While I am thinking about cheesecake – again – did I mention the fabulous cake that we had at our wedding!
Mr George and I are just not that keen on fruit cake, or sponge cake. What we do like is cheesecake! (Well, I do anyway). So we decided to have a big cheesecake as our wedding cake.
Not having planned a wedding before, I didn’t realise that there was a new fad or fashion in having a cheese cake – as in each tier being made from a round of a different flavour of cheese. However, after some googling, I quickly learnt that this was a much more common request that the one I had in mind. In fact, only one company in the UK seemed to offer cheesecake as an option – and they did not offer a lot in the realms of decoration.
So plan B – I emailed all of the cake makers in the vicinity of the venue and asked whether they could do what I wanted. Only a few replied, and only one responded with enthusiasm, suggestions and better yet, questions about what I personally wanted. The fabulous Chris, from Dulcie Blue Bakery in Shrewsbury.
We emailed over descriptions of what I envisioned in my mind, and went to see Chris at her home. She had prepared a number of samples for taste testing – a chore which we happily got stuck into. And then we discussed design.
My intention was to have a wedding cake that looked like a cake – i.e., a normal 3 tier stacked cake. None of the guests were to know that this was a cheesecake until we cut into it. Now we came to the actual planning, a few questions came up that had not occurred to us before – and this was a first for Chris too.
Firstly, stacking the cake. Normally dowel rods are rooted in the bottom tier to support the weight of the tier above. A sponge or fruit cake is denser, thereby supporting the bottom part of the rods. But in a cheesecake, which is normally softer, the concern was that the foot of the dowel would slip sideways. While Mr G began to get a bit technical, drilling holes in the cake board and developing scaffolding in the planning department of his mind, Chris and I decided that the recipe should be amended to make a more solid mix.
Then onto the melting point of cheesecake. A room of 60 people combined with radiators and lighting can make a room pretty warm pretty fast. If the cake started to melt not only could it collapse, but we had concerns about losing the taste and texture. Chris set to over the next few weeks, experimenting with different mixes and leaving them around her home next to radiators. I imagine this was a unique form of torture for her husband and kids!
Meanwhile I went to speak with the venue. Rowton Castle in Shrewsbury – a beautiful location and fantastic staff. I discussed the issue with the manager, and (after a little confusion over the difference between a cheese cake and a cheesecake!) he rose to the challenge immediately, muttering about bowls of ice under tables and assuring me he could keep everything chilled until required.
There comes a point in wedding planning when you have to sit back and trust in the people around you to do their part. So I left it in the hands of the experts and went to fret about some other details.
The day before the wedding I understand that Chris had to empty her entire fridge, shelves and all, in order to fit the completed cake in (I found this later from Facebook!). However, the trial and effort was total worth it.
The first time we saw the cake was after the ceremony and just before the guests came in for the wedding breakfast. Mr G and I went in to preview the room – and there it was. Set up before the (open) window, in front of the radiator (off) and on top of a frozen table – the most beautiful wedding cake and even better than the picture I had in my head.
Oh – and it tasted amazing too!
So – here it is.
Tier 1 – chocolate honeycomb, Tier 2 -chocolate fudge, Tier 3 – chocolate orange. Surrounded by shards of chocolate, with a cascade of roses falling down the side.
Many thanks to Chris for her amazing effort and willingness to try something new.