Susan Phipps of Cheese Culture Makes Us a Cheese Cake

Welcome to the How-To series, a periodic segment of photo essays that highlights the dishes and drinks that area restaurants do well, who makes them, and how they do it. This week, owner Susan Phipps and cheese monger Jenifer Bound of Cheese Culture show us their first attempt at making cakes out of cheese.

Susan Phipps of Cheese Culture Makes Us a Cheese Cake
Christina Mendenhall
In her travels here and in the U.K., Cheese Culture owner Susan Phipps was captivated at the use of cheese wheels for cakes. "The more I had read about it, the more I thought it was an interesting idea," said Phipps. She decided to try to make one for the first time for Las Olas Wine and Food Festival. Why? Her daughter is getting married in November. It was a dry run.

In her research, Phipps has found two types of cakes: the traditional-looking cakes with flowers, fruit, and bright colors; and the more rustic cakes, with gnarly rinds, and the use of moss, wood, and grape leaves. "This type of cake reinforces that the cheese itself is organic. And like the décor," she says, "it shows how nature itself is beautiful."

Susan Phipps of Cheese Culture Makes Us a Cheese Cake
Christina Mendenhall

Phipps and Bound chose soft cheese for the festival cakes. "Because we are in the street serving, I wanted this first cake to be as easy as possible." She went with four cheeses:  Champs Elysses and Belletoile Brie as well as an Explorateur and the St. Andre triple cream cheeses.

Susan Phipps of Cheese Culture Makes Us a Cheese Cake
Christina Mendenhall
Though Phipps enjoyed the presentation of soft, bright cheese, she says she prefers "big, old, rustic wheels" that allow the opportunity to display different textures and shapes.
Susan Phipps of Cheese Culture Makes Us a Cheese Cake
Christina Mendenhall

Bound adds flowers, greenery, and moss from Ann's Florist on Las Olas.


Susan Phipps of Cheese Culture Makes Us a Cheese Cake
Christina Mendenhall
Susan Phipps of Cheese Culture Makes Us a Cheese Cake
Christina Mendenhall

Quite lovely for a first attempt.

Susan Phipps of Cheese Culture Makes Us a Cheese Cake
Christina Mendenhall
Susan Phipps of Cheese Culture Makes Us a Cheese Cake
Christina Mendenhall
Susan Phipps of Cheese Culture Makes Us a Cheese Cake
Christina Mendenhall

Check out the rest of the slideshow here.


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