I've been baking for about a year now, and one thing I cannot get straight is how to get my cakes not to shrink. When I place my cake on the board to cover with fondant, I always have extra space on the edges, and when I cover with fondant, I can't smooth it all the way down to the board...
Sorry do you mean how to get your cakes not to shrink smaller than the pan? I am lost.
An 8 inch round cake pan will give you approximately a cake that is between 7 and 7 1/2 inch round. That is because the inside of the pan is smaller than the outside and the outside dimensions are what you are usually given. Not to mention that the cake is supposed to pull away from the sides of the pan while cooking and shrink in dimension. Are you trying to get the cake to be the same size as the board? Is this to make it easier to cover with fondant? I am a bit lost as to what you mean. Would you kindly explain further?
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes
Positioning cakes sugarpaste-covered cakes onto a cake-board can seem difficult. BUT, there are some tricks of the trade:
1. completely finish covering the cake with sugarpaste: smooth it and then trim it close to the edge. Leave to dry overnight
2. centre the cake on the board. If the cake is heavy enough, it will not need "glueing" to the board.
3. to cover the board with sugarpaste:
a. roll the sugarpaste larger than the cake-board - not too thin [thicker is better]
b. in the centre, cut out a smaller shape of the cake eg for 8"round, cut 7 1/2" circle. Use the cake tin [pan] as a template.
c. lift the sugarpaste up and over the cake, stretching it slightly and manipulating it so the cake and the board-cover meet with no lumps or gaps. The cake is now sealed and the sugarpaste board-cover is still soft enough to decorate [crimping, patterning etc].
I have never covered a cake-board with sugarpaste and then tried to centre a cake onto it. A difficult manoeuvre, I would expect.
There are four major cake-board covering techniques for sugarpaste decorated cakes:
1. cover it with paper, plastic, foil, fabric..then centre the cake
2. centre the cake and ice the cake-board with Royal Icing
3. centre the cake and strip cover the cake-board viz cut out pieces, and put them together like a jigsaw puzzle [very good for square, rectangle, hex, angled cakes]
4. the method outlined above
In all of these techniques, the cake can still be tweaked into the central position without any major problems.