… Strawberry and Watermelon Cake – when Black Star Pastry is no longer 10 minutes away from work …

picture taken at Black Star Pastry
People go “huh?” when they hear of the idea of a watermelon cream cake. Honestly I couldn’t imagine how a rose scented cream cake with watermelon and strawberries would be like before I actually tasted one. And now even I have tried the cake a few times I still find it hard to describe to people how divine it actually tastes. Let me give it a go here: the cake is made of a few layers, at the top there are some fresh strawberries and grapes which are slightly tangy, with some chopped pistachios and rose petals. Then there are a few layers of rose scented cream; the cream is very rich with a light scent of rose (not the kind of heavy rose scent that tastes like soap). The brown layers that look like ‘cake’ are actually made of almond dacquoise (which is gluten free), it’s soft and full of nutty fragrance. Lastly, the watermelon slices in the middle make the cake feel very refreshing and is surprisingly matching with the rose scented cream.

Black Star Pastry Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

… http://blackstarpastry.com.au/
The strawberry and watermelon cake was an invention of the Black Star Pastry in Sydney. They sell lots of other amazing pastries as well but the strawberry and watermelon cake is definitely what they are famous for. My sister is a fan of this cake and it was Black Star Pastry in Rosebery that she requested to go before she flew back to Hong Kong for good. 

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Christopher from Black Star Pastry was generous enough to share his recipe of this cake and thanks to him people like us who are living overseas can imitate it and have a taste of the cake at home.  So I made this cake last weekend for my sister’s birthday 🙂

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Strawberry and watermelon cake (recipe from Black Star Pastry)
Serves 8
Ingredients
… 250 g seedless watermelon, thinly sliced
… 60 ml (¼ cup) rosewater
… 4 tbsp caster sugar
… 40 g almond meal
… 500 g strawberries (about 2 punnets), halved
… 10 seedless red grapes, halved
… 1 tbsp slivered pistachios 
… 1 tbsp dried rose petals 
Almond dacquoise
… 150 g almonds, coarsely chopped  {I used fine almond meal but reckoned it’s better to blend almonds with skin to create a rougher texture}
… 150 g pure icing sugar, sieved {I reduced the amount to 130g}
… 5 eggwhites
… 135 g caster sugar
Rose-scented cream
… 300 ml thickened cream
… 30 g caster sugar
… 2 tbsp rosewater {I added around 5 drops of rose essence instead}
Instructions 
1. For almond dacquoise, preheat oven to 200C. Process almonds in a food processor until finely ground, then combine in a bowl with icing sugar.
2. Whisk eggwhites in an electric mixer until soft peaks form (3-4 minutes), then gradually add caster sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form (1-2 minutes).

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3. Gently fold through almond mixture, spread on a 30cm x 40cm oven tray lined with baking paper and bake until golden (10-15 minutes). Set aside to cool on tray, then cut in half lengthways. {I baked the dacquoise in two rounds with a smaller tray}

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4. Arrange watermelon slices in a single layer on a wire rack. Sprinkle with 20ml rosewater, then scatter with 2 tbsp sugar. Stand to macerate (30 minutes), then pat dry with absorbent paper. {I cut the watermelon slices and trimmed them according to the tray that I was going to use for the dacquoise so that they could fit perfectly; I diluted the rose essence with water to make rosewater}

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5. Meanwhile, for rose-scented cream, whisk cream and sugar in an electric mixer until soft peaks form, gradually add rosewater and whisk until stiff peaks form (do not over-whisk).

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6. Spread one-third of rose cream evenly over one half of dacquoise, scatter with half the almond meal, then top with watermelon, trimming to fill any gaps. Scatter over remaining almond meal, spread over half remaining cream. Top with remaining dacquoise, spread over remaining cream and refrigerate until firm (1-2 hours). {The cake I made was too flat so I cut it into half and stack one half on another}

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7. Combine strawberries, remaining rosewater and remaining sugar in a bowl, toss to combine and set aside to macerate (15 minutes). Carefully arrange on top of cake, gently pushing into cream.

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8. Trim edges of cake, scatter over grapes, pistachios and petals, and serve. {I didn’t add any grapes}

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* The watermelon will release water so make sure you absorb the excessive juice from the watermelon slices before assembling the cake
* The cake is best to be consumed within 2 days 

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