25 Jan 2014

The alternative wedding cake and some marmalade


Ah, Saturday!  I spring out of bed with the energy of having two whole days to play before Monday. Time to cook, think about the garden, relax … and so, perusing Twitter in my pyjamas this morning, a link to a recipe for Kumquat marmalade caught my eye.  I have a few kumquats that need to be used up and the recipe seems simple enough. (Making Seville orange marmalade can be such a faff.)

Remember the wedding a fortnight ago when my 'Pussycat'  niece got married to her 'Owl'?.  Instead of a traditional wedding cake they chose a tower of artisan cheeses - a wedding cheese cake.  The Lamorna cheese cake looked fabulous on the website, a vision of foliage and flowers. The cheeses are shipped without the decorations, which is where I came in.  The original idea was to put fresh herbs around each layer but a quick check of the veg patch gave me only bay, french and curly parsley, rosemary, marjoram, a few chives.  I felt some colour was needed to bring a bit of sparkle to the party.  So, after a dash to the shops, pomegranates, physalis, tiny white roses and kumquats were added to the stash.

I'd pictured myself artistically styling the cheeses in a manner to befit a House & Garden photo shoot. As it happened, I was allowed at the unopened box of tightly wrapped cheeses only FIVE minutes before the bride and groom stood in front of The Cake for the line up!  No pressure there, then.

I ran back to where the other guests were leisurely quaffing champagne, gathered an impromptu creative team (my son and another niece, both adult) and, in a frenzy of unwrapping, lifting, chopping, placing and sweeping up - this is what we came up with.



Not quite the glorious vision in my head. But possibly the best 5 minutes work I'm ever likely to do! And you can see why there are kumquats left over.  We chopped them in half and used them as 'feet', leaving me half a bag for marmalade.

PS. I'm guessing the cheeses were absolutely delicious. After the meal and speeches, and the cake being cut, I went to greet a cousin and returned to see just an empty platter and a few herbs … all cheeses eaten!  C'est la vie.



28 comments:

  1. Wow, it's fabulous. I've never seen a wedding cake quite like it, but I suppose after the unique proposal, a three tier cake with royal icing just wouldn't cut it.

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    1. Thanks, Jo! I thought it a very unusual idea - although I quite like a bit of a sugar rush at the end of a wedding (and birthdays!)

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  2. Well done, that was rather inventive and obviously tasty. Flighty xx

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    1. Thanks, Flighty! I knew roughly what I wanted to achieve but couldn't have done it without the back up team!

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  3. Funnily enough I thought of you Caro yesterday when I came across an owl and a pussy cat greetings card in Waterstones. I wondered how the wedding went. What a unique cake but maybe not practical to save the top tier for any future would be kittens. Your niece and her husband must have been absolutely over the moon with your artistic creation but oh it was hard cheese that you were not able to enjoy a nibble.

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    1. Loving the pun there, Anna! And cheese is my favourite nibble as well! I was quite keen on trying the nettle wrapped Cornish Yarg (you need to say that in a West Country accent!) but I guess it wasn't to be. The wedding was lovely, and as unique as the cake. And of course the bride looked fabulous (not that I'm biased or anything. Doting aunt.)

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  4. I think you did brilliantly especially given the time restraint. When we were married we arrived at our reception to find the cake hadn't been 'erected' so. Martyn and I set to frantically setting it up before the guests arrived and we needed to be in the line up.

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    1. Thank you Sue - I can't tell you how relieved I felt when it was done! How funny if your guests had arrived to find you licking sugar off your fingers! Lucky you spotted the missing cake in time to avert a catastrophe and I hope all went smoothly after that!

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  5. That is such a good idea, I suppose it gave you less time to panic about decorating it. A lovely story for the future.

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    1. Actually there was more panic but it stopped me getting too precious over the design! It's nice to have an alternative to cake, at least the cheese tower all got eaten!

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  6. That actually looks glorious Caro, more glorious than you think! And done in only 5 minutes! Fantastic work!

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    1. Ah, thank you guys! Coming from you two style wizards, that's a real compliment! C xx

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  7. Amazing, well done you. I don't get on well with sugar, so I'd love to see more cheese wedding cakes.

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    1. Thanks, CJ. I prefer savoury to sweet (usually) and I think this was a bold move to step back from the traditional. I don't know where they got the idea from but it was certainly different!

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  8. I think it looks brilliant, and I would enjoy eating it too. Never had much of a sweet tooth.

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    1. Thanks, Jessica. Yep, cheese and biscuits, always a good idea. And there was chocolates and coffee. If only I'd got there in time …

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  9. Wow, that is fantastic! I'm sure everyone appreciated your wonderful creation, but such a shame that you weren't able to taste it!

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    1. Thanks, Pauline. I think it did have a certain wow factor as it was so different. I don't mind about not tasting it, there'll always be cheese somewhere in my life.

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  10. That's a great idea with the cheese as the cake. I watch the cake like ahawk at weddings, trying not to get distracted. "yeah yeah yeah auntie it's nice to see you but don't keep me chatting if the cake's getting dished out"!

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    1. I thought it was very original - actually, when I first heard, I thought my niece had said there would be cheesecake at the wedding - yum! my favourite! Ah well, next best thing. I can tell you're a professional cake hunter, a handy skill to acquire!

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  11. It looks AMAZING! What a fantastic idea to have a cheese wedding cake, I never heard of that before .....so much more yummy....now if my daughter gets married I'll be ringing you to dress the cheese wedding cake for sure!xxx

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    1. I'll be very happy to oblige - I've become quite the experienced cake dresser! Just wish it had been in the summer months then I could have used lots of edible flowers from my veg garden!!

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  12. Oh Caro, I can't believe you missed out on the cheese after all that! And I think you undersell yourself - and your press-ganged helpers - the "cake" looks amazing. I think my perfect wedding cake nowadays would be a combination of rich fruity alcoholic marzipan-encased traditional cake tiered with some wonderful cheeses, since my favourite thing at Christmas is a slice of Christmas cake with a large hunk of strong cheddar...

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    1. Ah, thank you, Janet. Now, your fantasy cake sounds amazing to me! I loved 'Bun and Cheese' when I was in Jamaica - the 'bun' being a spiced fruit loaf so I'm sure yours is an idea that could catch on!

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  13. A brilliant idea for an alternative cake and it looks fab. Can't believe you didn't even get a chance to try it. Although saying that I have made cakes for various events and then gone to have a little sample only to find none left. Oh well - a sign at least that the goodies were tasty. ;)

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    1. It just goes to show what a popular choice the cheeses were! My friends and I always made cakes to share around when the children were little and we gathered in the playground to watch them (the kids not the cakes!). It was a lovely impromptu arrangement that ensured everything got eaten! Sounds like your cakes would have hit the spot nicely!

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  14. What an original idea for a wedding cake., It looks fantastic. It was obviously very popular. Decorating it with kumquats was a bit of a brain wave.

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    1. Thank you Chloris - and thanks for stopping by to comment! I realised when I set out all the herbs that I'd gathered that the cheeses wouldn't really be festive enough for a wedding so rushed out in search of tiny bits of edible colour. Inspiration was found in Waitrose, not sure Morrisons or Lidl would have given me the same end results!!

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