Show-stopping watermelon cake
Smashing news: it’s December, which means peak watermelon season. As Harris Farm Markets prepares to officially open a new store in Clayfield, Queensland, on December 15 (it’s a terrific full-circle story, BTW), the markets’ flavour-makers have shared something pretty special that we could probably all use right now, to sweeten up those steamy summer days – a recipe for a sensational watermelon cake topped with in-season Aussie fruit. And it’s all made complete with a side of deliciously fruity watermelon spritz.
This is no ordinary watermelon cake. Think Christmas fruit cake, but not as you know it. The masterpiece features white chocolate alongside the real stars of Harris Farm Markets – fresh Australian fruit. And the watermelon spritz? Well, whether you add prosecco or not, this recipe celebrates Mother Nature’s flavours in the most refreshing way.
A cake with a difference
The family-owned Harris Farm Markets is opening not one, but two stores in Brisbane, beginning with Clayfield before opening a flagship store at West Village in West End mid-next year. The two stores will offer produce from more than 300 Queensland growers, and combined will employ more than 200 staff – a welcome injection to the local economy.
Building this watermelon cake won’t just impress the socks off the people you present it to, it’ll also be giving them – and you – a big burst of summer fruit nutrition. Watermelon is rich in antioxidants, including lycopene, which offers a range of health benefits, such as boosting heart health and potentially reducing the risk of some cancers. Berries are chock-full of phytonutrients, which can help reduce the risk of everything from diabetes to Alzheimer’s; while stone fruits like peaches are also full of antioxidants, including vitamin C for a strong immune system and vitamin A for healthy eyes. However, probably the best bit about this cake (apart from the fact that it’s delicious, obvs) is that you can have a huge slice, or even two, and not have to worry about maxing out on sugar or calories.
Harris Farms Markets Clayfield opens on Tuesday, December 15. It’s located at 823 Sandgate Rd, Clayfield, and will be open from 7am to 10pm every day.
1. Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler. Once it’s melted, spread it out with a spatula onto a flat baking tray lined with baking paper. Allow the chocolate to cool completely before carefully cutting out the star shapes using cookie cutters.
2. Using a large knife, slice off the top and bottom of the watermelon so it sits flat on a chopping board. Slice the sides off evenly so it resembles a round cylinder shape and no white of the watermelon rind is showing. Keep any cut off scraps to make watermelon juice or pop it in the freezer for a spritz at a later time.
3. Slice the cylinder into 4cm wide discs. Depending on the size of your watermelon, you should end up with 3 or 4 discs.
4. Lay the most level watermelon disc first onto a flat serving plate. Place 3 level pieces of the left-over watermelon skin roughly 2-3cm wide to allow for a 1cm gap when you lay the next disc on top. This also helps to ensure the cake is level.
5. Place the second disc on top and repeat the process.
6. Slice the strawberries and peaches. Stick the slices alternately in the gap between the watermelon discs, poking outwards. Add blueberries in between each slice.
7. Cover the top of the cake with piled-up whole strawberries, raspberries, cherries, peach slices and a good handful of blueberries. Poke the white chocolate stars in between fruit.
600ml soda water, chilled
½ bottle prosecco, chilled
Juice of 2 limes
½ cup caster sugar
½ to 1 cup boiling water
Mint leaves to garnish
1. Slice up some of the watermelon into small triangles to be used as a garnish. These can be placed into the freezer ahead of time.
2. Slice the remainder of the watermelon into rough cubes and place into a zip lock bag in the freezer for a few hours beforehand to chill.
3. Depending on how sweet your watermelon is (and if you or your guests have a sweet tooth), you may want to add sugar syrup. To make the syrup, add the caster sugar and boiling water into a glass jug and stir to dissolve. Set aside to cool down completely.
4. When you’re ready to serve the spritz, blend the partially frozen watermelon cubes in batches in a blender to create a slushy consistency.
5. Pour the mixture into a large mixing jug or bowl along with the soda water, lime juice and cooled sugar syrup. Stir until well combined.
6. Add a few ice cubes to nice glass tumblers or stemless wine glasses, fill half full of the watermelon juice, and top up the remainder with chilled prosecco.
7. Garnish with a sprig of mint and a chilled slice of watermelon on the side of the glass.