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Lambeth style decorating - RI ?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Help! My RI keeps breaking
post #2 of 16

It sounds to me like the icing might be just a tad too thick.  Have you tried thinning a tablespoon of it to see if that might work?

Rather than liquid/water try thinning w/just a drop or two of piping gel.

Is it breaking from air bubbles?  Did you strain it through a knee high stocking?

Could use more info :)

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you, what proportion piping gel per cup of RI?
post #4 of 16

Breaking RI is almost always airbubbles, especially when using the small writers, like 2, 1 and 0. It could also be a problem of pulling the icing when piping. As Kakeladi says, more info could help solve the problem.

Lambeth'ing the night away
Lambeth'ing the night away
post #5 of 16

I like adding corn syrup to royal icing for piping.  It gives it some elasticity making the piping easier.  I usually will put some RI in a small bowl and mix some corn syrup in, just enough to make it creamy.

post #6 of 16

For Lambeth work information, read Eddie Spence's book on royal icing,  or Norma Laver's book on piping basics.  VERY detailed descriptions of how royal icing should feel when it has been mixed properly.  Check your public library.


I make the icing with three "large" graded egg whites per pound of sugar.  Beat on medium speed for several minutes rather than on high speed.  This is perfect for flowers and shell borders as made.


To soften for leaves and stringwork, use no more than 1 teaspoon of piping gel or corn syrup per cup of icing.

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your help, the breaking and difficulty starts at pipe 1, I love pipe works,I'm new to this but I'm sure overtime, I will be as good as you all are. I have seen Eddie Spence RI book advertised on several websites I will definitely buy one.
post #8 of 16

Air bubbles or you have sugar crystals.


If I'm doing any stringwork or Lambeth, I make my RI the day before, and I NEVER whip it.  I crack my eggs (yes, I use real eggs) and I sift in my powdered sugar a few tablespoons at a time gently stirring.  It's also helpful to add cream of tartar or lemon juice - the acid helps strengthen the protein in the eggs making the icing stronger and easier to work with.  Letting it sit for a day (or at least several hours) lets any air bubbles you worked into it come to the surface, it also helps any color you've added to fully develop.  I then put the bowl into another larger bowl and cover with plastic.  The next day, I give a gentle stir and check consistency.  If I'm doing 00 or 0 piping I will then take the RI and run it thru panty hose (I have a whole box of cheep-o knee highs that I use and toss).  This pulls out any sugar crystals.  I also use PME tips not Wilton.  Wilton tips have imperfections inside them that can catch your icing and make it curl when you pipe.  I rarely have this problem using my PMEs.


Keeping your tips immaculate is very important too - when you are done with them clean them really, really well.

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your reply, I will change my tips to PMEs, I noted that curling happens even on Wilton tip 2, I thought I was going crazy,I'm glad you pointed that out.
post #10 of 16

I have slowly been replacing ALL my Wilton tips with PME or Ateco.  Every time I start having issues piping something the 1st thing I do is make sure I didn't load a Wilton tip on my bag.  If I did, I swap out for another brand of tip and magically the problem goes away.


Good luck!

post #11 of 16

Amazing about the Wilton tips messing up and making the icing curl!!  I remember one time someone telling me that all the Wilton leaf tips (67,70,113,115) with exception of 352 tip needed to be lightly stretched and opened up a smidgen because when piping the leaf tips it would always cut off the end of the leaf into an irregular shape instead of a pointed end. I had to open my leaf tips like they suggested and it pipes correctly now!!

 I have one question.  Do the PME and the Ateco tips both use the same coupler as the Wilton decorator tips? Just wondering because I think I will start trying to replace all of my Wilton tips also.

post #12 of 16

Ateco tips fit the same couplers as Wilton.


I highly recommend Ateco--I have never bought any other brand and I have never had any troubles.

post #13 of 16

Yes they use the same couplers.  The PME tips are longer then both Ateco and Wilton's tips but are the same diameter at the base so they fit just fine.

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Wow, all of you guys, you are all awesome, I love this site, I get more tips here than going to a cake class! Thank you so much,
post #15 of 16

If your interested in learning the Lambeth technique I've done some research and I found a wonderful lady who actually teaches you via DVD. Which are very inexpensive, plus you don't have to leave your home, lol. Anyhow, google Tami Utley and she is the first one that pops up when you google or click on her name. I am learning "Llily A La Lambeth" I find it very informative and instructional for me. I am using my PME tips as I don't want my RI to curl either. I hope this was helpful.

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