Sunday, 27 February 2011

wedding cheese DIY

As our first anniversary approaches I have been reminiscing about our wedding day. So in honour of that about 1 year ago today my man and I were buying the ingredients for our wedding cheese cake. Here is a DIY tutorial if any of you are interested (there are no progress photos as it only took 5 minutes to make and I was tired but I did draw a nifty little diagram): 

Zed and I are not really cake people, no, actually that’s a lie, we are cake people, but my Zed also happens to be a cheese person too and a lot of our friends are as well. I briefly thought about buying or making a traditional wedding cake, but cost, time a young baby, and the potential for an average tasting cake meant that I spent all of 2.5 minutes deciding to cross that off our list. I was also super tempted by this luscious offering over at Broke-ass-bride. But then I saw some pictures for a cheese wedding cake (basically cheese wheels piled on top of each other) and I thought I could do that, plus we could serve cheese platters with it after. I briefly doubted my skills and thought about getting someone else to do it, but again this idea was quickly dismissed after we were quoted about $800. Now I understand that there is a lot of skill, time and creativity in a traditional cake that makes them costly, and I also understand that large amounts of good cheese is costly, but $800 for cheeses piled on top of each other? There is really not that much skill involved here and I swear this is the easiest DIY thing possible. It took us a total of 30 minutes to buy the supplies and about 5 minutes for me to assemble it after a long day of flower arranging and no practice runs.

Photos by Kate Baker

  • 4 – 6 rounds of cheese or an amount that looks aesthetically pleasing given the size and shape of the wheels. It doesn’t really matter how much you have, and it is likely that you will have way too much (4kgs of blue cheese anyone?), but it keeps well and people will be more than happy to take it off your hands.
  • Ribbon
  • Pins
  • Random flowers (fake or fresh) or fruit (berries, grapes, figs etc) to decorate
  • Nice plate
  • Skewers

One week before wedding:
  • Go to quality cheese shop (or several) and try cheeses. We had so much fun trying the cheese and buying such large amounts.
  • Select between 4 – 6 wheels of cheese. We had 4, spent about $250, had about 100 guests, and plenty left over (particularly the largest base cheese).
  • Make sure that you select firmer cheeses for the bottom layers such as cheddar, and use softer cheeses up top. Ours went like this (bottom to top): smoked cheddar, blue, brie, camembert.

Day before wedding (or earlier):
  • Cut about 3 skewers to be a bit shorter than the total height of all the cheese stacked together.
  • Place largest round on plate and insert skewers vertically into the middle.
  • Take next largest round, place over skewers, and push down. Continue with all the other cheeses.
  • Get ribbon and wrap around the base of each cheese wheel. Pin into place at ribbon join.
  • Take flowers or fruit and arrange around the cake. You can pin into place, toss randomly or do both. This can be done just before the wedding or the day before, depending on what you are choosing to decorate with. We used left over fresh flowers and did it the day before. We also arranged some in a little white pot with florist foam for the top if the cake, but this is not necessary.
  • Depending on your climate, store in the fridge or in a cool dark place. Being an Australian summer wedding, we put ours in the fridge which also had the benefit of keeping most flowers (not tropical varieties such as orchids though) fresh. Actually, some of the flowers froze and died, but were easily replaced.