Black Star Pastry’s strawberry and watermelon cake

strawberry and watermelon cake coverHave you ever wanted to make something so badly just so that you can try it?

That is the case for me and Black Star Pastry‘s strawberry and watermelon cake.

The name of this cake would already leave heads spinning. Strawberry and watermelon, and throw rose into the mix? What a whimsical flavour combination! I have to say that I have not seen watermelon take center-stage of any cake prior to this one.  I was excited to try this cake for myself  to see if the flavours actually work.

slice of cake

Sadly, I do not live in Sydney and I can’t just hop over to Newtown to get a bite of this.  The only way is to make one using the recipe that I’ve saved from Gourmet Traveller Australia magazine.

Though the recipe is pretty straightforward, I felt like I was wandering through a foreign territory; I had a vague idea of how it should look  but had no clue how it should taste.

As I begin to assemble the cake, I realised that my almond dacquoise layer is thinner than it should be as I usually bake them thinner than suggested in this recipe. The flavours were pretty phenomenal though.

strawberry and watermelon cake2

The moment I took a bite of  the rosewater macerated watermelon, I knew that the cake would be more than just interesting. The hints of floral was seamless with the sweetness of the watermelon.

The cake in its entirety look simply stunning. It’s like a picture perfect afternoon cake. Its taste was beautiful too – a light, chewy almond cake with a light perfume of rose flavour running through the whole cake.

I am always a tad hesitant when it comes to rose flavoured cakes/baked goodies because of my terrifying encounters with bandung (a rose flavoured drink) or rose syrup when I was a kid. However, this cake is the exception; I have no reservations about the rose flavour in it.

It’s been barely a day since I made this cake but I’m all raring to make it once again!

strawberry watermelon cake

Black Star Chris’ Strawberry and watermelon cake

Recipe adapted from Gourmet Traveller Australia
Serves 8

The recipe has been published in the Gourmet Traveller Australia magazine . I followed it pretty closely but I used the almond dacquoise recipe that I’m most familiar with -from my Le Cordon Bleu school days.

I have broken down the recipe into parts so it’s easier to read and follow. The almond dacquoise has to be quite thick if you refer to the picture in the magazine. My mistake was when I decided to split the mixture into two baking trays instead of one. The flavours of the cake was still wonderful but I think I ended up with a much shorter cake.


Almond dacquoise
150g ground almond
150g icing sugar
56g cornflour
225g egg whites, room temperature
128g caster sugar

Rose scented cream
300 ml double cream (at least 33% fat)
30 gm caster sugar
2 tbsp rosewater

Macerated watermelon
250 gm seedless watermelon, thinly sliced, about 0.5cm
20ml rosewater
2 tbsp caster sugar

Macerated strawberries
500g strawberries, halved/quartered
10-12 red seedless grapes, halved
40ml rosewater
2 tbsp caster sugar

To assemble
40g ground almond
1 tbsp silvered pistachios (I used almonds instead because I didn’t have pistachios. Almond silvers work too but pistachios will give the cake that pop of colour.)
1 tbsp dried rose petals (optional)

1. For almond dacquoise: preheat oven to 200C. Sift together almond meal, icing sugar and cornflour in a bowl and whisk until uniform. In a separate grease-free bowl, prepare a meringue. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks then gradually add in caster sugar and whisk until stiff peaks.

2. Gently fold in the almond meal mixture and transfer onto one large baking tray (30x40cm) lined with baking parchment and spread from end to end evenly with a palette knife. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown and when it springs back to touch. Be careful not to overbake this as it will quickly turn into a large biscuit. Set aside to cool on a cooling rack before cutting and assembling.

cutting the dacquoise

2. Macerating the watermelon: Slice the watermelon about 0.5cm thickness and cut them into large rectangles as much as possible (this will help you form a neat layer on the cake later). Arrange watermelon slices in a single layer on a wire rack. Sprinkle with rosewater, then scatter the caster sugar over the watermelon slices. Stand to macerate (30 minutes), then pat dry with paper towels.

3. 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).

watermelon macerating

4. Assembling the cake: Cut the dacquoise layer into half and trim the sides so you get two neat, equal size rectangles. Spread one-third of rose cream evenly over one half of dacquoise, scatter with half the almond meal, then top it with a layer with watermelon slices. Do ensure that there are no gaps.

5. 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).

6. Macerating the strawberries: Combine strawberries, remaining rosewater and remaining sugar in a bowl, toss to combine and set aside to macerate (15 minutes).

7. Dry the strawberries and arrange them on the top of cake, gently pushing into cream. Trim edges of cake, scatter over grapes, pistachios and petals, and serve.

cake top

*Storage tip: The cake is best eaten on the day it is made or the day after. You can keep it in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

close up of cake black star pastry cake

About jothetartqueen

My first love is eating. A very close second is my love for baking and cooking. I passionately believe that the best form of appreciation of something is almost always through the creation of it. This passion took me on a whirlwind, unforgettable ride through the patisserie diploma course at Le Cordon Bleu (Sydney). Join me on my discovery for the love of food – through the kitchen, through the markets, through experimenting, tasting and loving.
This entry was posted in Baking, Cakes and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Black Star Pastry’s strawberry and watermelon cake

  1. This is one of my favourite ever cakes! It’s so refreshingly gorgeous and your version is perfect Jo, just like the actual cake! 😀

  2. radhika25 says:

    That looks beautiful Jo!

  3. Awesome beyond words. Any dessert that manages to successfully incorporate watermelon deserves some kind of award. All too often, I see it baked into batters where it either disappears are turns into an off-putting winter squash sort of flavor. This is the way to do it right!

    • Thanks Hannah. I have not seen nor tried watermelon cakes with the fruit mixed in the batter and I can’t quite imagine how it would taste.

      I’m actually very pleasantly surprised at how this cake turned out!

  4. Silvia says:

    You are very brave! I’ve had this recipe for more than a year and I haven’t been able to put together enough courage to make it. Early this year I was in Sydney for a few days and I went all the way to Newtown just to have a piece of this cake and see Christopher Thé in action. The great man was right there, behind the counter. The cake was amazing, but a bit too sweet for my taste. You make it look easy and I am tempted now to make it, perhaps cutting down the sugar a little here and there. Thank you for the inspiration!

  5. I’ve been meaning to try this at Black Star, but I always end up buying something chocolatey! Maybe I’ll just have to make it myself! Beautiful presentation!

  6. This is so impressive, Jo! When I looked at the first shot I was certain it was something you’d bought from a bakery with a pastry chef. It must have tasted so wonderful, what an unusual flavor combination.. all my favorites would be in one bite! I love that! xx

  7. LB says:

    Love the photography (and the cake sounds delicious, too!)

  8. Kerrin says:

    I bought the Cake from Black Star because I heard how good it is but dissapointed.I thought the cream was wrong so decided to make with Mascarpone.But it curdled so will have to wait till tomorrow now to finish it.

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