I've no doubt mentioned before that I've got a much more savoury tooth than sweet. I'll pick a starter over a desert every time, unless there's cheese on offer. I somewhat missed the boat with the wedding cheese cake phenomena as I don't think they were invented when we tied the knot. However what better excuse than a 40th Birthday for a magnificent Cake of Cheese.
I bought my selection of whole cheeses form I J Mellis Cheesemongers in Aberdeen's Rosemount. They helped guide me in terms of what kinds of cheeses I liked, budget, number of guests and how they could stack as a tower. They also provided me with an empty Brie De Meaux wooden box to use as a base. But from then on it was up to me to get creative. The cheeses I opted for were from top to bottom:
Chabis - French goats milk cheese with a gentle tang and bloomy rind.
Finn - a creamy cows milk cheese form Neal's Yard Creamery. Organic and Unpasteurised.
Highland Brie - a soft creamy pasteurised cows milk brie from Highland Fine Cheeses in Tain.
Crottin de Chavignol Fermier x 3 (used as pillars) - Unpasteurized Goats milk cheese from a small French producer. Strong and firm with an earthy flavour.
Cashel Blue - Irish farmhouse cows milk blue pasteurised cheese. Sharp full flavour with intricate network of bluing.
Tomme de Savoie - made in the Savoie region of the French Alps. Semi firm unpasteurised cows milk cheese with a grey/brown rind and nutty/grassy flavour.
Part of the fun of cheese is all the accompaniments that go with it. Boy got out the butter pats and made a huge bowl of butter balls, the Chilli Jam came from from Ola Oils, Spiced Apple Jelly made by me and Quince Jelly from Mellis. To decorate I went for figs, grapes, tomberries and thistles (from Suzie at Blooms and Balloons florists). The little blackboards on cocktail sticks I bought on holiday in France and wrote on them with a dressmakers chalk pencil. Of course you can't have cheese without Port and the decanter was filled a number of times over. Crusty bread and a selection of crackers and savoury biscuits completed the spread and my birthday gift from my sister of the Laguiole cheese knife set came in very handy.
The cake went down really well with my guests and was fairy swiftly decimated. The only photo I have of its demolition in progress is somewhat fuzzy. Much like many heads the next morning. I had worried that there would be loads left over and we would be living off cheese for weeks but there was surprisingly little left and it was eaten within a matter of days. I was particularly chuffed when I posted a photo of it on twitter and got a reply from Great British Bake Off Winner John Whaite saying that he thought it was amazing.
Cheesecake is so last year. Cake of Cheese is where its at.