1.Trim cakes. Secure one 30cm cake to largest board, top with remaining 30cm cake, joining cakes with a little jam or ganache. Join the two 20cm cakes and the two 10cm cakes in the same way, securing cakes to same-sized boards. Secure 25cm and 15cm cakes to same-sized boards. Prepare cakes for covering with ready made icing.
2.Knead 1kg ready-made icing on surface dusted with a little cornflour until icing loses its stickiness. Tint light brown with colouring.
3.Knead one-third of the icing on cornfloured surface. Roll icing until large enough to cover the 15cm cake. Using rolling pin, lift icing onto cake, smooth with hands then smoothing tools. Trim icing neatly around base of cake. Use remaining icing and scraps to cover the 25cm cake.
4.Knead remaining ivory icing on surface dusted with cornflour, tint a darker shade of brown than the previous cakes. Use 350g of the icing to cover the 10cm cake, use 700g to cover the 20cm cake, use the remaining icing, plus scraps, to cover the 30cm cake. Dry cakes overnight.
5.Push 4 trimmed skewers into centre of all cakes except the top cake to support the next tier.
6.Assemble cakes, securing each tier to the tier below.
7.To make royal icing, sift icing sugar through a fine sieve. Lightly beat the egg white into a small bowl until mixture is just broken up (do not whip into peaks). Beat in the icing sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches desired consistency. Using a wooden spoon mix in the lemon juice.
8.Tint royal icing to match the two colours of the cakes. Three-quarters fill two piping bags with each of the coloured royal icings. Pipe around base of each cake to match the icing. Use fingertip to blend icing into any gaps where cakes join the boards. Dry cakes overnight.
9.Trace lace patterns onto baking paper, turn paper over. Melt chocolate. Half-fill piping bag with chocolate, snip tip off bag. Carefully pipe pattern onto baking paper, stand until set.
10.Pipe small dots of chocolate onto backs of chocolate lace, carefully secure lace to cake. Wrap ribbon around base of large cake, secure with royal icing.
Equipment 40cm (16-inch) square wooden cake board 25cm (10-inch) square wooden cake board 20cm (8-inch) square wooden cake board 15cm (6-inch) square wooden cake board 10cm (4-inch) square wooden cake board smoothing tools 16 wooden skewers 3 paper piping bags lace patterns If you prefer, draw patterns of your own to suit the purpose of the cake. You will need to pipe extra chocolate lace in case of breakages. The chocolate will set quite quickly so, if you break any of the piped patterns, simply re-melt the chocolate and pipe the pattern again. Carefully trace the lace patterns for the cakes onto sheets of baking paper, turn paper over so tracings are on the other side.