At the end of June, I spent the best part of a week at Neal's Yard Creamery in Herefordshire learning and making cheese, crème fraiche and yoghurts with them. In the past I’ve made lots of social visits to Herefordshire in general and Neal’s Yard Creamery in particular so it was great to be back and to catch up with Charlie, Grainne, Conan, Holly, Finn and Rags the dog. Although initially Neal’s Yard Creamery and Neal's Yard Dairy were one and the same, the two parted ways after a few years when Charlie Westhead, until then an employee at Neal’s Yard Dairy working in the shop and driving around the country buying and selecting cheese, moved into cheesemaking and developed Neal’s Yard Creamery as a separate and sister company.
I used to make wedding cakes way back when. The memory of how stressful it was still haunts me whenever I see a pastry bag with a #1 piping tip (the smallest, most exacting one). Given that experience, not to mention my work now as culture’s editrix, you’ll not be surprised when I declare that I’m very much in favor of the trend toward Wedding Cheese Cakes—grand stacked tiers of cheese wheels that are embellished with flowers and fruits, in the style of a traditional nuptial cake. All that’s missing is the sugar. These cheese tiers are a delicious, beautiful, and much less fragile way to create an edible monolith, compared to umpteen layers of cake and butter cream.
And now it’s easier and more fun to plan for a wedding cheese cake, thanks to a clever cheese merchant in England who has launched a new online design service called the “The Cakebuilder.”