WHAT IS A CHEESE WEDDING CAKE?
Its not a cheesecake. It consists of several cheeses arranged one above the other in the same way that the tiers of a traditional wedding cake are arranged. To make it look like a traditional cake, round cheeses of varying diameters are used. We have now been supplying these sort of cakes since 2003, when we were asked to supply one for the Richard & Judy TV show. We pioneered this concept and now seem to be the leading supplier of this type of cake on the net and by supplying many cakes each week we have built up quite a lot of experience in knowing what works and what doesn't! We are a cheese specialist and have run our business for many years. Beware of other websites less specialised - some of their cakes contain pungent, wet, leaky, really soft cheeses which will not work on the day!
Some people simply do not like traditional fruit cakes, marzipan, chocolate, icing, or any of the ingredients of a traditional cake. These cakes are suitable for anyone who would prefer a savoury cake or who would like a cheese course at their wedding in addition to the usual type of cake. There is also a current trend for these cakes and they appear to be increasing in popularity, judging by the number of cakes we have supplied and the amount of queries we have received.
Of course, there is the alternative option of having a fruit/chocolate cake and a selection of cheeses displayed as a traditional cheese board.
MY WEDDING FOOD IS BEING PROVIDED BY A HOTEL/CATERERS
Please check with the venue/caterers that they are happy for us to supply a cheese cake they may want to provide ALL the food! It may also be a good idea to check that a hotel or caterers have large refrigeration facilities so that cheeses are not sitting around in a warm room for a few days before the wedding.
HOW MUCH CHEESE DO I NEED?
We normally recommend 100g of cheese per person (3.5oz) which means in theory that if you have 100 guests you will need a 10kg cake and so on! Some guests will not eat any cheese (14% of people do not eat cheese) but other guests will eat much more than 100g so from our experience of providing cheeseboards for large functions please allow 100g per person to be sure you have sufficient quantities. In terms of cost our cakes work out at roughly £2-3 per head; very reasonable when compared to an iced cake or a chocolate cake. Twenty guests is about the minimum sized cake so if you have fewer than that we would suggest a nice selection of cheeses. Some customers have bought cakes twice the size they need so that the cake looks impressive and they have then used the remaining cheese for another cheese meal. Remember that most blue cheeses freeze well and some people freeze soft cheese although this does change the texture a little.
You may need slightly less than 100g per person if you are providing a large buffet to go with the cake; or you are also having a traditional cake.
HOW DO I ASSEMBLE THE CAKE?
There are two methods.
The first is the easier and most popular way and is known as the American style. The cheeses are simply stacked on each other although it may be an idea to put a circle of greaseproof or cardboard between each.
The second involves separating the cheeses with stands, boards, pillars, etc. Recently, customers have been asking us where to obtain the wooden rustic bases shown on some photographs in our Customer Gallery. The answer is to find a local sawmill and ask them to cut a slice from a tree; then ask them to sand it with their power sanders. After taking it home, you can either wax the wood or polyurethane it to seal the cut surfaces.
Remember that whether stacked directly or separated, three or more cheeses which are different sizes work much better than several cheeses which have the same diameter a cake which looks like a factory chimney is not very aesthetically pleasing!
You will need at least one, perhaps two, very sharp, strong knives to cut the cake; we sell plenty of knives. Smaller knives are really useful to spread out amongst the cheeseboard and, of course, are useful to keep and use in the future.
Whilst talking of adding other items to your order, many customers have also added some chutneys and pickles to go with their firm cheese(s). Pictures and details of all our goods can be viewed on our internet shop.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO DECORATE THE CAKE?
Find someone artistic to garnish it in an attractive manner! We do not provide fruit or other garnishes as everyone has their own personal ideas. Foliage, cherry tomatoes, green/purple grapes, flowers, and even some figurines all seem to work well. If you are worried about cut flower or leaf stems touching the cheese, wrap the stems in a little clingfilm or foil.
We think that the cakes work best when they have all their wrappings removed before decoration.
CAN I BUY A CHEESE WEDDING CAKE AT ANY TIME OF THE YEAR?
Not in January or February. Our shop and internet site are very busy in December and we are overwhelmed with other business so please order your cake early. In January and early February we take our annual break and are unable to supply cakes. Also, suppliers often sell out of certain cheeses at Christmas so we cannot always obtain normal stock in the early part of the year. To avoid any cakes getting lost in the chaos of Christmas our last despatch date is mid-December. The cheeses will need to be kept refrigerated until the Christmas or New Year wedding by, either the venue, or yourselves.
HOW MUCH NOTICE DO I NEED TO GIVE?
