Thanks to CC, I've been introduced to foamcore board LOVE IT! I used it last night for the first time, and then I started thinking... Was I supposed to cover it with something before I put the cake on it? Is it going to absorb the grease and look terrible today like the un-waxed circles do? Is it food safe if I don't cover it? What does everyone use to cut it? I used a box cutter and I had some jagged edges?? I know these answers are probably already addressed but I don't have time to sort through all of them before another cake tonight!
Also-when people cover the boards with fondant, do you cover the entire board before you put the cake on? If so, how do you decorate without disturbing it? If you put a cardboard underneath it, do you put icing under it to keep it from sliding on the foamcore? So many questions, but I want to do it right!!!
the paper covering foam core will absorb the grease but it wont get soft like cardboard. If you are using it for something other than between your tiers make sure you cover it with fondant or foil. I use heavy sissors for the circles and an exacta knife for strait edges. As far as covering your board with fondant, which i don't do very often, i would cover it a few days in advance so it hardens and you wont mess it up when you put the cake on top. Also to prevent sliding don't put anything between your cake and the fondant. Hope this helps!!
There are different opinions on it, but personally I always cover my foamcore, even the ones between the tiers, because the foamcore that I buy isn't in a sealed package and it doesn't feel food-safe to me unless it's wrapped. I use press and seal wrap, which adheres itself to the board well enough that it doesn't come up when you cut the cake.
I use a box cutter...the kind that folds like a pocketknife. It cuts through the 3/16" foamcore easily. When cutting 1/2" sheets, I usually have to turn it over and cut through from the other side to get it cut all the way.
And for covering the cake board...I cover it a couple of days before I do the cake, then the cake goes on a circle cut to the exact size of the cake itself. Once the cake is covered with fondant, I put it, board and all, onto the decorated fondant board. I have never had a cake slip off of a fondant-covered board The cake-sized board makes it easier to get the fondant on the cake perfectly.
I always, always, cut with a sharp X-acto knife. As an architectural designer, we use foamcore a LOT for (presentations, etc). Paper dulls the Xacto blades so make sure you have refills and as soon as the blades catch on the foam (makes those ugly foam ballsbetween the paper/jagged edges ), its time for a new blade.
You guys must be really good at cutting these things! I just got done with a few and they look terrible Perhaps I need to stick with the pre-cut stuff.
Simply, it's a pain sometimes, but I feel like the thing that helps me the most, is besides having a fresh sharp blade, is not to cut all the way through on one pass. It's too much force for me, and I end up slipping or cutting on a slant. Nice even pressure, slowly, if it doesn't cut all the way through the first time, eh, no biggie, I go back and do it again, taking care to stay within the initial cut. And make sure to keep your blade straight up and down.