Monday, 8 April 2013

Surprise!! It's a Wine Bottle Cheesecake!

We did it, my co-conspirators and I, we surprised the lovely boyf for his 30th!  It was a risky proposition, the boyf says he doesn't like surprises, and I'd never organised a surprise party before.  We have been planning for months and have had a few gulp moments.  But, even though the game was first given away less than 24 hours after we started (never mind the second, third, fourth and fifth times!), nothing was ever said that gave him too much of a clue and I think he was genuinely delighted.

It could never have happened without a lot of help and plotting (thank you all, you know who you are) and wouldn't have been as successful if it wasn't for all the good folk who were able to attend.  It was a really good gathering of family and friends, old and new, and as much a pleasure to see people meeting and catching up as it was to see the look on the boyf's face when he first walked in. 

Of all the decorative things (the invitation, the large number 30 poster with suitably embarrassing photos etc.) my favourite was the "cake": the result of the latest collaboration between the lovely Mrs B and I.  We have a history of birthday cakes, mainly my mad ideas and her mad skills, and this was no exception.  The boyf is not a fan of cake so the first plan was a cake of cheeses but they are mainly tiered, weddingy, creations and so it needed a little something else.  What better then, for my cheese and wine loving boyf, than a "vintage" all of his very own.

The Wine Bottle Cheesecake

A dozen firm cheeses (plus two for decoration), a 7cm circular cutter, lots of muscle (Mrs B's, not mine!),  a wine bottle long wooden skewer, a sharp knife, four pins, candles, a bunch of grapes and a personalised wine label later... one wine bottle cake.  11 layers formed the bottle, a mixture of deeper flat rounds for stability and some thinner, more interesting, angled layers.  The top layer we cut with the round and then "curved" with a sharp knife. The bottle neck was 5 layers, cut from a single piece of cheese with a knife, using a screw cap from a wine bottle as a template.  We skewered the neck pieces together first and then slowly pushed the skewer down the length of the bottle.  It would probably have been fine without, but we decided to take no chances.  A cheese board base, with a Stilton to hold the candles, a Lancashire Bomb because it's everyones new favourite and some artfully arranged grapes finished it all off nicely.

The lovely Mrs B artistically arranges the grapes!

Surprisingly simple, very effective, and demolished in minutes... so quickly that the boyf never actually got a taste!
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