Recent years have seen a huge rise in the popularity of cheese wedding cakes and it’s not hard to see why. A tiered cheese wedding cake provides all the traditions of its sister sweet version, such as creating a centrepiece, and the symbolic cutting of the cake by the bride and groom. Budget savvy couples have also come to realise the potential of the wedding cheese cake doubling up to feed hungry evening guests with the help of some crackers, chutneys, pickles and their favourite deli delights. A cheese course has long been a popular choice at weddings on the continent, so if you have a savoury tooth it makes sense to incorporate it into your big day.
Lisa from The Cotswold Cheese Company gives us some insider tips as to what makes a great cheese wedding cake. We recommend you use a specialist cheese monger she says, “A good one will allow you to make an appointment for a tasting session, where you can come in and sample flavours to see what you like. If you are ordering online, they will have tasting boxes available so you can try before you buy. You don’t want to be underwhelmed on your big day with cheeses lacking flavour or discover that the cheeses are not ripe enough. A specialist cheese monger will know how far in advance to order the cheeses in, to ensure they are at their best. They will also be able to put cheeses together to create the tiered look with each cheese getting smaller as well as having complimentary flavours and textures. It’s also essential to avoid anything too smelly. As much as we love the real pungent fromages on a normal day a Stinking Bishop has its place and it’s not at your wedding venue.”
The styling of the cake is hugely important as couples want their entire wedding day to reflect them, their tastes and personalities. Lisa explains “a cheese wedding cake provides you with a great opportunity to theme your cake to your wedding. For a rustic feel simply stack the cheeses on top of each other and decorate with figs, nuts, simple foliage, hessian ribbons perhaps on a wooden log base. Or for a more vintage feel involve your florist with the decoration to reflect the colours, flowers and style of your bouquet, add vintage lace ribbon or tea lights around the base. Get creative or keep it simple and let the cheese speak for itself.
With regards to portion sizes we recommend that you allow approximately 100g of cheese per person. You may want slightly more if the cheese is a main meal or slightly less if it is being served alongside cold meats, salads and pork pies as part of the buffet, but this gives you a rough guide to work with. It’s also a great idea to consider ordering extra servings of the top tiers, these tend to be much smaller so this ensures that all your guests will get to sample the full range of cheeses, ad not just the larger bottom tiers.
Any cheesemonger worth his or her salt will recommend that you serve the cheese at room temperature. The allows the flavours and textures to truly develop and reach their potential. This will of course be dependant on the weather and indoor temperature of your venue, but bear this in mind when having the cake set up and avoid direct sunlight at all costs.
Finally ensure your cheese wedding cake is delivered or collected a few days in advance, especially if you are ordering online. The beauty of online ordering is that you can choose your preferred supplier and can usually provide national delivery by wrapping it in ice packs to ensure no loss of quality. Giving yourself those extra few days will ensure you can enjoy the lead up as well as the big day itself.
So get sampling those Cornish Yargs, Barkham Blues and Cerney Ash goats cheese. After all who wouldn’t like a plate of cheese and crackers to finish off and soak up a great day of celebrating?