Ideally a month, but we do prefer as much notice as possible, especially if we need to discuss your requirements at length. We can provide cakes with less notice - just order a cake and we will email you very quickly as to whether we can supply or not. To provide quotations, we always require the date of the wedding and the number of guests. We also need a name and address for delivery of the cheeses and your credit card details when you place your order in the wedding section of our internet shop. We do not charge your credit card (except for a £50 deposit) until we have packed the cheeses ready for despatch. For cakes which cost less than £100, we take full payment when you order. We use Royal Mail Parcelforce next day service and normally work to the following timescale:
If a wedding is on a Saturday, we will despatch the cheeses on the Wednesday before the wedding so that, ideally, they arrive on the Thursday. This allows for Parcelforce to take two days to deliver the cheese, which has been known to happen occasionally. Similarly, we suggest a Tuesday despatch date if the wedding is on a Friday.
There is a subsidised next day postage charge to most mainland addresses (see our FAQ's page for details of the remote areas for which we have a surcharge). There is, of course, no delivery charge if the cheeses are collected from our shop.
CAN I VISIT THE SHOP?
We are happy to see potential customers in our Tetbury shop and many couples find it very useful to see and taste real cheeses rather than just look at photographs. Some of the cheeses we use in cakes are not sold as cut cheese in our shop, so not every combination of cheeses can be tasted. We now require you to book a consultation online in or wedding cake section of our webshop. Our shop is tiny and often very busy on Saturdays. You may have to wait while we serve some customers whilst also talking cakes! Please make sure you have read this wedding information page and please try not to ask questions in our shop we have answered here - it will just save time for all of us! We can't discuss cakes at our shop in December as we are too busy then with our pre-Christmas business. We do, however, send a lot of cakes out in December which have been organised and ordered well in advance. If visiting Tetbury and you are getting married locally, we have a lovely florist right opposite us called Scentiments (tel: 01666 503195). They can decorate our cakes and provide first class wedding flowers.
We make a charge for a wedding consultation at our shop in Tetbury. This is fully deductible from the cost of any cake which is eventually ordered. The total charge for our consultation is £50. Please restrict the numbers to two or three as our shop is very small. This consultation has to be arranged in advance by ordering this consultation as a product online in the wedding cake section of our internet shop.
DO YOU HAVE A BROCHURE OR DETAILS YOU CAN POST TO US?
No. We keep our website regularly updated and there are anwers to common questions and lots of pictures. Make sure you look at our customer gallery too (there's a link to our gallery on this page).
HOW DO I ORDER?
To make a firm order please go to the wedding cake section of our internet shop and order online. We have several cakes in that section and we also have all the components to make a custom cake.
A NOTE OF CAUTION
We have had a few distressed couples asking us to help them out at the last minute as their local butcher, supermarket, or other cheese stockist has let them down. Most of our wedding cake cheeses are not available from supermarkets and for those cheeses which are, be careful as, in our experience, supermarkets and some other retailers are notoriously bad at special orders! We also obtain cheeses in the right condition to stay out unrefrigerated on the wedding day, whereas you may get a cheese from somewhere else which is tired, too ripe and near, or even past its 'use by' date. We have also seen pictures on the internet of cheeses cut at an angle resembling the leaning tower of Pisa! We actually measure our cheeses to get a perfect (or as near as perfect) ring of cheese if we need to cut a cheese. One couple went to collect a ring of Cheddar from their butcher to find the butcher had cut it the wrong way, giving them a semicircle! We have seen cheeses used in cakes which are totally unsuitable in our opinion. All our cakes have been tried and tested and work, as we have extensive experience. If you've used someone else and been let down we will help if we can but YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
If you need to e-mail us, one way you can assist us is by continuing a thread of e-mail (i.e. keep replying to our e-mails rather than creating a new one each time). This way we have all your e-mail correspondence on one e-mail rather than on, sometimes, many. We have hundreds of enquiries a year and this is the best way for us to keep track of all customers. During December we are frantically busy. Please try not to e-mail during the run up to Christmas unless your wedding query is really urgent. We take our annual holiday mid-January to mid-February and do not answer e-mails during this period.
WHAT CHEESES ARE SUITABLE?
As mentioned above, we need to work with round cheeses, which precludes us from suggesting cheeses which come in a wedge shape these are generally very large cheeses such as Lancashire, Cheshire, Vintage Poacher, etc., which have to be quartered and therefore end up in our shop as a broad wedge. We never recommend fruit flavoured cheeses as these wet cheeses leak fluid on the wedding day as they warm up and will spoil the look of the cake. We can work with large cheeses if they can be split into halves or thirds.