Thursday, 14 March 2013

Say Cheese! - By Daniella B

An Alternative Wedding Cake for the Bride with a Savoury Tooth.

I am the proud friend of the founder of this blog and culinary aficionado, Alissa Breit. A couple of days before she set off on her Antarctic adventure she was a dazzling bridesmaid at my wedding – no cheese in this photo of her and the rest of the girls!

Now I’m a little embarrassed that this will be blog #3 themed around my nuptials (there were the engagement picnic meatballs and more recently the limoncello party favours for my Clayton’s hen’s lunch). However I have had so many comments about ‘The Cake’ at our wedding that I wanted to share it with you all.

It’s pretty simple really.

Instead of a traditional torte we had rounds of cheese stacked up on top of each other in the form of a cake. It was then taken apart and turned into a cheese platter table for the guests after the cutting.

Firstly, I am not a sweet tooth and my husband, Marko will eat anything, animal, vegetable or mineral.
Secondly, wedding cakes aren’t exactly cheap, and nor should they be. If I spent all weekend baking, assembling and decorating all those tiers I would charge an average price of $1000 too. This cost on it’s own is quite acceptable in the scheme of a wedding budget. However it’s the ‘cakeage’ of a minimum $5 per guest charged by most venues to cut and serve the cake into fingers that tips it over the edge. For 200 guests you do the maths!

Hence I started thinking outside the (cake) box for options. If you google ‘wedding cheese cakes’ you might come across some veritable and over-fruited monstrosities. However a quick look through cheese specialists, Ocello’s, wedding gallery will leave you inspired and craving a Bega cheese sandwich for lunch.
Having confirmed that our venue, the stunning Deckhouse at Woolwhich, would not charge us to turn our wedding cake into a buffet cheese table, the next step was to choose which cheeses would stack up to the occasion! This task was undertaken by my parents in the Ocello cheese room in Surry Hills, and the decision was as follows, from top to bottom:

1. La Tur: Soft Sheep, Goat, Cow - Italy
2. Camembert: Soft Bloomy Rind, Cow - France
3. Gorgonzola Piccante: Bitey Blue, Cow - Italy
4.Latteria: Hard Mild-Medium-Cow - Italy

Needing a slice of tradition, the centre tier was left for an ACTUAL cake, that could be frozen and kept for our first anniversary or (God willing) child’s Baptism. (It is worth noting that my Matron of Honour and fellow guest blogger, Nicole de Tullio, recently defrosted her 5 year old Wedding Cake which we enjoyed at her daughter’s first Birthday… WOW!)

Luckily the delightful and wise Julie Barlow, of Distinctive Cakes, was completely happy to change our original, full wedding cake order to a single, round tier of traditional fruit cake 22cm diameter by 6cm high in plain, white icing to sit between the cheeses, and delivered it with much care on our big day.

The extraordinarily talented florist, Mr Cook, took on the task of decorating the cake with fresh fruit and flowers, and it looked incredible sitting on the rustic wooden box that Ocello supply on loan.

Unfortuantly when we, the bridal party, arrived at the venue we were informed of a casualty: Tier 2, the Camembert had collapsed. However the amazing people at the Deckhouse sent someone out to get a replacement and no one was the wiser. And our concerns that the Gorgonzola might radiate an undesirable odour throughout the reception was unfounded.

Our wedding celebration is a blur of laughter, music, speeches and food, glorious food. After the divine-looking, generous and scrumptious platters, canapés, entrée, mains and desert all that was left was to cut the cutting of the cake!

It gave Marko and I much pleasure to hear my brother and MC read out the list of cheeses to the guests as we sliced the knife into that gooey, white mound of soft sheep and goat. After licking our fingers, having a cheesy kiss for the crowd and half a slow dance, the cake was dissembled and laid out for all to devour.

When you count the crackers and the trimmings, the total cost when all is said and done was a bit less than a wedding cake proper. But the guests all got an after dinner alternative that didn’t compete with the deserts already on the menu. The best bit of all is that we got to take the leftovers home, and for the next several weeks our cheese sandwiches are on a whole new level!

Wedding Photography by James Day
Ocello, Cheese Specialists
Distinctive Cakes
Mr Cook, Florist 
Deckhouse Woolwhich

- Daniela is guest blogging while Alissa undergoes penguin withdrawal

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