If finishing a great meal with a cheese platter is more your thing than a sweet dessert, there’s a fresh take on tiered wedding cakes that is fabulously on trend, and lets you showcase some of the Yarra Valley’s best award-winning produce – cheese. The quintessential Yarra Valley wedding.
The ‘cheese wheel wedding cake’ is a feast of your favourite Yarra Valley cheeses stacked in a glorious ode to cheese and celebration. With very few rules and loads of options, creativity can run a little bit wild and the wedding cake can be a bespoke culinary invention that speaks to the heart of the couples’ uniqueness.
Simple and elegant, rustic and wild, decorated with flowers, fruits, nuts, quince and fruit pastes, ribbons, or even a traditional cake topper, the cheese wheel wedding cake can be a central part of your wedding meal and a great reason for guests to gather around and share stories. That's what Yarra Valley weddings are all about.
The Fromagerie, or cheese cabinet, at Kitchen and Butcher, Healesville, is a great place to start for some local inspiration. With a large selection of local and imported cheese to taste and purchase, Sophie is the queen of helping couples realise their dream cheese wheel cake and encourages people to choose what they love to eat best. “More people are seeking quality cheese rounds and it helps when they can come in and actually see the entire wheels and make choices that they can visualise as their cake,” says Sophie. “I’ve done cheese wheel cakes for couples entirely of different goats cheeses, but many people choose a variety of cheeses so there’s something to appeal to everyone.”
Jack at Stone and Crow Cheese Company, a cheesemaker located in Healesville, has also provided his cheese wheels for wedding cakes. He suggests a combination of hard and soft cheeses works well and has even engraved the wedding couples name on the outer layer of the cheese to personalise the whole experience.
“Just think about having the harder and weightier cheeses as the base and lower layers, and move towards softer and riper cheeses on the top. There may also be seasonal variations to take into account in terms of what is available or how it fits your budget,” he says. His hard cheeses, Moonshine and Annie Baxter, and soft cheeses, Night Walker and Galatic, are popular choices.
If the cutting of the cake is a custom you can’t live without, the cheese wheel cake still ticks the box for tradition. Your wedding theme can easily be incorporated into the cheese wheel decorating. It’s your choice – some cheese suppliers provide decorating services or if you’re feeling creative, then it may be something you’d enjoy doing yourself.
Serve the cheese wheel cake paired with local wines, muscatels, fruit pastes and crackers as an after-dessert or instead-of-dessert option. It is recommended to allow around 60 grams of cheese per person so your number of guests is a great place to start when designing your cake.
You can DIY if you prefer to source the cheese wheels and assemble and decorate yourself. If you have expensive tastes, then the upper end is completely up to you!
Who does cheese in the Yarra Valley?
Kitchen and Butcher | Yarra Valley Dairy
As featured in the winter 2019 issue