Build the perfect Cheese Wedding Cake!
Often people ask us............Can't I just order some cheese and build a cheese celebration myself?
And the answer is, of course you can! Why wouldn't you? And here are a few pointers, tips and tricks to help you on your way........
First of all you'll need to consider the total amount of cheese that you want to provide for your guests. The rule of thumb is 100 grams of cheese per person if the cheese tower is a significant part of the feast. Maybe IT IS the evening buffet for example (great idea!) but knock that back to about 75 grams if it's just part of a much bigger eating medley. Maybe it's the fourth course of a wedding breakfast? Or an after dinner course of an anniversary celebration. And it's worth remembering that not everyone likes cheese. Hard to believe, I know, but these strange people do exist! And they account for maybe 10 to 20% of your guests - no point in buying more cheese than you need to, right?
So, if you've got, say, 125 guests at your do you can take that down to,say, 110 straight away. If the Cheese Wedding Cake is a big feed in it's own right then you can safely order a total of 11kg of cheese (ie 100g per person). If it's just part of a large buffet or the fourth course of dinner you'll probably be ok with 8-9kg (thats 110 by 75g).
Note.....if the guest list is much shorter than about 30 people it can get a bit tricky to build much of a cake. A total of about two and a half kilo's would be a minimum to constitute a stack, really. Less than that and you'd probably be better off with a nice cheese board (naturally we'd be happy to talk to you about this).
Now.....here's where the fun starts! You get to choose the cheese! The trouble is you can't have all the cheeses you want in any old order. It goes without saying you'll need the biggest wheel of cheese at the bottom and they'll need to get progressively smaller as they go up. And how do you know how big each wheel is? What you really need is a list of cheeses with their diameters, weights and it would be quite nice to know how tall (thick?) each wheel of cheese is too, right? Click here to download one for yourself. This list of cheese wheels for cakes has all of the information you'll need, just work your way up the list adding up the weights of the wheels as you go.
As already mentioned you want the cheese to be getting smaller as they go up, ideally about 1 to 2 inches smaller, maybe a little more, for each tier.
If your cheese celebration cake is only going to be a small-ish one you might want to put spacers in between the tiers to give it some extra height. We've seen people use glass tea-light holders, or saucers, all sorts of things!
This probably isn't recommended though if your stack of cheese is already going to be tall! You don't want it ending up so tall that it becomes unstable!
While we're on the subject of keeping your cheese tower nice and stable....what if you want something soft in your cheese stack? As soon as it warms up, if not before, that soft cheese will go nice and gooey and the layers that sit on it will topple off! Disaster! But don't worry, there's a solution to that. We cut discs
out of hardboard, of various diameters, and glue 'legs' onto them (aka golf tee's) that will pass right through the soft cheese and sit on the harder one below. Voila! A nice stable cheese wedding cake with soft cheese, happy days, Give us a call if you're unsure and we'll tell you exactly how to do it, or send you one of ours.
This leads to the question of which cheeses would work well in your Cheese Wedding Cake. Well, now that you know you can have soft cheeses in any tier the world is your oyster (or shall we say the world is your truckle?!)
What we usually find, though, is that people enjoy coming into the shop to try a variety of cheeses and then build it up using plenty of different ones.
It's nice for your guests if you have something of everything in your celebration cheese cake. It depends on how many tiers your cake has, of course, but if you can do it it's great to include a rich, creamy cheddar (Black Bomber?), something blue (there's loads of choice here - Binham Blue, for example, or Colston Basset Stilton are two popular blue cheese choices), maybe a Brie? (we love Baron Bigod!), or a smoked brie, or how about a delicious ewe's milk Wigmore, or a Norfolk White lady.........? The list goes on!
Something to consider is the fact that the cheeses are obviously smaller towards the top of the the cheese tower and it stands to reason that it'll be hard to share those across as many people as the lower tiers. So what many of our customers do is put extra's of the small top ones around the base. Everybody gets to try some and it still looks great.
That brings us to the decoration of your cheese celebration cake. Experience has told us that there are endless ways to decorate one, and the first option is.....no decoration at all! Plenty of people just like the look of the cheeses themselves. I suppose you could could it a naked cheese wedding cake, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Cheese has all sorts of unusual textures and colours, so why not just show them off!
Then there's flowers. This is very popular. They can be dressed up with fresh or artificial flowers in whatever colour theme you fancy or indeed whatever colour theme your wedding is. Often people borrow our box of artificial flowers and just return them later, or conversely sometimes wedding couples have their florist decorate the cake. Flowers takes some beating when it comes to decorating your cheese wedding cake. Here's a tip.....sometimes builders staples (aka U nails) can come in very handy to fasten your flowers to your cheeses so that they appear to be tumbling down the side of your cake!
If its not an 'alternative' cheese wedding cake but instead it's an 'alternative' cheese birthday cake you might want to decorate it with fruit. A cheese tower dripping in grapes, figs, nuts and so on looks absolutely fabulous we think, and just the part for a birthday or indeed a retirement celebration cake.
So we've covered deciding how much cheese you need, choosing the cheeses, building up your cheese tower and decorating it. Now all that's left to do is eat it! Which does actually raise the question.....how do you eat a cheese celebration cake?! I mean, you can't just slice it down right from the top can you!? You could try, but we fear things might get messy!
Much more sensible is to dismantle the cake before eating. And here's a final tip: if one of your layers is a waxed cheese (say, Black Bomber, have your cheese-monger slice it up into wedges and put it back together again - maybe using some decorative twine - because even if you've got cheese knives at your event a waxed truckle will be mighty difficult to share without the right equipment!
Do you think you might fancy a Cheese Celebration Cake Supplied by Lemon Tree?
Lemon Tree Fine Foods is the number one supplier of cheese wedding cakes and cheese celebration cakes in the Norwich area, although we do find that cheese lovers throughout Norfolk come to see us for cheese for all occasions and to enjoy VIP treatment and a cheese tasting experience. Why not give us a call, email us or just drop in to enjoy some cheesy awesomeness with us?!