I love cheese. I know we’ve established this so many times it comes as no surprise, but maybe that I’m writing about it at the same time that I’m writing about wedding cakes should.
After all, as much as I love cheese, I love cake. I eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dessert. (I consume vast amounts of vegetables at dinner in an attempt to make up for this cake indulgence. But cake is delicious!) Cake, from its hearty breakfast forms to its most delicate, intricate dessert styles, is a wonderful reason to eat.
But wedding cakes get a bad rap. First of all, they are zillions of dollars. (Everyone remember Steve Martin in Father of Bride upon seeing the hefty price tag of the cake? “A cake, Franc, is made of flour and water.”) Secondly, they really are made of flour and water. And almond and buttercream and raspberry filling and eight layers and covered in sugared lilacs and edible pearls and who could forget the fondant and… well, the cake just about gets lost in there.
Which brings me to cheese.
Cheese, the world’s most perfect food, is terrific as appetizer, meal, and dessert. Which is why we had it at our wedding, layered, stacked, and towering… in cake form: Rounds of crottin, petit basque, brie, Thomasville tomme, Appalachian Tomme, and San Joaquin Gold piled high.
It was overwhelmingly delicious and I remain grateful to the good people at our caterer for not rolling their eyes at me and sending me elsewhere upon hearing my request (especially since I also requested that we ditch a sit-down meal in favor of a passed cocktail supper). Instead they indulged us and created a monument to all things cheesy one could ever want to consume, and with it were fig spreads, grissini, honeycomb, and crackers galore.
We served it at the beginning of the meal, when we toasted our guests (we did everything sort of backwards. We skipped the traditional toasts in favor of us toasting everyone else, and then we served the cake first!), and it was really fun, delicious way to kick off the evening. My mouth waters just thinking about it.
But my mouth waters for other unconventional wedding cake ideas, too. A good friend had a candy bar (it had lots of swedish fish and was therefore perfect) that doubled as a favor-station. Another served beloved family-recipe cookies made by aunts and grandmothers the day before so they were still fresh. My sister-in-law served donuts!
All these fun takes on the wedding cake has me thinking about the original: Pretty white cake shimmering with icing and cut with a special cake knife the couple will always remember. (Bill sliced our cake of cheese with his sword in Marine Corps tradition. We had to be careful not to use the word “cut.”)
Nowadays even the old-fashioned wedding cakes come in a hundred varieties. Charm City Cake in Baltimore makes a spiced pear cake to die for, and the blackberry sour cream sounds pretty phenomenal too. Add in swiss butter cream and a sentimental cake topper, and I think that’s a pretty sweet start to ever-after.
Not that a savory start is so bad, either.
Tell me: What kind of wedding cake did you have? Or dream of having? If you were to do it again, would you do the same thing? I have to admit, I think I would want to skip the reception in general and have a tamaledad instead!