CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Devon Life today CLICK HERE

Quicke off the mark: Mary Quicke tells Devon Life the right recipe for a special wedding cake.

PUBLISHED: 10:27 13 February 2015 | UPDATED: 10:27 13 February 2015

Mary Quicke




This month our columnist MARY QUICKE has love in the air as she conjures up the right recipe for a very special wedding cake

Valentine’s Day, the day for declaring love, and marrying. It was my parents’ wedding day, with my mother looking chilly in a wedding dress and my father with a black eye from turning his car over in his haste to get there.

On the farm we’ve joined the wedding game, as couples come to choose their cheese wedding cakes. Lots of people don’t really like fruit cake, have it for their wedding along with an embarrassing best man speech, because ‘that’s what you do’. If you are paying for your wedding, you’d rather have it exactly how you want it, so on many Sunday mornings we find ourselves conducting Cheese Wedding Cake consultations.

It’s lovely. You get let into a private world of love and anticipation. The bride and groom come shyly into the shop, each waiting for the other to say what they want. We taste the cheeses with them: “Do you like that?” More shy glances.

There’s an art to building a cheese wedding cake. How many guests? Don’t want guests short of cheese, don’t want to be eating the leftovers for months. What occasion? The mainstay of the evening, or a little nibble at the end of the meal?

What cheese do you like? The classic cheeseboard of a Cheddar, a blue and a soft cheese, or more adventurous - washed rind stinky cheese, fresh cheese, interesting rinds like Yarg? How about ewes’ and goats’?

You get to hear about the wedding guests, what will auntie like, does it matter if she doesn’t? The cheese wedding cake is already an expression of having what you really want, not what the aged relatives expect. Auntie gets left behind as bride and groom taste some completely gorgeous cheese and their eyes mist over with bliss.

The textures have got to be right - it doesn’t work to have a gooey soft cheese on the bottom layer. If you want lots of soft cheese, go for several top layers of soft, add a triple creme Elmhirst, a Sharpham, a Cornish soft cheese

Our cheeses are 14 inches across, perfect for a bottom layer. Ours are a kilo a centimetre, two pounds an inch. Too much of one sort? We’ve become practised at cutting four different cheeses all at exactly the same height, so you can have a chequerboard of say vintage, smoked, goats’, Cheddar and Red Leicester, made into one seamless layer.

You might want our cheese elsewhere, so we make smaller cheeses for middle and top layers. We ask the dairy to make cheese for wedding cakes months ahead of anyone even proposing. Somehow we always sell them; we’ve a fine line in wedding cakes into the Great Lakes region of America, for some reason.

What else might you want for the middle layers? We guide you: firm enough to hold the top layers, yummy enough to eat that much. We’ve got some favourite blue cheeses, the wonderful Beenleigh Blue from Ticklemore, or the divine Colston Bassett Stilton. Maybe a wild garlic Yarg?

The couple gently, lovingly, probe each other’s expectations and preferences. A little nifty footwork, eased by tasting cheese that neither knew before, the joy of joint discovery, and we’ve got the middle done.

Then the top layers. Bride and groom relax, shared pleasure easing the way. Now they can become playful, exploratory. A Tunworth, to die for? A washed rind Goddess? A fresh Vulscombe for the top? Have them all? Take them on honeymoon, a cheesy reminder of their special day!

Later, when they come back from their honeymoon, we’ll get sent pictures of their cake. Beautiful creations each one, transformed into party clothes with fruit and flowers and nuts. Each one is an expression of love, joint creation and the joy of cheese, and we’re proud to have played our part.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Devon Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Devon Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Devon Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from People

Friday, December 7, 2018

Devon Life received this heartfelt letter from Mr Michael Thompson, of Torbay, which is felt particularly poignant to share with our website audience at this time of year

Read more
Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Bursting with festive inspiration, KATE WILLIAMS seeks out the best presents for a perfect Devon Christmas

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Devon has had more than its fair share of high achievers over the years but how well do you know our county’s singers, authors, sportspeople, explorers and TV personalities? This is an edited version of a quiz compiled by MARGARET BRECKNELL in the December 2018 issue of Devon Life

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

PHILIP DALLING recalls two Exmoor legends who shared a deep love of the moor and its natural resources, and gained national fame through the media

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

In the month when we mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, STEVE ROBERTS highlights the terrible cost in human lives it inflicted on the county of Devon

Read more
Friday, November 16, 2018

Actor Tom Burke talks to JUDI SPIERS about his production of Don Carlos staged by his own theatre company Ara, in association with Exeter’s Northcott Theatre

Read more
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

In the latest in her series throughout 2018 profiling inspirational women, KATE HASKELL talks to England Women’s Cricket Captain, Heather Knight

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

There is more to Georgia Toffolo than an award-winning TV show, as HOLLY EELLS discovers

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

Striving to be the best in the world, homegrown Devon professional squash player Lyell Fuller is seeking sponsorship to help reach his goal. KATE WILLAMS finds out more

Read more
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Tavistock Rugby Club in Devon is celebrating after being awarded a grant of £2,500 to fund private showers for referees at their Sandy Park ground, as part of rural energy provider Calor’s annual funding scheme

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Devon’s Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, also known as The Black Farmer, tells KATE WILLIAMS about his new book, Jeopardy, encouraging the embracing of risk to enrich life

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

As five members of Dartmoor Search and Rescue Ashburton celebrate 125 years of collective volunteering, we look back on their time with the organisation

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

CAROLYN SEAGER reveals how long after her mother’s death she discovered her amazing career in the service of her country

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

An author known for her novels depicting life on the Channel Islands is nonetheless happiest writing from home here in Devon

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search