tape underneath. Place the lace piece pattern on the cardboard.
   1. Tape wax paper over pattern on a flat surface and secure with small pieces of tape just enough to secure the wax paper. DON'T lap the wax paper over underneath the surface.
   2. If lace has a straight line where it joins the cake, pipe that line first, then rest of pattern. Pipe pattern, let lace pieces dry, uncovered,  a few hours or overnight.
   3. Remove lace from paper with a fine spatula and with fingers.

TIPS Fill a pastry bag less than half full with medium consistency color-flo icing. Pipe tip 1 lace pieces following your pattern.

TO PLACE: Stick lace pieces on the cake using several dots of fresh royal icing for each piece. This can be in a scallop pattern or however. Before icing crusts, place one lace piece at a time against the icing bubbles. Don't try to make too long of bubble rows at once or they'll crust before you are ready.

PICTURE (Lacepoints.gif):
1. Shows open lace pieces being piped.
2. Shows simple heart lace with cornelli piped inside. NOTE: The cornelli lace pieces shown must be piped over fine tulle (like we sell), because cornelli doesn't touch.
3. & 4. Show methods for placement on cakes.
     Lace pieces are wonderful to dress up a cross-shaped cake. I like to place them around the inner top border. They add such a delicate affect.
TIP: Add tiny dots around edges. Attractive and adds strength


You CAN use coating chocolate for many decorating schemes, other than just to dip your bon bons. You won't need to wait for drying. They will be ready to use in minutes. What could be easier. Use any color you like.

TO DO: Melt coating chocolate in top of double boiler over hot, not boiling water. Place chocolate in a decorator bag fitted with tip 1. Pipe lace piece, as shown, on wax paper draped over your lace piece pattern. Don't refrigerate or they may become brittle. The lace pieces will soon set up on your counter top.

The lace pieces are positioned on the cake last. Ice and decorate the cake with buttercream icing. Where you plan to add lace pieces, first make a tiny bubble border with tip 1 or 2. Before icing crusts, put the lace pieces in place. Of course, this means you can work on only a small portion of the cake at a time. But it goes pretty fast anyway. And is SO impressive!

From Earlene, I noticed some discussion about lace points and lace pieces and what the difference is. This is only my opinion.
Lace points are small designs that you must make multiples (50 to 200+) of to go on, around or under the cakes. These lace point designs usually range in sizes from 1/4" to 1 1/2" in width and length accordingly. I have in the past attached royal lace points to fondant and buttercream iced cakes. They are each attached individually to the cake or the base plate of the cake

Lace pieces (4 to 24+) are larger pieces that would fit on the sides or tops of the cakes and project from the cake or be attached close to the cake. Wings are lace pieces that fit over the top edge and down the side of the cake. Column Lace is lace pieces that will be attached directly to the columns between the cakes.

I have a piece of plexiglass that a friend sent to me that is approximately 6" X 12"  and it has diagonal lines protruding from one side in a diamond pattern. I think it came from a fluorescent light fixture. I now use that to mark the sides of my cakes for (1) lattice work, (2) diagonal lines with hearts piped where the lines cross. After marking with the Plexiglas, I use a dowel rod to increase the size and depth of the diagonal lines.

One of the designs we have requested often is embedded diamond shapes on the side of the cake. The last few times we have done this cake we iced the cakes, let them dry to the touch, then took this strip of the plexiglass and pressed it gently against the sides of the cake rotating the strip around the cake. Note: When you have someone cut this strip for you be sure it is cut straight. After we have it marked slightly with the plexiglass piece then we take a skewer or a small dowel rod and indent those lines even more. Pipe a dot, teardrop or heart at some of the intersections or in the centers of some of the diamonds.  Use a simple ball border or snails trail at the base and a reverse snail trail at the top edge.  Or pipe a heart border at the base and the top. Very basic, simple and clean lines and very easy to do.

     A few years ago I also had a groom that wanted straight up and down lines around the cakes. I didn't want to pipe lines vertically around that whole cake.  I began looking for something that would make those lines. I found a car mat with the perfect lines. Cut a strip from that mat 4" wide and the width of the car mat and it worked perfectly. Let the icing dry slightly before marking with the mat.  This mat should also be washed-scrubbed before using it on your cake icing.

     By the way if you need to make gumpaste potato chips two pieces of this mat together make great ruffle chips.  Lay the gumpaste oval between two pieces of the mat and press together.  Fun to use with hamburger cakes.

From Earlene
Lace Points should be made from strong royal icing. Because of their delicate construction they should be made from fresh egg whites. Remember to never use an egg for this that has even a hint of a crack. Warm the egg and crack into a grease free bowl and add lemon juice and beat with a grease free fork until slightly frothy.  Add pwd sugar a heaping Tbs. at a time until the desired consistency is reached.  Beat well after each spoon of confectioners' sugar is added. For extra strength you can add piping gel.

       If the icing gets too thick add lemon juice or egg white to thin.  If it is too thin add confectioners sugar.  A damp paper towel must be kept over all utensils and bowls while you are using them.  This icing dries very fast.

       If it forms a crust and gets crunchy, do not mix it  and try to use it.
It will stop up your tips and cause you to loose your cool. And we are so sweet we wouldn't want to loose our cool.

   You will need a sturdy cardboard aprox. 4 inches by 12 inches, wax paper, pattern, tape, tips 0, 1 or 2, Crisco and a damp paper towel.
Cover the cardboard with wax paper so that you have NO OVERHANGING.
Make yourself a handle for your pattern with masking tape.
Take a piece of masking tape aprox. 4 inches long and attach to the edge of your pattern, place the other end right over the top of the attached end and press down.  Your tape will now be 1/2 as long and form a handle for your pattern to be moved in and out under your wax paper. Lace points can be black cats, musical notes, treble clefts, hearts, ovals, etc.  They can be white, black, red and etc.  Small, large, wide, tall - standing free on the top of the cake, hanging from the side of the cake or hanging under the edge of the cake on wedding cakes.  Basically simple outline shapes or patterns that make a plain cake look fancy.

We carry several excellent books  with many neat patterns. There is one cake with a peacock that the tail feathers are multi-color lace points. Grease the wax paper with Crisco lightly and with a paper towel remove most of the Crisco. Using a small writing tip fill a small bag (1/2 of an 15" parchment triangle) with freshly stirred royal icing.

     (If icing is in a bag or a bowl for too long it begins to form air pockets and needs to be re-stirred) Touch the pattern with your icing and then lift your icing and let it drop with your guidance to form curves and lines to follow your pattern.  This will give you nice round lines that will be strong.
If you try to draw them over the pattern they will be flat and weak.
 Keep a damp brush handy to gently press down any tips or points that are to obvious.
Each time you lay your bag down with the royal icing - you need to make sure the tip is covered with a damp paper towel.
If you know you are going to need 50 lace points to do your cake -make 75 to allow for breakage.
If they fall off - too much grease - wipe some of it off and they won't fall off.
Let them dry overnight or a couple of hours in a dehydrator before using.
When you get ready to use them a very thin blade spatula is handy for removing them from the wax paper.
Put a very small amount of royal icing on the lace point where they will be attached to the cake and touch to the cake.
Adjust or balance until set.

Q. What size TIP do you use for lace points
A. #0, 1 or 2 (rarely would you use tip 2!), depending on the design and the size of the lace point.