Recipe

Watermelon, rose and strawberry almond cake

This is the stuff that dreams are made of; luscious mascarpone cream and candied watermelon sandwiched between crispy almond meringue and topped with fresh strawberries. Your guests will love it.

  • 30 mins preparation
  • 40 mins cooking
  • Serves 12
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Ingredients

Watermelon, rose and strawberry almond cake
  • 1 cup (160g) blanched almonds
  • 3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • 5 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 375 gram mascarpone
  • 200 gram sour cream
  • 2 teaspoon rosewater
  • 200 gram fresh strawberries, sliced
Candied watermelon
  • 2.5 kilogram seedless watermelon, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup (330g) caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) water
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) lime juice

Method

Watermelon, rose and strawberry almond cake
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease a shallow 28cm x 33cm swiss roll pan; line with baking paper.
  • 2
    In a mini processor, blend nuts, ¼ cup (55g) of the sugar, and salt for about 1 minute, or until fine.
  • 3
    Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in a large bowl for 1-2 minutes, or until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, beating until mixture is thick and glossy and sugar is dissolved.
  • 4
    Using a large metal spoon, fold almond mixture and paste into meringue until just incorporated. Spoon mixture into pan; smooth surface.
  • 5
    Bake cake for about 20 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch. Cool in pan.
  • 6
    Meanwhile, to make candied watermelon: Trim rind from watermelon and cut lengthways into 1.5cm slices. Trim into 6cm x 23cm rectangles; cut in half crossways. Cut trimmings into 1.5cm cubes. Place sugar and water in a 28cm frying pan over medium heat; stir until sugar dissolves and mixture boils. Stir in juice. Cook large watermelon pieces in syrup, in three batches, for 3 minutes each side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pieces to a tray lined with paper towel. Cook watermelon cubes in same syrup for 6 minutes; transfer to tray. Pour syrup into a small bowl; cool, adding any more syrup that drains from the watermelon to it. Reserve syrup.
  • 7
    Using an electric mixer, beat ½ cup (125ml) reserved watermelon syrup n a medium bowl with mascarpone, sour cream and rosewater for 1-2 minutes, or until soft peaks form.
  • 8
    Turn cake, top-side up, onto a chopping board; cut crossways into three rectangles. Place one cake rectangle on a platter; spread with one-third of the cream, top with enough candied watermelon pieces to cover cream in a single layer, trimming and adding as necessary.
  • 9
    Top with another cake rectangle, half the remaining cream and remaining watermelon pieces. Finish layering with last cake rectangle and remaining cream. Decorate with strawberries and cubes before serving.

Notes

Not suitable to freeze. Not suitable to microwave. The almond cake can be made a day ahead; store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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