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Fresh Watermelon Whipped Cream “Cake”

June 16, 2014

I have seen photos of these watermelon “cakes” floating around the internet for a few years now and every time I see one it looks more delicious than the last. So about a week ago, yet another one of these mouth watering photos found its way into my facebook feed and I saved it with the intention of making one based on the photo for the 4th of July as a special dessert.

Then I was in the grocery store yesterday and there was this little lopsided watermelon sitting there looking at me and since it was after all Father’s Day I decided that I’d give it a test run a little early.

Below I have outlined (with photos) the relatively simple process of turning a little watermelon into a very attractive and tasty cream covered summer treat. 


Ingredients:

1 Small seedless watermelon

600ml double or whipping cream

Toasted flaked almonds

Powdered sugar

Raspberries

Blueberries

 

Before I start I want to clarify what I mean by a “small” watermelon.

Having grown up in the USA I know that watermelons have a much different size standard than they do in the UK. Even seedless watermelons in the US tend to be at least 3x larger than the little seedless watermelons you get here.

For this recipe I used a watermelon that was approximately the size of my head and the grocery store called it “large”…. HAH… anyway… to me that’s a small watermelon and if you can’t get a small melon you can always shave down a larger one. (or you can double the ingredients and make a huge cake) It’s not like the trimmings are going to go to waste since you can just put them in a bowl for munching.


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The first thing that I did was I whipped the cream. You can buy fresh pre-whipped cream of course but whipping it yourself means you achieve the exact texture and flavor that you want and it’s really not labor intensive when you use an electric hand mixer. Something you can NOT do is use canned cream for this. It’s far too wet and it would just make a disgusting puddle.

If you’ve never whipped cream before, you just put the cream in a big bowl and start the mixer on its lowest setting, gradually increasing the speed over the course of about 2 minutes. You’ll notice it slowly getting thicker and thicker until suddenly almost all at once, it’s pretty solid which can totally sneak up on you. Once it’s stiff you don’t want to over-whip it or it will start going in the opposite direction and turn buttery.

After I got the cream roughly to the point I wanted it I added in about two tablespoons of powdered sugar and mixed it in, then I tasted it and added another splash of sugar. I am not going to give you exact measurements for this because it’s down to taste. add a little, mix and sample until you are happy with the outcome.

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Next I put the cream in the fridge and cut the watermelon. I don’t know how most people cut their melons but this is the way that I do all of my melons because it makes it really easy to cube the fruit. Just cut off the top to make a flat surface and put the flat side down on the cutting board and with a sharp knife start to shave off the rind at the sides. At the end you’re left with a little cap at the top that cuts right off.

To make my rind-less watermelon cake shaped I just cut more off of the top and bottom, then trimmed the sides to make it a bit more symmetrical. It was a really lopsided little melon.

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Then I padded the bottom dry with paper towel and set it on a cake plate. It still wanted to slide around but there really isn’t a lot you can do about that. The cream does help to hold it in place.

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Applying the cream to the sides of the melon is the most challenging part of the assembly because they are wet and … well… vertical. To help the cream stick I padded the whole thing with paper towel to get it as dry as I could and then I used TWO rubber spatulas to apply a thick layer of cream to the entire melon. It doesn’t have to be all smooth and pretty since the texture is nice and you’re going to stick on toasted almonds anyway.

The plate was covered in cream because I’m messy but it wipes right off so don’t be put off by making a mess since you can pull off the illusion of being impossibly tidy by the end. ;)

Save out a blob of cream for the end.

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Getting the almonds on there isn’t an exact science. They’re quite happy to stick to the cream but again… vertical surface. I just took up handfuls and sort of gently pressed them in and then I filled in the gaps. It’s tricky but not difficult and all of the unstuck almonds sweep clean off the plate.

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Then once the almonds are on just decorate with berries. I really did just pretty much copy a design from someone else  for this cake since I based mine on a photograph. You can use any berries you like for the top but I have to say that flavor-wise the raspberries and blueberries were fairly perfect.

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To top it off I added a blob of cream to the middle and stuck on a final giant raspberry.

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Cutting into it is a breeze and everything pretty much stays put. I have to say that If I was doing this again I think I’d make the melon about half as thick but that’s just my own personal preference.

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We all know that whipped cream and berries are a match made in heaven but I wasn’t sure how it would taste with the watermelon. Watermelon is a fruit I’ve never associated with cream before, but after trying it I was pleasantly surprised. This combination of watermelon, berries, toasted nuts and cream has a fairly astounding effect on the taste buds. It is refreshing and light but at the same time entirely satisfying. I can see several more of these in my future.

Storage:

This clearly needs to be refrigerated, especially if you plan to serve it somewhere very warm just because of all the fresh cream. We cut into the dessert as soon as it was finished but I’ve got half of it in the fridge a day later and the cream has held up nicely.

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From → Desserts, Recipes

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