Say cheese!

02 May 2013

Say cheese!

The popularity of the cheese wedding cake soars in Britain so The British Cheese Board has created an ‘everything you need to know’ guide to creating the perfect cheese wedding cake.

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Cheese wedding cakes are the latest trend for weddings and are getting more popular by the day with cheese manufacturers across the country experiencing increased demand for these savoury delights. A few enlightened individuals first enjoyed a cheese wedding cake way back in 2004 and the trend really started to take hold in 2006. Now there over two dozen British companies creating cheese wedding cakes for couples up and down the country all reporting either steady or increased sales.

Why?

They are different. Cheese wedding cakes offer a delicious alternative to the traditional fruitcake and with more than 700 different named cheeses produced in Britain there is bound to be something for everyone. A lot of people don’t necessarily like fruit cake and a cheese wedding cake is the perfect solution for those looking for something a little different.

They are beautiful. Often appearance is as important as taste with a traditional wedding cake but cheese wedding cakes can be just as pretty. There are thousands of colour combinations you can create with a cheese wedding cake and with a wealth of decoration options like fruit, flowers, feathers and ribbons you can easily customise your cake to fit the theme of your wedding.

They are unique. If you look around you will find most companies offer a bespoke service as well as ready chosen options so if the groom is Scottish and the bride is Welsh you can have a cheese to represent everyone – the only question is which will be more popular? If you are aiming for something a little bit different with your wedding, a cheese wedding cake is easy to customise. One couple even ordered a Halloween themed cake for an October wedding made from orange cheeses like Shropshire Blue and covered in spiders!

They are cost effective. The average cost of a cheese wedding cake is similar to that of a traditional wedding cake but if the cutting of the cake comes straight after the wedding breakfast it can then be the cheese course. That’s two items on your wedding planner ticked off for the price of one centrepiece. Also, in the unlikely event that you have any cheese left it will keep for weeks in the fridge. Hard cheese like Cheddar can be grated and frozen for use in sauces, while 250 gram portions of Blue Stilton wrapped in foil can be frozen for up to three months. The trick then is to defrost the Stilton cheese slowly in the fridge over night, so the good news is that the cheese wedding cake then becomes a zero waste option.

Top 10 Tips

Here are our top 10 tips to help you choose the perfect cheese wedding cake:

1. Allowing 100g of cheese per person will give you more than enough cheese for your guests and if you are incorporating your cheese wedding cake into a buffet or sit down meal you could half that quantity.

2. Go on taste primarily, if a cake is to be a real stunner it will be the sensory experience of taste that will wow guests and using British cheeses is the best way to get all the flavours you need.

3. A cheese wedding cake should provide a balanced cheese board, put it together with your guests in mind not just your personal favorites.

4. Be adventurous and order a British cheese you have never tried before, often you will find it has a rich heritage behind it which makes a great talking point at the wedding, but always keep the ‘good cheese board’ theme in mind.

5. Avoid particularly strong smelling cheeses, especially in summer. If a strong cheese is a must check your venue is sufficiently air conditioned.

6. Look at all your options - you could have a traditional cake in the daytime and a cheese cake in the evening or you could put a mini cheese wedding cake on each table saving the costs of floral centerpieces on top of everything else.

7. Stick to decorating the cake with fruit or edible flowers, ivy is not a good idea and bulbs such as tulips should have the stems wrapped before use.

8. A good supplier should make choosing a cake an enjoyable experience, be able to offer lots of reliable advice and give you the opportunity to sample the cheeses you will have on the day.

9. Always try to look at the sizes of the cheese you want to use and make sure that the cheese is evenly graduated. It simply doesn’t look as good if the cheese sizes are too similar or too far apart.

10. Think about the colour combinations of the cheese you use, and you can easily make your cheese wedding cake fit with theme of the rest of your day.

Popular British cheeses for cheese wedding cakes

Most people prefer their wedding cake to represent a traditional cheese board and then have a few unusual cheeses to make it a little different. Popular choices include: Cornish Yarg, Blue Stilton, Mature Cheddar, British Brie or Camembert, Creamy Lancashire, Cheshire, Wensleydale with Cranberries, White Stilton with Apricots and Red Leicester.

Other more exotic British Cheeses you could try include: Red hot Mexican cheese, West Country Farmhouse Cheddar, Northumberland Nettle, Shropshire Blue, Sage Derby or try one of your local cheeses.

Where to buy your cheese wedding cake

Here is a selection of the cheese wedding cake providers you could try:

• The Big Cheese Cake Company www.hrhbigcheesecakecompany.co.uk

• The Wedding Cheese Cake Co www.cheesecakes4weddings.co.uk

• The Liverpool Cheese Company www.liverpoolcheesecompany.co.uk

• The House of Cheese www.houseofcheese.co.uk

• The Cheese Factor www.cheese-factor.co.uk

• The Cheese Shed www.thecheeseshed.com

• Wensleydale Dairy products Stockist no: 01969 667664

There are over 700 different named cheeses produced in Britain, and a variety of different textures and styles. You can find out more about the different categories of cheese available on the British Cheese Board website at: www.britishcheese.com/cheese

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