I am in love with this cake. It’s so refreshing and makes a healthy alternative to a traditional celebration cake. It’s perfect for a summer party – and there’s no feeling guilty about going back for seconds.
What’s more, it looks spectacular! The dairy-free coconut cream adds a touch of decadence and comfort. Watermelon Cake With Sweet Coconut Cream, Figs & Berries
Makes one cake (size depends on diameter of watermelon)
1 whole 5 kg (11 lb) seedless ripe watermelon (see Note)
1 quantity Dairy-free sweet coconut cream
About 250 g (9 oz) strawberries
2–3 figs, halved
Handful of raspberries
A few pomegranate seeds
Place the watermelon on a large chopping board. (This is going to get a little messy!) Make sure your board is secure by placing a damp cloth underneath it to prevent it slipping while cutting. Slice the top and bottom off the melon to create a flat top and base.
With the melon standing on one end, remove the rind, including the hard white flesh. (I find it easiest to cut into the melon on the white edge where the rind meets the pink fruit and cut out the circle that will be the ‘cake’.) If your cutting is a little irregular, just trim the watermelon cake to achieve a uniform, cylindrical shape or as close as you can manage. Alternatively, you may like to cut the rind off in sections and trim to achieve the same cylindrical appearance. Pat the cake dry with paper towel, place it on a cake stand or serving plate and set aside.
Prepare the coconut cream. This can be used as a topping or, you can do as I do, and serve it on the side so guests can dollop as much as they desire on their fresh fruit. If using it as a topping, just smooth it over the surface of the melon, but do make sure you pat the watermelon dry first, so the cream doesn‘t slide off.
Cut some of the strawberries in half lengthways. I love to keep the leaves attached for visual appeal – a little extra greenery looks so fresh. Pile on a few whole strawberries to make a sturdy layer. Now add the fig halves – they look best face-up and on a slight angle. Fill any gaps with strawberry halves, raspberries and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving you could scatter on a few jasmine blooms if you like, but I love the trailing nature of this plant, so just a little around the base of the cake also adds a pretty touch.
Note: I used a 5kg watermelon, which would serve around 12 people, but feel free to use a larger or smaller melon to suit the number of guests.
Dairy-free sweet coconut cream
Suitable for vegans (if you use maple syrup) and anyone who loves coconut,
this is decadent and rich.
2 x 400 ml (14 fl oz) tins full-fat coconut milk (refrigerated for 6 hours or more)
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or natural vanilla extract
1 tablespoon raw honey or pure maple syrup
Remove the coconut milk from the refrigerator and scoop the cream off the top,
leaving the liquid behind. Place the coconut cream, vanilla and honey or maple syrup in a bowl and
use a hand-held whisk to combine well. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Use it to fill or top the cake of your choice.
Recipes and images from Naked Cakes by Lyndel Miller (Murdoch Books) $49.99 available now in all good bookstores